Australian Liam Wilson feels robbed after suffering a shock world title upset with a bizarre rule count

7 February, 2023

Liam Wilson continues to feel incensed and has reflected on what he considers a ‘piss take’ at an attempted heist of his world boxing title in Phoenix recently. 

Wilson has maintained that he is more than willing to take on Emanuel Navarrete again for the WBO title if his protest continues to be upheld.

Just a day after an extremely controversial loss at Arizona’s Desert Diamond Arena on Friday night, the Australian was nursing his head and trying to overcome the frustrations. His team then went on to add that the pugilist was ‘robbed’ as Mexican favourite Navarrete was allowed 27 seconds to recover from a trademark left hook that floored him in the fourth round.

This recovery time proved to be a deal-breaker for Navarrete who bounced back with vengeance and won an 11th world title fight in a third division via a ninth-round stoppage. Navarrete has been unbeaten since 2012 and has now extended his record to 32 fights.

Wilson believes that the precious 30 seconds could’ve completely changed his career. A world title victory on his US debut would’ve been an extremely shocking affair, comparable to the shock world title upsets by Jeff Horn five years ago and Jeff Harding nearly 30 years before that.

Moreover, the bout itself unfolded after plenty of bizarre drama at the weigh-in on Thursday. Wilson appeared to be about 2 kg lighter than what he had expected to weigh on the scale. Meanwhile, his Mexican opponent snuck just under the 59kg super featherweight limit, leading to accusations of cheating and scale tampering to ensure the Top Rank star made weight.

“To me it was just a big piss take and looked well and truly planned to buy him some time,” Wilson told journalists in Arizona on Saturday (Sunday AEDT) of the delay that saw referee Chris Flores stop the count, pick up Navarrete’s mouthguard and then re-insert it upside down. 

“I knew I was against it. The scales debacle a day before, then the ref’s doing that. For us to cause the upset, they would have hated that … it was easy for them to sabotage because they had power in other areas.”

Promoter No Limit immediately lodged a protest regarding this. The incident will now be reviewed by Arizona Boxing Commission at their next meeting on February 15.