LAS VEGAS – The Nevada State Athletic Commission should have a busy week reviewing one, and possibly two incidents from the Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev II fight card Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
The first involves a possible late punch by undefeated WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux at the end of the first round in his fight against Moises Flores. It was originally looked at and determined to be before the bell and Rigondeaux was credited with a knockout.
According to Bob Bennett, the executive director of the NSAC, the decision was made based on information he received from the sound trailer that the punch was thrown before the bell. Subsequent to the decision made by the referee, who is the sole arbitrator, it was brought to Bennett’s attention he had either received misinformation or perhaps didn’t hear that person correctly on the phone, but he doubts the latter.
Bennett told USA TODAY Sports that he reviewed the tape Sunday morning, and the punch was thrown after the bell rang.
“So it will go to the (attorney general’s) office, we’ll review it and will present it to chairman Anthony Marnell III and a couple of commissioners to see if we want to overturn that ruling,” Bennett said. “The referee (Vic Drakulich) has recommended a no-decision based on the fact that that punch was after the bell and was not intentional. It was an unintentional punch.
“I’m working today, I’ll meet with the attorneys tomorrow, I’ll meet with Chairman Marnell (Monday) and we’ll do our best to expedite the matter because only the commission can vote to overturn it. By law we have to give a three-day working window to the public for a public hearing. If all goes well we’ll have a hearing on Friday.”