This weekend a judge almost borked up one of the biggest fight in boxing history by scoring a clear Floyd Mayweather Jr win as a draw. The scary part isn’t so much that this kind of thing can happen, but that it happens so much that it can totally happen even at the highest levels of the sport. Commission fuckupery is rampant across combat sports and extends past just the judges and refs into all areas they control. Take for example an incident that happened at Saturday’s WSOF 5 event in New Jersey:
Elvis Mutapcic, set to make his promotional debut at World Series of Fighting 5 on Saturday night against Jesse Taylor, was scratched by the New Jersey Athletic Control Board for allegedly taking a medication pre-fight that wasn’t disclosed to the commission.
Mutapcic said a woman on the commission said she saw him take a pill. He said his manager, helping work his corner, merely took his heart medication. And then Mutapcic said the commission worker even changed her story later to say the fighter didn’t take the pill.
“I was told it wouldn’t be a bad idea going to get a drug test after we left here, and even before the co-main event started we were on our way to the emergency room to get another drug test and prove I didn’t take anything,” Mutapcic told MMAjunkie.com. “I plan on suing the New Jersey athletic commission for everything they’ve got.
“Right after they told us we couldn’t fight, I said I’d take another drug test from (the commission). And they said, ‘Oh, we don’t have any drug tests, but we won’t suspend you.’ So I wanted to go out of my way to clear my name and prove I never took anything. I’m a hard-working fighter who works his ass off, and I don’t want to be discredited.”
In what seems like the most obvious explanation, the commission employee mistook a manager taking medication for a fighter and had the fight called off. When the mistake was realized, no admission of commission wrongdoing was made - they just changed their tune to say even the presence of medication was good enough to scrap the fight.
See, that’s the part that really gets my goat. These commissions are incapable of admitting when they fuck up – partially because they’re stubborn dickholes, but also partially to avoid lawsuits like the one Mutapcic says he’s going to launch against them. Meanwhile, mistakes continue to get made, ones that can heavily impact or change the course of a fighter’s life. All while the people messing up continue to draw paychecks without any repercussions.