ESPN's Friday Night Fights premiered this past weekend, and for a show that has brought a fair amount of controversy, it didn't take long to step in the mud in 2014.
Argenis Mendez, who you might find less recognizable than his promoter, a fellow named Mike Tyson, lost his IBF Super Featherweight Championship to Rances Barthelemy on Friday night, but it happened under highly specious circumstances.
Near the end of the second round, Barthelemy floored the now former champion with a three punch combination that had him in a fair bit of trouble.
Mendez rose, but again found himself in the trouble during the closing seconds of the round. Barthelemy, now on the attack, once again floored the Dominican with another three punch combo, but there was a problem.
At least two, if not all three, of the final shots clearly landed after the bell, and referee Pete Podgorski—who was badly out of position with the round about to end—decided to not call a foul, but instead to count Mendez out.
Watch for yourself and make your own judgement. Pay particular attention after the eight minute mark of the video.
It was an egregious mistake by the referee, and it directly impacted the result of the fight.
The Mendez camp, led by Tyson, have promised to protest the result in an attempt to have it overturned.
Based on the evidence, it would seem they have a pretty convincing case. That's not to say that the ultimate result would've been different—Barthelemy seemed in control early—but that doesn't change the fact that Mendez didn't get a fair shake.