Of all the potential outcomes for a boxing match, a draw is perhaps the most unsatisfactory for all parties.
Though a rarity in the sport, failure to split two fighters over the championship distance will leave both fans and the boxers themselves left reeling.
That was the outcome on Saturday night when Terri Harper and Cecilia Braekhus met in a light middleweight unification bout at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield.
However, Harper’s promoter Eddie Hearn stated he felt the decision was “an absolute joke” and that his charge should have left with two world titles.
Speaking on DAZN after the fight, Hearn fumed:
“That’s an absolute joke. Terri Harper should be unified world champion tonight. At the end of the day, that’s just incompetence [the judging]. Outrageous. Everybody saw it and everyone is shaking their head here tonight.
I cannot understand what these judges see sometimes. She won the fight comfortably. It’s a shocker.”
Harper herself was slightly more reserved in her assessment, and laid some of the blame at her own door for “letting it get that close.”
“It was my own fault for letting it get that close. I should have stepped up the gears. I felt the extra weight of Cecilia. Thanks to Cecilia for a great fight.”
Despite Hearn’s outrage, fans on social media were split in their opinions on who won the fight and the consensus is that a draw was perhaps a fair result.
It seems inevitable that Harper and Braekhus will meet again and the 154lbs division will finally see a new unified champion crowned.