Leapai to appeal controversial boxing draw

Dec 13, 2017 - 10:45 AM Alex Leapai is set to appeal against a controversial technical draw with Roger Izonritei which has stalled his boxing comeback.

The 38-year-old heavyweight was fighting on Wednesday night on the undercard of Jeff Horn's title defence at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

In his his second bout since coming out of retirement, former world title challenger Leapai was all over his Nigerian-born opponent for two-and-a-half rounds.

But after a deep cut opened up on Izonritei's forehead, referee Derek Milham intervened and called a technical draw, ruling Leapai had struck him with a stray elbow.

That incensed Leapai, who said he felt the connection was with his right hand and accused Izonritei of throwing in the towel.

"I'm not really happy," Leapai said.

"He's the one who pulled out, not me."

Leapai's trainer Noel Thornberry said Milham "lost control" of the fight and believed there were solid grounds for an appeal.

"It wasn't stopped by the doctor, so it's not a technical draw," he said.

"The boxer stopped fighting. He chose not to fight. There was no blood impairing his vision.

"He just felt that he didn't want to continue in the fight and that's fair enough, because he'd taken some pretty heavy punishment up until that point."

Meanwhile, Rohan Murdock moved a step closer to his own world title opportunity with a unanimous decision victory over Russian Apti Ustarkhanov to win the vacant WBO Oriental super middleweight belt.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum plans to take Murdock for fights in the US next year ahead of a possible showdown against world champion Gilberto Ramirez on the Gold Coast.

Perth's Nathaniel May also completed a crunching knockout win early in the fifth round over previously unbeaten Brazilian featherweight Aelio Mesquita.

In the other early undercard bouts, Sydney boxer Lenny Zappavigna eased past Uruguayan Nestor Faccio Cordozo with a third-round TKO, while Olympian Paul Fleming stopped Filipino Vergil Puton in round seven.

Source: AAP

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