Buffalo, NY (May 22, 2012) – After ten hard-fought rounds against Canadian contender Nicholson Poulard last Saturday evening, Lionell “Lonnie B” Thompson returned to his corner feeling like a winner.
The Buffalo, NY native and former top ranked amateur had no doubt that his solid performance would raise his professional ledger to 13-0. Prior to the judges’ final tally being announced, Jean Pascal, Poulard’s brother, entered in the ring to congratulate Team Thompson on what appeared to be a victory; until the unexpected happened.
With the verdict in his possession, the ring announcer notified the pro-Poulard crowd at the Holiday Inn in Quebec that there was a split decision. Judge Don Ackerman scored the bout 97-73 for Poulard, followed by Pasquale Procopio’s 97-93 tally for Thompson. Shocked by Ackerman’s card, Thompson started raising his hand when Kelly Zolnierczyk’s 96-94 scorecard came in. Unfortunately, the decision went to the hometown favorite.
“I’m a fighter at heart so fighting a guy in his backyard isn’t a problem,” stated Thompson, who’s fought four times in Canada, once in the United Kingdom and in four different US states. “If the fight was close, I wouldn’t be mad if they gave it to him. If you win a fight by as wide of a margin as I (appeared to), something is wrong. One of the ringside reporters said he’d give Poulard two rounds if he was generous. The judges had to be paid off or were asleep. I can’t see any other way they scored the fight against me.”
Thompson also found himself in baffling situation at Friday’s weigh-in. Shortly before getting on the scale in front of the Quebec Boxing Commission, Thompson double checked his weight in his hotel room. On the hotel’s scale, he was half a pound under the light heavyweight limit if 175 lbs. To his unpleasant surprise, the commission’s scale had him almost a pound overweight.
“My scale had me at 174 and change. Their scale had me at 175.8 and when I took my underwear off, I was 176. How could I weigh more with less clothes on? Something clearly isn’t right there. I trained hard for four months for this fight and it was stolen from me in more ways than one. Even if I was rightfully awarded the decision, the belt would’ve remained vacant.”
“I’d love a rematch in America but I doubt he gives me one. The judges in Canada suck and they don’t know anything about boxing. The last time I checked, you win fights by landing punches, not throwing them and missing. Boxing is about being effective, if you’re not effective it doesn’t matter. Anybody with eyes knows that I won that fight and so does Poulard!”
Tim Ziccardi, Thompson’s manager, views his fighter as the clear-cut victor and doesn’t believe going back to the drawing board is necessary.
“We want to get him back in the ring as soon as possible,” said Ziccardi, who also hails from Buffalo. “He has no lumps or bruises and there’s no reason to stay on the sidelines when we don’t have to. I look at it this way, we stepped up and passed the test whether the judges want to give it to him or not. We’re planning to continue stepping up and keep moving forward, even after this unfortunate situation.”
Team Thompson plans to announce their next move shortly and fans can interact with Lionell by going to Twitter.com/teamlonnieb.
Wish I saw this one so I could comment with accuracy, but I didn't...
Nonetheless, other boxing publications do not suggest that the fight was unfairly judged, or that any collusion occurred between the officials.