The Technical Assistant to the Nigerian Boxing Federation (NBF), Babatunde Laguda has insisted that Nigeria was not cheated at the 2023 IBA Men’s World Boxing Championship in Uzbekistan.

Tuesday’s bout between Kukoyi Wahab and 2020 Olympian Jean Caicedo of Ecuador ended with Caicedo being declared the winner after the referee had raised Wahab’s arm.

Many Nigerians believe the International Boxing Association (IBA) cheated Wahab due to the two results that the referee announced; however, Laguda insisted that there was nothing like cheating in the incident.

The NBF Technical Assistant asserted that two things might have happened, placing the blame for the error on the competitors and the referee rather than the supervisors or judges.

“We have only one directive in a boxing tournament, we have the seat of the supervisor and it is only the supervisor of the tournament that can declare anyone the winner,” the Technical Assistant told The Punch.

“The supervisor was facing the referee when they wanted to announce the winner, and on his table were two bats; one for red and one for the blue corner and he picked up the bat for the winning side. The referee may not be looking at the announcer because he may not even understand his language.”

He added, “In the case of what happened, I believe two things may have happened; that Wahab, who is in the red corner, won but he has no right to the judgment, even the supervisor has no right to determine the winner; only the five judges can do that. So, the referee may have raised the arm of Wahab before he saw that it was blue that the supervisor raised.

“The second thing I believe may have happened is that even at times, athletes may feel they have won and out of jubilation, he now forced the hand up, but I know the fault is from the ring, not on the side of the judges, supervisor or the announcer. The fault is between the referee and the boxer”.

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