On the surface of it, Terence Crawford defended his WBO welterweight title successfully for the sixth time by knocking David Avanesyan out clean.
However in the aftermath, much has been made about the champion’s gloves when he threw the knockout blow. Before the sixth round, the referee – Sparkle Lee – paused the contest to have Crawford’s Everlast gloves inspected.
Both gloves were looked at by Lee, a representative from the Nebraska commission, and WBO supervisor, Russell Mora. It’s reported that the agreement was to change the gloves – which were both coming apart at the seems and exposing padding – to the reserve pair before the seventh round.
Of course, the challenger didn’t see the bell in the sixth. Now, his team have filed an official complaint with the NAC. In a letter as seen by Boxing Scene, Avanesyan’s manager, Neil Marsh, is demanding answers.
“The Referee correctly called the Time-Out and consulted the Commission, and I assume the WBO Supervisor who inspected the defective Glove/s before the Referee stating – “Let this round go then go and get another one.” Allowing the fight to continue was, in my view, both irresponsible and negligent and such action placed Avanesyan in additional danger.”
Marsh then questions whether or not the gloves were, as required, new before the fight. This theory has been backed up by an unverified image circulating online which led the likes of Lennox Lewis to claim the gloves pictured were clearly used.
At the time of writing, it’s unclear if the picture shows Crawford’s fight gloves or a pair in a similar style, although the damage does seem to match images from the fight itself.
“Rarely do new Gloves disintegrate in this manner and Everlast have vast experience in manufacturing. However, used Gloves can split at the seams which raises suspicion as to whether these Gloves had been previously worn and dried, weakening the construction and stitching.”
“However, whatever the cause, the fact remains that these Gloves were defective, and this became apparent during a contest and, even when highlighted by the Referee, no action was taken, and Avanesyan was knocked-out by a fighter wearing defective and potentially dangerous Gloves.
I am sure I do not need to stress that the legitimacy of this fight and the result must be brought into question if these Gloves are found to be contrary to the regulations.”
The official complaint goes on to request various pieces of information. Questions like was there a supervisor in the dressing room throughout? as well as are the gloves seized and available for inspection now? are fair to ask and should be answered.
Marsh is currently taking no press enquiries, but has said he will update as the process unfolds.