Outrage Over Richardson Hitchins’ Controversial Win Against Gustavo Lemos

By @James_theGrad - 04/07/2024 - Comments

Richardson Hitchins (18-0, 7 KOs) really got away with one on Saturday night, winning one of the worst-scored victories of the year in his IBF 140-lb title eliminator against Gustavo Lemos (29-1, 19 KOs) in a Matchroom-promoted card on DAZN at the Fontainebleau Las Vegas, Las Vegas.

The scores were 117-111, 115-113, and 115-113. Those scores were absurd from the fight that took place tonight, but that’s the kind of night this was. It was bad scoring and a passive referee that allowed Hitchins to hold all night without penalizing him.

Lemos Dominates; Hitchins Clings and Holds

Lemos brought the action, landing the harder shots and hurting Hitchins several times. Hitchins was on his bike for most of the fight, and the only time he stopped was so that he could hold Lemos.

Unable to handle the power of Lemos, Hitchins was forced to clinch, straight-arm, and move to keep from getting royally pounded.

The referee did nothing about Hitchins’s excessive holding, which should have resulted in multiple-point deductions and disqualification. It’s unclear why the ref didn’t take points off or even warn.

The ref had to be aware that Hitchins was gaming the system with his holding yet remained passive the entire fight. It was baffling and shocking that an official could just stand and watch without lifting a finger to stop the behavior.

Hitchins’ holding was his main defensive tactic, and he was overboard with how much he was using.¬† How does the referee not warn about the clinching that Hitchins was doing? He was literally grabbing Lemos each time he would get near enough to punch.

The Road to the Title

Hitchins’s victory makes him the IBF mandatory for champion Subriel Matias. He’s facing Liam Paro in June, and Hitchins would then face the winner.

Promoter Eddie Hearn expressed interest after the fight to match Hitchins against the winner next. The only thing that would dissuade Hitchins from going in that direction is if he can get a title shot against the winner of the April 20th fight between WBC light welterweight champion Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia.

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