Eric Hunter and Mike Oliver were slated to go 10 rounds for the NABA USA Featherweight title last Friday night in Chester, PA. Instead the much anticipated bout between two very solid and promising boxers, turned out to be short-lived.
Just 50 seconds into the opening round, Oliver slipped and as he got back up, he was leveled by an ill-timed left of Hunter.
As Oliver lay motionless for a moment, referee Benjy Esteves waved off the KO, and quickly ruled it a DQ.
After several moments of utter chaos, the PA Boxing commission stepped in and stood by Esteves’ call.
Oliver walked away with the title and Hunter was left to deal with the second DQ of his career and second — in his last four bouts.
After watching the replay at least 50 times, the punch was indeed illegal, but Esteves did not help Hunter’s call as he was not able to really get in position to break up both fighters.
However, as early as this morning, I spoke with the PA State Athletic Commission regarding Hunter’s DQ. “It is the referee’s discretionary call,” said Executive Director of PA State Athletic Commission Gregory Sirb.
Any thought of Hunter’s camp trying to appeal the decision was quickly thrown out the window by Sirb. “It is not appealable in any state in the country” Basically the call by Benjy Esteves will stand, goes down as a DQ for Hunter and a title belt for Oliver.