Tevin Farmer misses out on world title glory after Kenichi Ogawa takes split decision
By Tim Hobbs
Last Updated: 10/12/17 8:15am
Kenichi Ogawa was crowned IBF super-featherweight world champion, edging out Tevin Farmer on a controversial split decision in Las Vegas.
The Japanese challenger and his team looked despondent after 12 rough rounds before the scores were read out, and even he seemed surprised when he took it 112-116, 116-112, 115-113.
The result was greeted with disbelief from the Mandalay Bay crowd and left firm favourite Farmer and his team distraught.
The Philadelphian was expected to pick up the vacant strap and then defend it against former IBF holder and social media foe, Gervonta Davis, but the best he can now hope for now is a rematch with Ogawa.
On a night when Guillermo Rigondeaux remained on his stool halfway through his New York showdown with Vasyl Lomachenko, Britain's James DeGale lost his world title and his friend Stephen Smith had his ear almost ripped in half, the judges were not the only ones playing their part in a bemusing night of boxing.
Famer looked the better fighter throughout, his footwork smart and his defence solid. He made the better start and built up a momentum that suggested the vacant IBF strap would be staying in America.
To be fair to Ogawa, he gave it his all, permanently pressing forward and, midway through the fight, unleashed a flurry of accurate shots, only for Farmer to absorb it all and respond.
The 29-year-old from Aichi, the hometown of Toyota, had no reverse gear throughout and accelerated when he could but few felt his tenacity and bravery were enough to overtake Farmer, who even stood his ground in the last two rounds - happy to trade blows and clearly confident he already had the title in the bag.