Australian Jeff Fenech is finally joining an elite group of boxers to have won world titles in four weight divisions — more than 30 years after the fact.
In 1991 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas on a Mike Tyson undercard, judges declared his super featherweight bout with Ghana’s Azumah Nelson a draw.
But Fenech has been awarded the title retroactively at a World Boxing Council convention in Acapulco, Mexico, where WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman formed a ”special committee” to review the fight.
”All the ring officials from all over the world score the bout in favor of Jeff Fenech,” the convention was told. ”The WBC board of governors approve the motion to crown Jeff Fenech to become a four-time world champion.”
Fenech joins a select group including Thomas `Hitman’ Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard to have won world titles across four weight divisions. In retirement, Fenech also trained other boxers such as Tyson.
”It’s crazy, brother. It would’ve meant more to me back when I really won the fight. But for them, the WBC, to do this is so special,” Fenech told News Corp. newspapers on Wednesday from Mexico. ”Far out, it means so much to me. I’ve got 20 or 30 Aussies who have flown over with me. It’s an incredibly special night.”
On that night in Las Vegas 31 years ago, official judge Jerry Roth of Las Vegas had Fenech ahead 115-113, Miguel Donate of Puerto Rico scored it 116-112 for Nelson and Dave Moretti of Las Vegas had it 114-114.
The decision was booed by 15,000 fans at the venue.
”I’ve been robbed,” Fenech said at the time. ”The whole world knows I won.”
Fenech won world titles in three other weight divisions, having held the IBF bantamweight title from 1985 to 1987, the WBC super-bantamweight title from 1987 to 1988 and the WBC featherweight title from 1988 to 1990.
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