Hall-of-Fame boxing promoter J Russell Peltz feels the WBO should pressure its super bantamweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez to give Rogers Mtagwa an immediate rematch in the wake of Saturday night’s thriller in Madison Square Garden. Lopez, now 27-0, 24 K0s, was awarded a unanimous decision by scores of 114-113, 115-111 (Peltz: “Gimme a break.”) and 116-111 (Peltz: “Why even show up?”). “There should Lopez-Mtagwa II before Lopez fights anyone else,“ Peltz said. “The fans want it!”
After the fight, Peltz learned Lopez already had been promised a January date on HBO and a Mtagwa rematch was not on the agenda. “If I’m running HBO, I want the rematch,” said Peltz.
Mtagwa’s manager, Joe Parella, was not happy with the scorecards. “That was a bogus knockdown in the fifth round,” Parella said. “The theory that a judge must score 10-8 for any knockdown round is absurd. The knockdown occurred when Lopez cuffed Mtagwa behind the neck with his right hand.
“Does it really make sense to score round five 10-8 for Lopez–as did all three judges–and round 12 only 10-9 for Mtagwa–as did two judges? Will someone please explain that to me! If ever there was a 10-8 round without a knockdown that was it. Lopez was a ghost floating for three minutes.”
Peltz added: “If Mtagwa had been the one staggering in round 12, would the fight have been stopped? I wonder! We won at least five rounds. Give us an extra point in round 12 and score round five 10-9 Lopez, that makes it a one-point fight. And I’d like another look at some of those early rounds.”
Mtagwa swept rounds 10, 11, 12 on all three scorecards. Two judges gave him rounds seven and eight and one gave him round nine.
“Forget the decision,” Parella said. “It is what it is. Rogers should move to the top of everyone’s 122-pound rankings. His record (25-13-3, 18 K0s) always has been held against him, but he never turned anyone down.”
Peltz: “If Mtagwa were a college football team, his schedule would include Alabama, USC, Ohio State, Oregon and Florida—all on the road. I’d like to see some of the other contenders maintain their pretty records with those opponents. All of the major sanctioning bodies should rate Mtagwa among their Top Three contenders.”