IBF denies Gabriel Campillo's plea

Updated: March 5, 2012, 8:39 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

The IBF on Monday denied Gabriel Campillo's request for an immediate rematch with light heavyweight titleholder Tavoris Cloud, who won a split decision to retain his belt in a controversial fight on Feb. 18.

Although Campillo, a former titleholder from Spain, was knocked down twice in the first round, many believed he did more than enough to earn the victory over the next 11 rounds when they met in Corpus Christi, Texas, in the opening bout of a "Showtime Championship Boxing" card.

While judge Dennis Nelson scored the fight 115-111 for Campillo (21-4-1, 8 KOs), judges David Robertson (116-110) and Joel Elizondo (114-112) scored for Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs), of Tallahassee, Fla., whose face was busted up. The Campillo camp was particularly upset with the surprisingly wide score from Robertson.

IBF president Daryl Peoples informed Leon Margules, the attorney representing Campillo and promoter Sampson Lewkowicz, of the decision in a letter emailed to him.

People told Margules in the letter that he and IBF championship chairman Lindsey Tucker had reviewed a DVD of the bout. Peoples reiterated that the judges for the fight were selected by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation in accordance with federal law and then denied the request.

"The judging of professional boxing events is subjective," Peoples wrote. "While you have presented many media accounts disputing the scoring of the fight, these criticisms do not represent the opinions of professional boxing judges. Absent any proof of wrongdoing, we must rely on the decisions rendered by the judges whether their decisions are popular or not.

"Any action taken by the IBF in this situation without proof of wrongdoing or violation of IBF rules would serve to invalidate the decision of the judges. You pointed out in your letter dated February 27, 2011, 'While we do not believe that a judges' scoring should normally be questioned,' the IBF agrees with your position. Based on the foregoing, the IBF will not grant an immediate rematch."

Margules had asked the IBF to order the rematch under the organization's rule that says the IBF has the authority to order a rematch at their discretion.

"I just think if they have this discretionary rule then this is the type of thing they should use it for, where the fighter was wronged and there is no specific grounds under their appeal rules to allow us to appeal anything that happened that night," Margules told ESPN.com. "This is when they should use the discretionary rule -- to right the wrong. But they decided not to."

In a separate request, Campillo also appealed the decision to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, which oversees boxing in the state. Campillo has asked that the two judges who scored for Cloud be disciplined and that the decision to be changed to a no contest.

Margules said Texas has not yet ruled, but that in a letter it has asked him to provide additional information.

He said Texas officials asked for a video of the fight, the scorecards and any other supporting documents related to the Campillo complaint. Margules said Texas asked for the material to be submitted by March 16.

Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.