Anthony Joshua undercard narrowly avoids KO controversy after big error from official

3 mins read

Richard Rivera vs Badou Jack saw a four-minute round in the eighth as Rivera was nearly stopped one minute over the allocated time limit. 

The pair met each other in a cruiserweight contest on the Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk undercard at the King Abdullah Sport City Arena in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Jack — a former super-middleweight world champion — was being out-hustled by Rivera before a massive shot buckled ‘Popeye’s’ knees.

As the cornermen called out desperately for the round to end, incredibly the clapper never came. Rivera stayed on his feet but was nearly floored by multiple flurries as he slumped into the corner.

Jack went on to fight back from early adversity to win the fight via split decision after dropping many of the early rounds. Most of the Sky Sports broadcast team had Rivera winning and post-fight the heart-broken American made his thoughts known.

“I felt like I definitely did enough, I’m a little hurt because I really believed in the boxing judging system. I felt like regardless of the odds against me coming into his turf and stipulations that if I still did my thing I’d still be awarded the victory,” said Rivera in his interview after the contest.

“I believe in the justice system and I guess it failed me that time. But I’m not discouraged, if anybody knows me, I’m Popeye the Sailorman, I will become a world champion. Anybody in my weight class watch out because I’m a force to be reckoned with.”

Coming into the contest, Rivera was one of the biggest underdogs of the card and very little was known about him.

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