Tragedy in a boxing ring was possibly averted last Saturday, but few in the U.S. media have cared to report on it. Blame this on the incident taking place in Mexico or blame it on the fact that it happened in a female boxing match, but whatever the case, hardly anyone knows about something that could've ended the life of a world class fighter on live TV.
Last Saturday, July 13, at the Centro de Convenciones in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico, Japanese super flyweight, Riyo Togo, was allegedly found to be wearing doctored gloves prior to her bout with Mexico's Mariana Juarez.
The contest, for Togo's WBC international super flyweight female title, was a rematch of a brutal TKO 1 win for Togo to claim the vacant belt just about three months earlier in Mexico City. At the time, the brutal stoppage victory was thought to perhaps close the chapter on Juarez's status as a world class fighter and top world title contender.
The rematch, however, would reveal something that might explain the abrupt, brutal destruction of a prime fighter normally known to be a durable battler and who hadn't been stopped since 2005.
Prior to the bout, members of Team Juarez inspected Togo's gloves and found that the padding had been removed from the front part and that the fighter's knuckles and hand wraps were pressed directly against the leather of the glove. They brought this to the attention of WBC supervisor Dr. Lorenzo Soberanes , who then took action.
"Togo's team," said Dr. Soberanes, "had moved aside the padding from the front part of the glove to attain more punching force. The knuckles were protected by just the hand wrap and skin."
The gloves of both fighters were then seized and taken to the WBC's headquarters in Mexico City for examination before the sanctioning body makes an official decision as to possible punishment.