Representatives of world-rated junior middleweight Jorge "Destroyer" Melendez will file an official protest with the Oneida Indian Nation Athletic Commission for what they see as a result-changing error made by Referee Charlie Fitch during Melendez's SHOBOX-televised upset decision loss to local fighter Nick Brinson on Friday night (June 7, 2013) at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, NY.
José A. Acevedo, Advisor, and Edwin Diaz, Manager, say a careful review of the fight will show that their fighter, Melendez, should be awarded a TKO victory after the improper issuance of a standing eight count in round four.
Late in the fourth round, Melendez landed a picture-perfect counter left that sent Brinson into the ropes, clearly out on his feet. Brinson did make a motion to sit on the ropes and if referee Fitch had ruled at knockdown at that point, it would have been a proper ruling. However, a full seven seconds later, with Brinson stumbling senselessly sideways towards his own corner, Fitch then halted the action and issued a standing eight count (which lasted 11-14 seconds by the Showtime clock).
"The Unified Rules of the Association of Boxing Commissions were in effect Friday night," said Acevedo. "When Referee Fitch gave Nick Brinson a standing eight count, he was in violation of Rule #7, which clearly states that no standing eight count was in effect. The ropes were not holding Brinson up at the time he started the count, and so his only justified options were to either allow the fight to continue or rule a TKO. By jumping in and issuing the illegal count, he improperly allowed Brinson time to recover that was not allowed under the rules. This action changed the outcome of the fight, as Brinson was clearly standing but unconscious at the time it occurred."
"It is clear to all who witnessed that Jorge would have gotten a knockout or TKO victory had the referee not jumped in," added Diaz. "We will be petitioning the Oneida Commission to either rule a TKO or change the result to a No Contest. The rule violation was unequivocal and changed the result of the fight unduly."
While all of Team Melendez agree that Referee Fitch had no improper motives for his actions, the mistake he made is serious enough to warrant changing the result of the fight.
"Jorge has a world rating to protect," said Hector Soto from Miguel Cotto Promotions, "He did what he had to do against a guy who fought well. He put his opponent out and only the referee's mistake stopped that from happening, but there is no doubt as to what should have happened. But to hurt my fighter's career by taking a knockout away from him improperly is not right and we trust the Oneida Indian Nation Athletic Commission will agree."