Barnor: Stoppage was legitimate

Roger Barnor

Roger Barnor

International boxing referee, Roger Barnor has dismissed claims that his decision on Saturday in Emmanuel Tagoe’s IBO title defense handed the Ghanaian an advantage over his Argentine opponent, Fernando Saucedo.
According to the IBO and WBO certified referee, the decision to stop the fight falls in line with the rules that govern the sports.
In his view, the hullabaloo over his decision was occasion by fans ignorance and a section of the media that assumed a negative posture in the course of commentary on the fight.
Speaking to the Times Sports yesterday, Referee Barnor said he used his discretion to allow the fight to continue despite the many occasions to stop it earlier.
Barnor has come for criticism over the manner the IBO championship between Emmanuel ‘Game boy’ Tagoe and Fernando Saucedo ended with the referee calling the fight off in the 10th round when it appeared the boxer was in no danger.
Barnor intervened in one of the exchanges at a neutral corner and waved the stoppage to the boxer and the crowd with many accusing him of giving the Argentine a raw deal.
But Barnor explained he did not stop the fight because of the action at the time but because of the position of his seconds.
According to him, two legal punches landed on the ears of Saucedo in the 10th round after which he turned to lean on the ropes, adding that, ‘a boxer leaning on the rope suggests that he has abandoned the fight.’
Despite that, he said, he used his discretion to allow the fight to continue until he found Saucedo’s seconds leaning on the apron of the ring.
“That was the reason why I stopped the fight because when a coach leans on the rope, it means he is unwilling to continue. As a referee, I can stop a fight if a seconds lean on the ropes or storm the ring without invitation and that was exactly why the fight was stopped and not because of the boxer.”
He said there were many instances where he could have stopped the fight and deduct points from the Argentine but took the risk to continue to avoid some of the controversies.
He cited many occasions when Saucedo intentionally dropped his mouth guard, held and pushed him.
He disclosed that there was also the opportunity to disqualify Saucedo over his attitude in the ring but considered the consequences of that action and ignored it.
He explained that in the case of a disqualification, Saucedo would forfeit his purse and would go back to his native country empty handed.
He cautioned the media to be circumspect in their reportage on aspect of the sport that they are not conversant with but always in a rush to mislead the public with ill judgement.


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