Ken Okungbowa wins Irish Elite Senior Heavyweight title – 5 weeks after ‘losing’ final


Five weeks after the final, Ken Okungbowa has been crowned the Irish Elite heavyweight champion.

The Athlone fighter took on Tony Browne in a messy final with plenty of head clashes last month.

The fight was stopped in the third round due to cuts sustained by the Dubliner.

Following a short delay, Browne was declared the winner via RSC-I.

The scores from the proceeding two rounds flashed up, showing that Browne was ahead 18-17 on all five cards going into the third – with both boxers having been deducted a point..

However, the announcement of the result caused confusion – indeed, Browne himself looked distraught when RSC-I was called out.

Many at the time assumed that, as he was ahead on the cards [although there was further confusion as to why the completed portion of the third round didn’t count] Browne had been awarded the fight – but, it seems, there was a massive error in the determination of the result and Okungbowa is the rightful winner.

The relevant, Irish-Boxing.com understands, portion of the AIBA rulebook, effective from February 9th 2019, reads as follows:

19.7. Win by Referee Stops Contest-Injury (“RSC-I”)

19.7.1. If a Boxer, in the opinion of the Referee, is unfit to continue because of a sustained or increased injury from correct punches, the Bout is stopped and the opponent is declared the winner of the Bout by RSC-I.

19.7.2. If a Boxer, in the opinion of the Referee, becomes incapable of continuing to compete because of an injury not sustained from punches, the Bout is stopped and the opponent is declared the winner of the Bout by RSC-I. 

Therefore, Okungbowa, regardless of the scorecards and the cause of Browne’s cuts, should have been announced the winner via stoppage.

There have been rumblings regarding this fight and verdict within Irish boxing over the past month but little clarity or reportable information.

Okungbowa’s win was recognised last night, with the Midlander, who had been beaten in numerous Elite finals previously, being presented with his trophy and certificate during the National Senior Cadet Championship finals at the National Stadium.

No official release has come from the IABA who have only noted the news in a post on their Facebook page.

IABA Facebook

Ken Okungbowa was presented with his Elite heavyweight trophy and certificate by IABA President Dom O’Rourke at the Open Cadet finals at the Stadium tonight. Okungbowa beat St Michael’s BC (Dublin) boxer Anthony Browne (RSC1)* in the 91kg final.

* – it is assumed the RSC1 is a typo and was intended to be RSC-I

What happens now is unsure.

Browne is currently in Germany in a training camp with the Irish Elite team ahead of the Chemistry Cup and has been training in the High Performance Unit since the Okungbowa fight.

That fight was the pair’s third having traded wins in Box Cups last year.

The initial error in determining the verdict and the long period taking to officially recognise and reverse the result is a far from desirable situation for either boxer.

Further information and details from the IABA is awaited.

dpg

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie