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Rigondeaux beats Flores in controversial knockout

Published Jun 19, 2017 07:08am

LAS VEGAS: Two-time Olympic gold medallist Guillermo Rigondeaux defeated Moises Flores with a controversial fight-ending punch at the close of the first round Saturday to retain his WBA junior featherweight title in Las Vegas.

The victory was controversial as television replays showed Rigondeaux landed a left hand after the round-ending bell had rang. He also landed three punches while holding Flores’ head from behind just before the knockout.

The fight was on the undercard of the Sergey Kovalev-Andre Ward world title light heavyweight bout at the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino.

Rigondeaux improved to 18-0 with 12 knockouts, while Flores, of Mexico, dropped to 25-1, with 17 KOs.

The Cuban-born Rigond­eaux was announced the winner, but after the fight Nevada Athletic Comm­ission executive director Bob Bennett told broadcaster HBO that they might have to review the decision.

“We will take a look at it. If the punch landed after the bell it is a disqualification,” Bennett said. “We want the right fighter to win. Anything is possible. We could take a look at it and do the right thing.”

Flores stayed down for several minutes and had to be helped back to his corner where he sat during a lengthy review that eventually resulted in Rigondeaux being crowned the winner.

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2017