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Team Destiny has filed a formal protest
By A. Emmert
of Team Destiny
February 22, 2010

     
   
   
   
   

(FEB 22) After having traded phone calls and emails with the IFBA recently Team Destiny has filed a formal protest with the organization’s Board of Governors relating to the February 6th bout in Korea between Ji Hyun Park and Suszannah “Destiny” Warner. We have urged them to review the scoring of the judges in comparison to the actual events during the fight and cite the clause in the group’s By-Laws that require a rematch when controversial decisions are awarded.
 
There is a rather crude recording currently posted on YouTube ( Video1 of 3).(Video Ji Hyun Park v. Warner, 2 of 3.)  (Video Ji Hyun Park v. Warner, 3 of 3.) But it is very difficult to really see the action. A clear shot of the fight is often blocked by the referee’s movement between the fighters and the camera. Team Destiny did see a replay of the fight in Korea on Sunday that was run on MBC ESPN and it was much easier to determine the action in that replay. We have requested and have been promised a copy of that recording but have not yet received a copy.

Although the footage is difficult to see, it is still evident that Warner landed more punches in number, in effectiveness and in power than did Ji Hyun Park during the bout. While the first two rounds and as the last two rounds were very close, rounds 3 through 8 clearly were won by Warner. During this time, “Destiny” pressured Park with continual flurries of body shots and nearly knocked Park out in each round between the third and the seventh. Park threw punches during this time but often struggled to connect. She spent most of these rounds falling into Warner in an effort to both stifle Warner’s momentum and catch her own breath. Additionally, the referee continuously pulled the fighters apart as if to warn them against head butting. While we appreciate his diligence and concern for their well-being, he broke up the momentum of the fight, often while Warner was flurrying punches to Park.

The fight Supervisor, Kim Messer, who won her first IFBA title in Korea with this same promoter, provided a summarized press release of the fight that is published on the IFBA’s website. Team Destiny does not agree with that account the last rounds of the fight. In that release, Messer said Park was able to use her reach by keeping her distance and using the jab in the tenth round; this was only true in the first 12 second of the last round. In the YouTube footage available, Park appears to have moved her arms more during the round. But her arms were noticeably heavy; her punches were completely ineffective and her energy level clearly lagged Warner’s.

We appreciate the IFBA’s effort to help improve the balance of judging by bringing an American judge to Korea for this bout. We also believe that judge scored the fight objectively in awarding Suszannah 6 rounds. But for anyone who sees the fight, I think it is evident that Warner’s taking 6 rounds should have been the minimum number of rounds taken by Warner. She simply over-powered Park throughout the fight. In fact, in the real footage on TV, it appeared that Park agreed.

At the end of the fight Park fell onto the ropes to collect herself, put a towel over her head, and barely celebrated the win, as the embarrassment of a shallow “victory” seemed to show through her facial expressions and body language. The IFBA was resistant to Team Destiny’s view of the fight. They mentioned that “two of the judges were close” in their scoring. We respectfully disagree. When one looks at the difference between 96-94 and 94-96, this is a measureable difference in opinion of four rounds, or 40% of the fight. We were particularly flabbergasted by the judge who provided a score of 98-93, who seemed to be watching a completely different fight. For anyone who sees this footage, where could this judge have awarded an extra point for Park somewhere during the fight? So by bringing in the American judge, we were able to have a 30% chance of getting a fair decision in Korea. Unfortunately, that was not enough.

While we have been approached by some in the sport to discuss our overall experience in fighting for the IFBA and in travelling to Korea, we would prefer to focus efforts for now on the actual circumstances in the ring. In spite of immense challenges, Warner traveled to Korea, spent 13 hours in economy class, two days before the fight; spent 8 hours in a car being shuttled around, the day before the fight, and overcame numerous other challenging circumstances. In spite of this, she still clearly won, proving to have more stamina than Park throughout the fight. Anyone who objectively views the footage can see that.

In a statement in follow-up comments on the IFBA’s website, relating to similar protests filed by teams representing Jolene Blackshear and Lisa Brown, the organization says that it seeks to assure all judgments are “beyond reproach”. In that context, we request that the original footage a fair review to determine whether this constitutes a controversial decision. We cite article 10.4 in the IFBA’s By-Laws which states:

If a Championship match ends in a draw or if such match is extremely close and there is a controversial decision, the Board of Governors, at its discretion, may recommend that the two (2) boxers be ordered to fight again for the Championship within a period to be set by the Board of Governors.

 
     
     
   
 
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