Top Ghanaian boxing referee, Roger Barnor, has debunked claims linking him to robbing middleweight pugilist, Obodai Sai, by ending his recent fight against Namibia’s Walter Kautondokwa prematurely, stating that anything could have happened in the next round.
Referee Barnor, who was accused of robbery by Sai in the world title elminator against Kautondokwa at the Bukom Boxing Arena last month, explained that he chose to stop the fight due to what he saw in the ring.
The referee stopped the fight in round five after Kautodonkwa's left hook dazed the Ghanaian who could not respond to the mandatory eight counts.
However, Sai blamed referee Barnor for the defeat, stating that he was not allowed to indicate whether he could continue with the bout or not.
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The boxer stated that he had seen boxers who were knocked down in bouts but later came back to win and, therefore, felt referee Barnor should have given him the benefit of the doubt by allowing him to continue.
In a quick rebuttal, referee Barnor told the Graphic Sports in a conversation last Wednesday that it was in the interest of every referee to stop a bout at his discretion and that he felt the time was appropriate to award a technical knockout to the Namibian.
"I don't have anything to explain to anybody because anyone who understands boxing would not blame me for stopping the fight after watching the incident," referee Barnor said.
"I don't think I can rob my countryman but I had to stop the fight because no one would have known what would happen in the next round," he added.