Joan Guzman vs. Ali Funeka (1st meeting)

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2009-11-28 : Joan Guzman 134½ lbs drew with Ali Funeka 133¾ lbs by MD in round 12 of 12

In a hard fought bout with a disputed ending, Joao Guzman, a Dominican fighter now fighting out of Brooklyn, New York, and Ali Funeka of East London, South Africa, fought to a twelve round draw which left the vacant IBF Lightweight title still vacant. Guzman appeared to win the first two rounds with crisp counterpunching, while Funeka appeared to win the third and the fourth with a long left jab which bloodied the nose of Guzman, and caused a cut under his right eye. Funeka won the fifth and the sixth by frequently tagging Guzman's face, making a bloody mess of it as both fighters threw power punches. Guzman appeared to win the seventh by landing numerous body shots. Funeka won the eighth, ninth and tenth by landing alot of right hand leads, leaving Guzman in serious trouble, his face bloody, hanging on to survive. Sensing he was trailing on the cards, traded power shots on the inside in round eleven, which looked even. Guzman won the twelfth, coming forward and throwing everything he had left in the tank in an attempt to score a knockout, giving Funeka a good beating. While one judge had the bout 116-112, the other two judges scored the bout a draw. Promoter Gary Shawn stated the bout was one of the worst five decisions he had ever seen and called for a full investigation and background checks of the the two judges who scored the draw. Stated Shaw "This was an inexplicable decision. If this is the best judging boxing has to offer, then we are in real trouble." However, it appeared that it was a headbutt (not called by the referee) which opened a cut over Guzman's right eye in the second that gave Funeka his initiative from that point on, and forced Guzman, the 29-0 former WBO Super Featherweight champion, into a more defensive posture for the remainder of this 12 round bout.