Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Zab Judah files protest
By Dan Rafael
Claiming inappropriate actions by referee Vic Drakulich, former junior welterweight titlist Zab Judah has filed a formal protest with the Nevada State Athletic Commission over the result of his July 23 unification fight with Amir Khan, promoter Main Events announced Monday night.
Khan thoroughly dominated the entire fight at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas before scoring a fifth-round knockout with a right hand to the body.
Judah went down and Drakulich counted him out with 13 seconds left in the round. However, Judah complained that Drakulich failed to call a low blow or give him the five-minute recovery time called for in the event of a debilitating punch below the belt. Video replays showed the punch appeared to be on the beltline.
Main Events also announced that Judah had sent letters to the IBF and WBA, the organizations that sanctioned the bout, requesting a rematch with Khan.
Protests of this nature typically go nowhere, and it is unlikely that either organization will order a rematch -- a fight Khan (26-1, 18 KOs), who is making plans for another fight in December, probably would not take.
But that has not stopped Judah from trying to make his case.
Judah (41-7, 28 KOs) claims that Drakulich was not in position to see the fight-ending shot. He also said Drakulich did not deduct points from Khan "for repetitious hitting behind the head and holding" throughout the bout.
"We know Zab was behind on the scorecards but there are numerous examples in boxing history where boxers that were behind came back with a knockout," said Bill Halkias, Judah's co-promoter from Super Judah Promotions. "The fact that Zab was behind has no bearing on whether the low-blow call was wrong. We still had seven more rounds to fight. Zab still could have won, but that opportunity was wrongfully taken away from him."
Main Events provided video clips in an effort to back up its claims.
"There is a difference between making a judgment call and guessing. The referee simply guessed, and guessed wrong," Main Events attorney Pat English wrote in his letter to the WBA, in reference to Drakulich's legal-punch ruling.
Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.