Boxing icon awarded world title – 30 years after being ‘robbed’ of win

A boxing icon has been awarded a world title some 30 years after he was supposed to.

Jeff Fenech has retrospectively been awarded the WBC super-featherweight championship over three decades after being 'robbed' of the victory.

In 1991, the Aussie legend had a bout with Azaumah Nelson in Las Vegas – a contest that has gone down as one of the most controversial moments in Australian boxing history.

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Judge Jerry Roth had awarded the fight as 115-113 for Fenech, Miguel Donate had scored it 116-112 for Nelson, and Dave Moretti scored it 114-144, resulting in a draw.

After it was announced that Fenech hadn't won, those in attendance at the Mirage hotel and casino in Las Vegas booed.

Indeed, at the time, judges declared the bout a draw – but most others felt very different, in what has been described as one of the worst 'robberies' in boxing.

But now there has been a slight redemption. Some 30 years later WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman formed a ’special committee' to review the fight and see who truly won.

After a review, the committee agreed that Fenech should be awarded his fourth world title.

At the World Boxing Council convention, the former pro was handed his accolade.

Mauricio Sulaiman said: “All the ring officials from all over the world score the bout in favour of Jeff Fenech.

“The WBC board of governors approve the motion to crown Jeff Fenech to become a four-time world champion. It is our great pleasure to crown and award the WBC Feather and Super Featherweight Championship to Jeff, the Thunder from Down Under, Fenech.”

The former pro was in attendance at the conference to accept the belt, before being congratulated by legends such as Roberto Duran, Julio Cesar Chavez and Miguel Cotto, who were on stage.

His win means that he is now level with Thomas ‘Hitman’ Hearns and ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard with world titles across four weight divisions.

He told News Corp: “It’s crazy, brother. It would’ve meant more to me back when I really won the fight. But for them, the WBC, to do this is so special.

“Far out, it means so much to me. I’ve got 20 or 30 Aussies who have flown over with me. It’s an incredibly special night.”


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