Oh, for want of a nail. A controversial knockdown in the third round that probably should have been ruled a slip due to a punch behind the head meant the difference between a majority draw and a split decision.
The beneficiary, Fredrick Lawson (24-0, 20 KOs) gets the first significant win of his pro career, sending Breidis Prescott (27-7, 20 KOs) on a one-way ticket to Palookaville, relegated to the gatekeepers with the loss.
In the co-feature, Rances Barthelemy (22-0, 13 KOs) was a 50-to-1 favorite against sacrificial lamb Angino Perez (18-7, 16 KOs), and the fight went exactly as any reasonable person would expect, ending at 15 seconds of the second round.
It looked like a squash on paper, and it turned into a bright orange vegetable on television. Not much can be said beyond that—a horribly overmatched fighter got knocked out, end of story.
The main event was a classic Breidis Prescott sort of fight. He brought the pain early, winning the first round easily and possibly the second as well, and even when he got handled by some surprising boxing ability from Fredrick Lawson, he still looked the aggressor.
The only problem came in the third round, when Prescott, who slipped and got hit behind the head, was nonetheless ruled as having been knocked down. The knockdown led to a 10-8 round for Lawson in a round that it is debatable whether he would have won.
From the fourth through the seventh, Prescott came forward, tested the strength of character of Lawson, and looked to be the better of the two men, even turning Teddy Atlas, who had insisted that Prescott should fight on the outside, into a believer in Prescott’s fight plan rather than Teddy’s.
Lawson was on the back foot, dropping rounds, losing his advantage on the scorecard, and looking in a ton of trouble.
The eighth round showed something that has bedeviled Breidis Prescott for his entire career—Prescott looked to have punched himself out.
Fredrick Lawson got back in the fight, using Prescott’s depleted stamina as an opportunity first to recover his own strength and then finally to take the fight to the enemy.
Finally, the fight went to the judges’ scorecards. The split decision, 95-94 (twice), 93-96, went to the man from Ghana, and Fredrick Lawson was still undefeated.
Had referee Samuel Burgos ruled the third-round slip correctly, this was at best a majority draw and at worst (for Lawson) a scenario in which he loses the third round and the fight on one of those two judges’ cards.
For the record, Teddy Atlas had it 96-93 for Lawson, while your columnist scored the bout 95-94 for Prescott. This was, in every sense, a split decision, not just the official one.
Source: Boxing Tribune');