A Florida boxing judge is being held accountable for creating a Texas-sized mess.
The World Boxing Association (WBA) has officially placed veteran ring official Carlos Sucre on temporary suspension less than a day after his role as a ringside official for the memorable rematch between Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez. Mexico’s Estrada prevailed by split decision to retain his lineal and WBC junior bantamweight titles for the third time while annexing the WBA strap from Gonzalez in their 12-round scorcher Saturday evening at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Nicaragua’s Gonzalez (50-3, 41KOs) won by a score of 115-113 on the card of Texas judge Jesse Reyes, which was in line with most viewers. Oklahoma judge David Sutherland had Estrada winning the bout by score of 115-113, with Sucre—a native of Venezuela now based in Florida—tipping the bout in favor of Estrada by an eyebrow-raising score of 117-111.
Sucre arrived at that score by awarding the final five rounds and six of the last seven in favor of Estrada after granting a clean sweep of the first three rounds in favor of the 30-year-old from Hermosillo, Mexico. Neither scenario was shared by any vocal observer, least of all anyone from the WBA.
“We will temporarily suspend Carlos Sucre, while the Officials Committee evaluates his performance in the Chocolatito-Estrada 2 fight,” Gilberto J. Mendoza, president of the WBA announced on Sunday. “We will give the judge the opportunity to speak about what happened.”
Sucre’s card was less forgivable than even the worst score from the first fight between Gonzalez and Estrada in Nov. 2012. Gonzalez prevailed by unanimous decision in what was viewed as the toughest test of his career to that point. It wasn’t reflected in the final scores, as then-unbeaten Gonzalez prevailed by scores of 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112 to register the final defense of his junior flyweight title before moving up in weight.
Saturday’s rematch saw the three judges unanimously agree on just five of the 12 rounds, with the final scores marring what was otherwise an unforgettable DAZN headliner which has emerged as the leading contender for 2021 Fight of the Year. Sucre cast the dissenting score in rounds three, eight and 12—all of which were awarded to Estrada. All three are red flags of his simply failing to rule on what took place in the ring as Gonzalez was the clear winner in each of those rounds.
Sadly, Saturday’s bout was not his first questionable performance.
Sucre was part of a judging panel who had Ali Akhmedov ahead on all three scorecards at the time of his suffering a 12th round knockout loss to Carlos Gongora last December at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. With stoppage rounds still scored according to Florida rules, Sucre had the previously unbeaten Akhmedov ahead 116-109—a ridiculous 10 rounds to two and including the two knockdowns suffered by Akhmedov at the time of the stoppage. Judges Fred Fluty and James Geb O’Connor had the bout 114-112 apiece, which meant Gongora would have lost a decision had the bout gone the distance.
Sucre wasn’t presently scheduled to officiate any other bouts at the time of the issued suspension.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox