Fallout from Friday night’s “Beatdown 2012” WBA World light welterweight main event between new champ Khabib Allakhverdiev (18-0, 7 KOs) and former two-time world champion Joan Guzman (33-1-1, 20 KOs) continued Sunday. Guzman’s promoter Acquinity Sports took issue with the questionable decision of referee Luis Pabon to allow Guzman to continue despite his obvious injury in the eighth round. Specifically, an Acquinity spokesman stated Pabon had warned the Russian for roughhouse tactics during the fifth and seventh rounds but did not take a point following the final push that put Guzman on the canvas and ultimately in a hospital bed.
Rather than deducting a point for the “unintentional foul” under Florida commission rules, WBA officials placed the decision in the judges’ hands and Khabib scored the technical split decision victory. Many ringside observers actually had Guzman ahead at the point of the eight-round stoppage and with a point deduction, the outcome would have been at least a technical majority draw.
Guzman bravely attempted to fight out the round despite what was later confirmed to be a broken left fibula and a broken finger on his right hand he’d had since the second round.
Credit should also be given to Acquinity for bucking the standard South Florida promotional trend and actually placing their “house” fighter in a truly competitive and meaningful bout. The atmosphere of the world title fight was electric as rapper DMX brought the multitudes to their feet while rap-walking Guzman into the ring.
Sadly for Guzman, his corner had to gingerly carry him out of it and fans of both fighters called for a rematch with a more definitive finish.
Allakhverdiev’s camp insisted any such bout would take place in Russia to which Acquinity promoter Henry Rivalta replied: “We’ll fight him in Planet Orbit if need be.”