In disturbing news, I’ve learned the WBC looks likely to withdraw sanction for the clash between Junior Witter and Devon Alexander due to a row over the assignment of officials. This weekend’s clash was to include Britain’s premier official, Richie Davies, as one of three ringside judges all assigned to the fight by the World Boxing Council. For reasons beyond the logic of any boxing observer, the Californian State Athletic Commission has rejected Davies. Presently, the fight will be officiated by a Californian and judged by officials from California, Mexico and Nevada and unless the stand-off is resolved, the WBC belt will not be on the line. Whether Witter would even go through with the fight without the prize is highly unlikely.
WBC head Jose Sulaiman has refused to let the bout proceed without a British judge presumably for fear of an unfair balance of bias toward Alexander either in reality or the perception of the audience the fight will draw. It is unclear on what grounds the Californian State Athletic Commission have rejected the world recognised Davies but the appointment of a an American referee, two American and one Mexican judge, with due deference to their presumed impartiality and professional integrity, would do Alexander’s chances no harm.
Hopefully, the story will unravel over the next 12-24 hours and prove to be a storm in a teacup. However, given the fight is now fast approaching it is hard to see how it can be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.
It is important to remember, Devon Alexander is a Don King fighter.