In various boxing forums, there’s a neat video circulating from Saturday night of Frank Warren, lightweight Amir Khan’s promoter, clearly signaling in the 5th round to the referee something about the deep cut in Marco Antonio Barrera’s head. Moments later, the ref stopped the fight; if he had done it a round earlier, it would have been a no contest.
I’ll throw it out here for discussion and let everyone give their take. Me? I think it’s a little fishy. It would have been hard for the ref not to notice Warren’s gesture — we can’t hear what he’s shouting — and the timing was a tad coincidental. I don’t know of any rules being broken here, nor am I alleging any malfeasance, but I’m not thrilled about the idea of a ref being responsive to the gesticulations of a boxing promoter for any reason I can think of. Warren may have just been looking out for Barrera’s health, but I think it more likely that he wanted the fight to end now that it had gone past the 4th, with the caveat that the referee did have the doctor look Barrera over in the 4th. Here’s one forum discussion, and below is the video; watch at approximately 2:04, with Warren in the middle front row.