‘We Have To Get It Right’ Eddie Hearn Calls For Video Technology In Boxing

The call came after Charlie Edwards' fight with Julio Martinez this weekend
12:27, 02 Sep 2019

Promoter Eddie Hearn has called on boxing to introduce video technology to help out officials, following a controversial end to Charlie Edwards’ WBC flyweight title fight with Julio Martinez in London on Saturday.

Edwards appeared to have lost his belt after being stopped by the Mexican in the third round of their bout on the Vasyl Lomachenko vs Luke Campbell undercard when he was counted out after sustaining a number of head and body shots, forcing the Hull-man to drop a glove and a knee on the canvas.

However, the fight was ruled a no-contest when big-screen replays showed Martinez had unnecessarily punched Edwards in the ribs when the Briton was already down, forcing WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman to overrule the decision from ringside.

"Essentially it was VAR for boxing and it was 100% right," said Hearn.

"It [the punch] was so late it was next week.

“When they played it back it was that bad they were able to make a decision instantly. I didn't expect them to do it and I've not seen anything like it.

"The WBC have a rule with video replays - they like to have it in-play but the British Boxing Board of Control and some other commissions do not.

"But with all the screens up it was easy for the president to say 'it's a no contest, I don't need to review it or go before a committee - it's my decision'. 

I don't see a downside of doing it in a sport where there's so much on the line.

Video technology was introduced into the Premier League football this season, while similar technology is employed in cricket to judge on wickets, and tennis operates the Hawk-Eye system to see if the ball landed within the boundaries.

VAR in the Premier League has had a mixed reception so far, with many football fans concerned with the length of delays and the reviews supposed propensity to take away the passion of celebrating a goal, something the Matchroom Sports boss says wouldn’t be the case with boxing: 

"It's not like it will slow boxing down - that's what people say about football and cricket," said Hearn.

"The media and everyone is talking about it and it's a question where fans will say 'why not?'

There's maybe too much VAR in football but it would be minimal cases in boxing - they wouldn't refer to it every round but where it's an important decision and something that could affect someone's career and livelihood.

"If you lose a belt you are no longer champion and it's the difference between making £1m and £50,000, we have to get it right."

A rematch between Edwards and Martinez has now been ordered.

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