Fight Photos: James Kirkland struggles against Molina but gains DQ win, Carlos’ promoter protests decision

27 Mar

Photos: Stacey Verbeek – Maple Avenue Boxing Gym, Dallas

Words: Alan Dawson – London

James Kirkland‘s late victory over Carlos Molina at the Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas last weekend has been shrouded in controversy due to the nature of the disqualification finish at the end of the tenth round when his corner were deemed to have entered the ring illegally. Kirkland was trailing on the scorecards having found Molina’s unorthodox tactics an arduous task to circumvent and the Mexican’s promoter, Leon Margules, has implored the Texas State Athletic Commission to reverse the DQ and rule a No Contest.

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Molina established a lead by making himself a hard target to land on, thus taking away Kirkland's trademark aggression

Kirkland was least effective when Molina had him up against the ropes

“Referee Jon Schorle was in error of Texas rules [on Saturday evening] when he disqualified Carlos Molina and therefore the fight must be changed to a No Contest ruling,” Margules has claimed.

Kirkland scored a flash knockdown just moments prior to the completion of the tenth round but disqualified Molina when his corner entered the ring when the standing eight was being administered. This, however, goes against Texas Commission Rule 61.41(K)(6), as Margules points out: “By issuing a standing eight count after the knockdown, Schorle was in violation of his own commission’s rule. The moment Carlos Molina got to his feet, the round was over.

One of 118 clinches that Molina initiated, yet no warning was ever given

“In Texas, and as far as I know everywhere else in the United States, there is no standing eight count in the case of a knockdown at the end of a round. Once the fighter stands up, the round is over.

“Therefore, Carlos’ cornerman was correct to enter the ring after his fighter stood up because the bell had already rung, and it was Referee Schorle who was incorrect to issue an eight count.

“The Texas Commission should have no choice but to change this to a No Contest. It was their referee who didn’t know their own rules. There was no foul. Under Texas rules, the cornerman did not enter the ring until after the round ended.”

Kirkland came on strong in the latter rounds and perhaps could have leveled the scores had it gone the distance

Kirkland's head coach Ann Wolfe told Molina after the result that he was winning the fight

Margules also took issue with the scoring of the fight. Molina was the consensus leader going into the championship rounds and, at ringside, judges Dave Moretti and David Sutherland had Carlos ahead with scores of 88-83 and 87-84, however, Gale van Hoy had Kirkland with a one point edge: “Van Hoy’s scorecard is a pretty clear indication that he’s not physically capable of judging fights anymore,” said Margules. “Gale has served boxing honourably for many years, but his declining health has obviously robbed him of his ability to accurately judge a fight.”

Gale van Hoy's card of 85-86 for Kirkland has been slammed worldwide for it's inaccuracy

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