The team for Gabriel Campillo has announced plans today to file a protest with the International Boxing Federation (IBF) to dispute their fighter’s highly controversial split decision loss to champion Tavoris Cloud last Saturday (February 18) in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Campillo lost by scores of 115-111, 112-114 and 110-116 after surviving two knockdowns in round one to outbox and significantly outland Cloud the rest of the way ().
“We are going to file a protest with the IBF on Monday and we’ll make a request for a no-decision and an immediate rematch,” Campillo promoter Sampson Lewkowicz told Boxingscene.com. “This is the second time that something like this has happened to one of my fighters. First it was Sergio Martinez with Kermit Cintron and now with Campillo.”
The fight, broadcast live on Showtime Extreme, started with Cloud having a huge 10-7 first round courtesy of two knockdowns. Campillo would immediately bounce back in the second round by moving Cloud back with quick 3-4 punch combinations. The southpaw Campillo continued his momentum in the third with sharp left cross counters that had Cloud befuddled.
Cloud had solid moments in the fourth and sixth rounds by outworking Campillo on the inside with short hooks to the body. However, Campillo evaded Cloud’s heavy power shots and had a big seventh round that started off with varied and hard combinations to the head and body. The damage became visible via a bad cut above Cloud’s left eye.
Campillo never lost his momentum in the late rounds, having big moments in the eighth and tenth by stunning Cloud with uppercuts, left crosses and short right hooks. Cloud’s best late moment would come in the eleventh when he landed a jarring right after Campillo unwisely began to taunt him.
Showtime ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. also believed the decision to be unjust, tweeting immediately afterward that it was “one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to announce.”
The decision was angrily booed by fans in attendance. The tense atmosphere resulted in Cloud’s mother fainting when the decision was announced and the crowd chanting Campillo’s name as he remained in the ring.
“I feel like I won this fight,” said Cloud when questioned about the verdict’s validity. “I was the aggressor throughout the fight… He [Campillo] cannot take a punch.”
The controversial win was Cloud’s fourth defense of his IBF light-heavyweight title.
The saddest thing is that as boxing writers and fans we’re so used to this that we don’t even bat an eye. On Twitter, nearly everyone I follow and myself included said “well, Campillo’s about to get screwed.” We’ve come to accept this nonense as a functional part of our sport. Texas’ history of dodgy decisions is well documented with the most famous being Pernell Whitaker out-classing Julio Cesar Chavez and only earning a draw. The 116-110 score for Cloud is sheer corruption, ineptness or both.
The New Jersey boxing commission did the right thing last year when they suspended the judges involved in Paul Williams’ robbery “win” over Erislandy Lara. We won’t get anything similar from Texas until the big networks make it clear these embarrassments to the sport will no longer be accepted.