The coach of middleweight contender Kyrone Davis, Stephen “Breadman” Edwards, says judge John McKaie should be made to explain his scorecard last weekend, having judged Elijah Garcia to be a wider winner over Davis. 

McKaie scored for pre-fight favorite Garcia by 98-92, but was overruled by Eric Cheek and Max DeLuca, who both scored for Wilmington, Delaware’s Davis, now 19-3-1 (6 KOs), by 97-93.

“Kyrone won, and the people are saying the right guy won but the problem with something like that is what if the right guy didn’t win?” Edwards asked. “My guy had three losses going into that fight. His career would have probably been over if another judge did what John McKaie did. I don’t take things like that lightly, because this is someone’s career on the line. This is their livelihood and their life. And I don’t believe that in front of a panel and in front of a board of enquiry that John Mackie can justifiably come up with eight rounds that Elijah Garcia won.”

Southpaw Garcia lost for the first time after 16 victories. The boxers had been due to meet on March 30, but Garcia fell ill on fight week, and he didn’t make weight for Saturday’s fight at the MGM Grand, either, with Edwards having a late rehydration clause inserted Friday so Garcia couldn’t pack on the pounds. 

But the performance of underdog Davis was of no disbelief to his coach.

“I knew he [Garcia] was strong, very determined and I knew he was a hard puncher,” Edwards added. “Nothing really surprised me. I saw how he was being matched and he was being matched with a lot of guys that were standing right in front of him.

“We saw that he didn’t like going backwards, but he was kind of strong. Kyrone told me he was strong, so we didn’t want to waste a lot of energy pushing him back once we saw that, and the second part of the game plan was we saw he couldn’t slip the right hand good. He just doesn’t see the right hand well. Once Kyrone hit him with a couple of right hands and we saw the right-hand counter was working, then we just went to that second game plan and just stuck on it.

“I only gave Garcia one clear round, and that was the ninth round. Every other round I gave Kyrone and the first round was one of those where you could pick who won, but I thought Kyrone won the first round too.

“I thought Garcia was coming forward, but he didn’t do anything. He was just walking forward. So I didn’t think he won that round either, but I surely didn’t think that he won eight rounds. I thought that was very unfortunate that a judge in Vegas on a fight like that has seen a fight so different from reality.”

There is a widely held belief that judges favor boxers on the A-side of a promotion but regardless of that, Edwards did not welcome being made to wait through the agonizing moments that follow after a split decision is announced in a fight where he felt strongly there was only one winner. 

“I think it was ridiculous to even have to go through that after a clear, dominant performance at this level,” Edwards said. “I think someone in the media has to ask these guys what impressed them about Garcia.

“Even when he was trying to step it up, he couldn’t step it up. I don’t know what the referee saw. Honestly, I don’t believe he saw anything. I just believe that they feel they can score fights the way they score them with no repercussions behind. 

“But it’s boxing. Most times judges score fights and nothing ever happens but it’s very disappointing. It killed my joy, even though we won the fight, a judge being able to do something like that. And he’ll be judging more fights. I guarantee you within a month or so he’ll be on another big card.” 

Edwards said that Davis has taken the scorecard in his stride, although added that Davis’ parents were more upset than the fighter was. And, speaking with boxing fatigue, Edwards is not so sure that Davis will get the bump in ratings that he deserves, having scalped the WBA No. 1 Garcia, who was also ranked by all four governing bodies ahead of Saturday.

“Kyrone has been a warrior through his whole career and he’s had some tough luck,” Edwards said.

“I don’t know [what victory does for Davis in the rankings]. I got to see it happen in the ranking first. Boxing is not always fair. Garcia was the No. 1 contender, hopefully Kyrone can be the No. 1 contender, but I’d like to see it first. I want to see it happen.”

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