Tobias blasts referee in Shihepo/Muller fight
…rematch on cards
WINDHOEK – In the aftermath of Wilberforce ‘Black Mamba’ Shihepo’s dreadful split decision defeat at the hands of Johnny Muller in the World Boxing Council (WBC) international bout, referee Thabo Spampool has come under heavy criticism from Shihepo’s furious handler Nestor Tobias.
In a recent article published in the Johannesburg daily – Sowetan, Tobias lambasted Spampool for the shoddy fashion in which he handled the fight, accusing him of bias throughout the fight, while allowing Muller to get away with murder.
“He allowed Muller to throw punches at Shihepo’s back and throwing punches while Shihepo was on his knees, thus putting his opponent under tremendous pressure with warnings and deducting points from Shihepo unnecessary while Muller was allowed to transgress the laws as he basically wrestled Shihepo throughout the fight.
“The referee failed to reprimand him or deducted points deduction which is quite strange. I wonder why is it a coincidence that Spampool is always the appointed referee whenever a Namibian boxer fights a South African,” charged Tobias angrily. Spampool was also in charge of the Oscar Chauke/Gotlieb Ndokosho bout in 2010 and the Isaac Chilemba/Vikapita Meroro bout in 2011. Tobias also turned his ire on Chaane and Pappoe, questioning the credibility of their scorecards saying the pair was probably watching a different fight, adding that Shihepo did more than enough to win the fight.
Joe Chaane (SA), Eddie Pappoe (Ghana) and Daniel Can de Wiele (Belgium) were the judges. Chaane and Pappoe scored the fight 116-113 in favour of Muller, while Wiele scored it 114-113 for Shihepo. In response, Spampool laughed off Tobias’s accusations.
“I warned both boxers on many occasions to make their fight governable. I deducted a point from Shihepo, because I realized that he was committing fouls deliberately — hold and hit. I do things by the book. I’ve been to Namibia before and noticed that boxers over there do what they want — push, hold and hit with the back of the hand, and they get away with it.
“That is against the book. I’ve got nothing against anybody in boxing. I am guided by rules and regulations which I followed even when I was still a boxer myself.” Fight supervisor on the night Peter Ngatane believes Tobias is being a bit harsh on Spampool.
“Why single him out as if he was the judge? Shihepo performed better than Muller. I would not have been unhappy had it been declared a draw, that’s why I have recommended that they do it again because it was a very close affair.”
“Ngatane agrees that Shihepo was the better fighter on the night and he is right because I expect any experienced supervisor like himself to distinguish who the better boxer was,” said Tobias.
“Spampool is just defending himself and I am not surprised, how dare he judge the standard of Namibian boxers just to cover his back, he knows he should have deducted points from Muller on more than one occasion, but we are not fools,” Tobias said.
By Staff Reporter