Crawford shines, Moloney gets screwed by boxing’s VAR

1229624528.0 - Crawford shines, Moloney gets screwed by boxing’s VARPhoto by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Crawford strengthened his argument in the pound-for-pound debate, but once again boxing shot itself in the foot.

All eyes were on the Top Rank Bubble this weekend, as boxing showed its very best and very worst sides.

Timing beats power as Crawford bamboozles Brook

And just like that, the fight was over. Still, the early signs were positive for Kell Brook. The Briton was able to control the distance with his heavy jab in the opening seven-and-a-half minutes, landing the better, cleaner work in the first exchanges. But the moment Terence Crawford switched to southpaw the momentum shifted. It was a short, sharp right-hand jab/hook that did the damage from Bud — one that Bruce Lee would have been proud of with its lack of any notable wind up. Smelling blood, Crawford pounced and refused to let his prey escape. “What the hell happened there,” Brook was seen muttering to his corner after suffering a fourth-round TKO, leaving him 4-3 in world title fights.

referee Russell Mora’s opinion that Joshua Franco’s swollen eye was a result of a clash of heads was punctuated and confirmed by non-existent video proof. It was a decision that took 26 minutes of Moloney’s post-fight time — time that should have been spent celebrating the regaining of his world title. Stood baffled in the middle of the ring, the Australian’s heart was torn out and stamped into the canvas for a second time, as the 29-year-old began questioning the five months of hard graft leading up to this point.

“I’m just telling him, I’m absolutely disgusted,” Bob Arum said as part of an obscenity-filled rant toward Nevada Athletic Commission chief Bob Bennett, but this disgust also reached unexpected quarters.

“Moloney was clearly robbed in Vegas tonight. Shame on the Nevada Boxing Organization,” British actress Dame Helen Mirren wrote on Instagram, to the surprise of many. Fun fact: Mirren’s husband Taylor Hackford produced the 1996 Rumble in the Jungle documentary When We Were Kings.

Casual fans — like Mirren and thousands of others — would have tuned into ESPN on Saturday night and have been put off the by the circus that surrounded this decision. A left jab to the right eye of Franco was obviously the punch that did the damage, yet the powers that be at ringside disagreed.

VAR is used in football to overturn “clear and obvious errors.” There was a clear and obvious error in officiating on Saturday night yet nothing was done to seek justice.

Follow and contact Lewis Watson @lewroyscribbles

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