JOHNSON: CLOUD ILLEGALLY SWITCHED GLOVES BEFORE OUR FIGHT!
By Socrates Palmer Jr
Boxingtalk has obtained a copy of a letter sent to ABC head Tim Lueckenhoff by Glen Johnson's attorney regarding complaining about an alleged switcheroo of the gloves worn by Tavoris Cloud when he narrowly defeated Johnson on Saturday. The letter states, "Dear Mr. Lueckenhoff: A very serious impropriety occurred in connection with the [Cloud-Johnson] fight last night.... After some argument wherein the Cloud camp attempted to change the contractually agreed upon gloves, the camps agreed that both sides would use ten ounce red Everlast of a certain model. Both camps had the opportunity to examine the gloves to be used to ensure they were appropriate. Normally a marking is placed by a commission representative upon the gloves examined and agreed upon and we assume that was done here. Between the selection of the gloves and the fight, someone switched the gloves to be used by Cloud. This was discovered and objected to when Cloud entered the ring wearing a different color and different model than that which had been selected in the presence of both camps and which had been selected by both camps."
The letter, written by experienced boxing attorney Patrick English, continued, "I know for a fact that gloves can be altered and are in fact altered. This has been the topic of discussion at ABC meetings so I know that you are aware of this potential as well. Further, by 'altered' I do not mean simply by the camps - special orders can be made where the padding is realigned. This is one reason that each side is entitled to observe and inspect the gloves chosen by the other side during glove selection. Further still, the boxer and his camp have the right to know what the other side is wearing; I have many times seen a fighter switch gloves at a weigh in (typically where the gloving takes place) based upon what the opponent is wearing. This switch in gloves was inexplicable and inexcusable, and the failure to notify the Johnson camp and to allow them to examine the new gloves is the exact equivalent of allowing hand wraps without an observer from the other side. The seriousness of this breach cannot be overstated, as we saw with Mr. Margarito.
We will want the gloves reviewed and quite probably tested. I request that you retain both pairs of gloves (the ones used and the ones originally agreed upon and maintain a good chain of custody. I also request that you contact me so we can coordinate on this process. [signed] Patrick C. English"
Manual of the Association of Boxing Commissions in connection with the regulation of World Title Bouts:
VI. SELECTION OF GLOVES
C. Boxers who weigh 147 pounds or less shall use eight (8) ounce gloves; and boxers who weigh more than 147 pounds shall use ten (10) ounce gloves.
D. Prior to the Official Rules Meeting, each boxer, or his/her representative, shall inform the executive director of the host commission as to the boxer’s preferred brand and color of gloves.
E. If the two boxers cannot agree on the brand and color of gloves, the executive director of the host commission shall make the determination.
F. At the conclusion of the official rules meeting, the executive director of the host commission, or his/her representative, shall announce the brand and color of the gloves to be worn by the boxers during the bout.
G. Upon the determination of the brand and color of gloves to be used by the boxers during the bout, the selection of the actual gloves to be worn during the bout shall first be made by:
1. the current champion of the sanctioning organization;
2. the highest ranked boxer of the sanctioning organization if the title is vacant; and
3. a coin flip if the bout is between two champions from different sanctioning organizations for a unified title (the first in alphabetical order shall have the option of “calling” the coin flip).
H. Following the completion of the selection of gloves as described in §VI (G), the same process shall be used in the selection of alternative gloves to be used in the event of damage to the originally selected gloves.
I. Upon the selection of the gloves, the executive director of the host commission shall impound the gloves and keep them in a secure location until the gloves are put on by the boxers. (Underlining added)