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Boxing needs video reviews after Charlie Edwards incident, says Eddie Hearn

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From Michael Emons
BBC Sport at the 02 Arena, London
Boxing should use video technology to assist officials, says leading promoter Eddie Hearn.
If he had been counted out on Saturday from Mexico’s Julio Martinez at London, britain’s Charlie Edwards seemed to be losing his WBC flyweight belt.
But the battle was ruled a no-contest when big-screen replays showed Martinez had punched Edwards from the ribs when his knee and glove were around the picture.
“Basically it was VAR for boxing and it was 100 percent right,” said Hearn.
Video assistant referees (VAR) are released in Premier League soccer this season to adjudicate on goals, penalties and possible reddish cards while cricket utilizes technology to judge wickets, and golfing utilises the Hawk-Eye system to see whether the ball landed .
During the third round Saturday’s fight in the O2 Arena, Martinez struck Edwards – protecting the name for the second time – using several body and head shots, forcing the Briton to put knee and a glove on the canvas.
Once that happened, fighting should’ve ceased with the referee beginning a count and another boxer. Edwards from the ribs struck at and the Londoner, rolling in pain, had been counted out.
The capacity audience booed Martinez if the replays were shown on 12 big displays, again when he was declared as the winner, and during his post-fight interview.
After seeing the replays, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman overruled the choice from ringside, declaring that the bout a’no-contest’.
“It [the punch] was late that it was next week,” said Hearn. “When they played it was bad they could generate a decision instantly. I didn’t expect them to do it and I have not seen anything like it.
“The WBC have a guideline using video replays – they prefer to have it in-play however, also the British Boxing Board of Control and some other commissions do not.
“But with all of the screens it up was easy for the president to say’it is a no competition, I don’t have to review it or go before a committee – it is my decision’.
“I don’t see a downside of doing it at a sport where there’s so much online.”
A rematch was immediately ordered by sulaiman, also Edwards felt that the change of verdict was correct.
“I needed a knee for a goal,” added the Londoner. “He finished off me having a body shot and that I could not recover.
“Cheaters never prosper. We get this ring to stick by the rules.”
The result means Edwards kept his belt along with his record of 15 wins and one loss.
Since the debut of VAR from the Premier League, there’s been criticism of the amount of the distress. Hearn said decisions would be a lot faster in fights.
“It is not like it will slow boxing down – that is what people say about soccer and cricket,” said Hearn.
“The media and everybody is talking about it and it is a question where fans may say’why not?’
“There’s not an excessive amount of VAR in soccer but it would be minimal instances in boxing – they would not refer to it every round but in which it’s an important decision and something which could impact a person’s career and livelihood.
“If you eliminate a belt you’re no longer champion and it is the difference between making 1m and #50,000, we have to get it .”
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