Issac Hardman has blasted boxing officials in an all-time spray after his narrow loss on the Tim Tszyu undercard in Sydney on Sunday.
His middleweight fight with Rohan Murdock went the distance, but the judges gave Murdock the victory via split decision.
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Two judges scored the fight in Murdock’s favour (97-92 x 2), but the third judge gave it to Hardman 96-93.
Murdock clearly had the advantage in the early rounds but Hardman fought back in the latter stages with some uppercuts, and thought he had done enough to have his hand raised.
The Queenslander was stunned when Murdock was named the winner and he blew up, shaking his head and giving the judges a piece of his mind ringside — while Australian boxing legend Jeff Fenech appeared to agree with him.
Murdock (27-2, 12KO) handed Hardman the second loss of his career (13-2, 11KO) after another polarising Aussie boxer, Michael Zerafa, knocked him out last year.
Hardman was in tears after the fight as he let rip at the disparity in the judges’ scoring, calling for a total overhaul of boxing judging in Australia.
“I’m 26-years-old, and the dinosaurs in the f***ing corner, they’ve had their go,” Hardman told reporters.
“Revamp the Australian National Boxing Federation.
“Get rid of them. It needs a cleanout, whoever it is. It needs a cleanout. One ref gave it 92-98. That’s eight rounds to me — plus he got a point taken off him. What the f**k is that.
“Then the other ref gives in 92-97? What is that? It’s ridiculous.
“It’s really frustrating. I’ve seen it happen to my team, and it’s the same judges. One judge in particular, I won’t say his name, but one judge there, have always given us a bad go. Always. It’s disgusting, it really is. It’s f***ed.
Hardman added: “It was a close fight. But there’s something fishy going on.”
Main Event’s Megan Barnard said: “Hardman is absolutely blowing up. He is not happy about this result.”
UFC champion Alex Volkanovski said it was a close fight but Hardman couldn’t be too angry.
“It was definitely close, especially in the later rounds,” Volkanovski said.
“I think Murdock clearly won the earlier rounds. There were some closer rounds but you’re always going to be a bit hurt when a decision doesn’t go your way.
“You can understand that. But I wouldn’t sat that’s unfair, that’s for sure.”
Paul Kent added: “I can see why Hardman thinks he won the fight, because I believe he won the later rounds. He’s finished the fight thinking he’s on top, but in my opinion he surrendered all that in the early rounds.
“Murdock was sharper. Murdock was strong early and Hardman came home with the power. “He nearly pulled it out of the fire but I don’t think he did enough.
Earlier, Nikita Tszyu put on a clinic against Bo Belbin, securing victory via TKO to keep his undefeated record in tact (5-0).