- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora's controversial sixth-round knockout of Malik Scott will stand without being reviewed by the British Boxing Board of Control.
Chisora, a former world title challenger from England, was credited with the knockout victory on July 20 at Wembley Arena in London when he dropped Scott with a right hand and referee Phil Edwards counted Scott out despite the fact it appeared as though he was off the canvas before Edwards finished the count. The loss was the first of Scott's career.
A few days after the fight, Dan Goossen, Scott's promoter, lodged a protest with the British Boxing Board of Control seeking to have the regulatory body review the video of the fight and change the result to a no contest.
However, Robert Smith, the general secretary of the BBB of C, spoke with Goossen recently and also sent him a follow-up letter saying the fight would not be reviewed and standing by Edwards' ruling.
"The decision is not unexpected but what I hate to see is something that looks so obviously wrong and have it impact a man's career," Goossen told ESPN.com. "Malik Scott worked for many, many years to be at this point in his career and so all you want is to have everything fair and square inside the ring."
Scott (35-1-1, 12 KOs), 32, of Philadelphia, was ahead 48-47 on all three judges' scorecards going into the sixth round when Chisora scored the knockdown. Scott was on one knee and appeared unhurt and alert when he looked to his corner and then directly at Edwards, picking up his count at six. Scott rose at nine and appeared to be clearly off the canvas when Edwards waved his arms and ended the fight.
Goossen said he believed that Edwards made an honest mistake and in his protest letter to the BBB of C, wrote, "There was no doubt that the count did not reach 10 prior to Malik getting up. The referee reached nine and simultaneously Malik got up. Whether or not 10 had to be verbally stated by the referee or just the elapsed time of 10 occurring, the facts (and video) will show neither happened in this case. Bottom line, Malik was up at the count of nine. The key is the decision was ruled a KO and not a TKO and subsequently the referee is required to count to 10 or, at the least, not wave the fight off until a full 10 seconds had elapsed, which it did not. A TKO would have allowed the referee to call the fight anytime before the count of 10."
In Smith's letter to Goossen, he outlined the specific British rule on knockouts and also backed up Edwards.
"I understand the points you have raised but in answering feel I must first clarify them," Smith wrote. "Firstly, when describing the process of Mr. Scott rising, you quite correctly make reference to Mr. Scott 'having nothing on the canvas but his feet' at the count of nine. However, under British Boxing Board of Control Rules (3.32) a boxer is deemed to be 'down' by one of four criteria, one of which is 'when the boxer is in the act of rising.' Therefore, the point at which the boxer has nothing on the canvas but his feet is not the point at which the boxer is no longer 'down.'
"Most importantly, after a boxer is 'down' boxing can only continue when the boxer 'is in a position and a condition to defend himself.'
"Secondly, you state that referee Phil Edwards 'never reached or uttered the count of 10.' Again, you are quite right. In the United Kingdom (like many countries) the count of the referee (having picked it up from the timekeeper) is '7, 8, 9, out.' Ten is never called by any referee in any contest in this country. Both of your observations on the conclusion of the contest were correct but ultimately (whilst the processes or assumptions may vary between countries) Mr. Scott received a full count after which Mr. Edwards did not feel that he was in a position to continue. Furthermore, I can assure you beyond any doubt that Mr. Edwards, a very experienced referee at the highest level of our sport (and ultimately the person best placed to assess Mr. Scott's state), made his decision solely based on the safety and well-being of Mr. Scott."
Smith went on to compliment Scott's behavior after the ending of the fight. Rather than have a meltdown, Scott acted professionally both in the ring and during his post-fight interview with BoxNation, the British television network that carried the bout.
"Mr. Scott conducted himself in an extremely professional manner during his stay in the UK both before and after the contest and should he wish to return to the UK he would be very welcome," Smith wrote. Scott said after the fight he would like a rematch. Chisora (17-4, 11 KOs), 29, of England, who lost a lopsided decision to Vitali Klitschko in a 2012 world title fight, is scheduled to face an opponent to be announced on Sept. 21 in London.
4dMalik Smith, ESPN Stats & Information