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Referee explains why he stopped Broner-Theophane fight

By Dan Ambrose: Last Friday night, referee Luis Pabon stopped the Adrien Broner (32-2, 24 KOs) vs. Ashley “Treasure” Theophane (39-7-1, 11 KOs) in the 9th round moments after Broner had nailed Theophane with a left to the groin area in their fight at the DC Armory in Washington, DC.

When Theophane tried to motion to referee Luis Pabon that he’d been hit low, Pabon did a very controversial thing in choosing to stop the fight rather than stopping the action to warn Broner for a low blow or give Theophane a moment to recover from the low blow.

Pabon has since spoken up in saying that Theophane was hurt, and that he thought that he was letting him know that he was hurt when he motioned to him in the 9th. Unfortunately for Theophane, Pabon failed to see what the boxing fans at home had seen with Broner landing a low blow.
It’s unclear how Pabon failed to see the low blow take place because he was standing directly in front of the two fighters watching the action, but it looks like Pabon was looking in another direction somehow because he clearly missed the low blow.

“I stopped the fight due to the superiority of Broner, who had hurt Theophane in several rounds,” said Pabon to Fightnews.com. “Theophane had won only two rounds at most. He wasn’t fully KO’d, but was very weak. So I let him get hurt more? It is clear that after he was hurt by Broner, he pointed to me with his left hand that signifies ‘no more.’ In boxing, a boxer does not request time when he’s still fighting.”


Theophane was clearly losing the fight, to be sure. But it’s still a real disappointment that Pabon failed to see the low blow, because it gave a lot of fans the impression that Theophane was given a raw deal in getting hit low and then stopped when he tried to complain about it. It a mistake on Pabon’s part not to see the low blow, and then a further mistake by stopping the fight when Theophane tried to complain.

There obviously isn’t going to be a situation where the stoppage is overturned, because the World Boxing Association aren’t going to overturn the victory for Broner. But it does slightly taint the victory for Broner because you never like to see the winner of a fight nailing his opponent low and then getting the fight stopped when their opponent complains about the low blow.

Broner needs as many non-controversial wins as possible right now because his career isn’t going to so well right now. Broner has shown in the last three years that he can’t beat the top level guys. He can only beat the weaker opponents that his management are putting him in with. That includes Theophane, who was little more than a fringe contender who was picked out by his management rather than them putting him in with the good opponents.

“I thought the stoppage was premature because I thought I was in the fight. Me and Broner were going at it. It looked like he was starting to get tired because he started to move around and wasn’t able to stay there with me as much,” said Theophane via Fightnews.com.

Theophane probably wasn’t going to won the fight no matter how hard he tried. It seemed like Broner wasn’t gassing out as badly as Theophane thought he was, and he would eventually get to him sooner or later. But you still don’t like to see fights stopped in that manner with the referee failing to acknowledge a clear low blow and then halting it when Theophane tried to complain about it.

“I thought the fight was back and forth and I think the next four rounds would have been the same. No way should the fight have gotten stopped. It’s a shame the referee did that. I was telling the referee, ‘I’m okay, I’m okay.’ Then he waved it off. I don’t know what he was thinking.”

Perhaps there was a language problem. Theophane is from the UK, and his English might have been misunderstood by Pabon, who comes from Puerto Rico. He obviously knows how to speak and understand English, but perhaps he didn’t understand Theophane’s type of English because it has a different accent than the American English.


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