‘Very upset’ Firuza Sharipova says officials ‘rooted’ for Katie Taylor

Revenge hungry Firuza Sharipova [14(8)-2(0)] claims biased officiating prevented her from getting a draw in Liverpool on Saturday.

The Kazakh put up a performance that defied the wide odds afforded to her pre her Katie Taylor [20(6)-0] challenge but ultimately lost out to a wide scorecard.

The 98-92, 97-92, 96-93 card didn’t really tell the tale of what was a somewhat competitive scrappy affair, although most will agree the correct result was reached.

Sharipova isn’t in that ‘most’ category, the 27-year-old believes she deserved a draw and went as far as to suggest but for a bias referee, she may have been able to put in a performance worthy of winning the fight and Taylor’s WBC, IBF, WBO, WBA and Ring Magazine titles.

“The refereeing played a very important role,” she said to media from her own country.

“The referee didn’t let me box. He ignored the fact that Katie was constantly knitting my hands in a clinch. In the third round, she cut my eyebrow with her head, but he did not pay any attention to it. He is English and clearly rooted for Taylor. If the judges were neutral, there would be a draw in this fight.”

Sharipova had a point taken off for hitting on the break in the sixth and despite being warned in previous rounds uses that as evidence of bias. She also suggests it may have thrown her off her game plan and prevented her from finishing strong.

“When I, after the command “Stop”, I struck one blow, the referee immediately removed a point from me. According to the rules, he had to give three warnings first. Of course I had to stop. But this often happens during combat. And this incident also suggests that the refereeing was not in my favour.”

Katie Taylor vs Firuza Sharipova, WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight Titles, Liverpool 11 December 2021 Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing

Such was the scrappy nature of the fight that it’s not one that will be top of Taylor rematch list – but the mandatory challenger remains determined to secure another shot.

The Asain fighter wants revenge and says if given the chance, is afforded more time to prepare, and given neutral surrounds, she will get it.

“I will seek revenge. In just a month I learned about this fight, and in two weeks a contract was signed. Now I intend to prepare better and insist that the judges are selected as neutral as possible. Then the fight will be completely different. I will not concede a centimeter of the ring to her. And I think that now I boxed very well and represented my country in the international sports arena with dignity.”

Although somewhat disgruntled, Sharipova was proud of her performance, a performance she claims she won praise for.

“Physically I feel great, even my neck does not hurt. But to be honest, I’m very upset. Of course, everyone praises me, the whole country supports me, I received many comments and messages with warm words. It is very nice. We walked down the street in Liverpool and came up to me several times to take a picture. But loss is loss. I came here to win or die in the ring. And now it’s hard for me to come to terms with defeat.”

Photo Credit Mark Robinson Matchroom

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com