When it comes to controversies in boxing we think we have corker for you today, from the UK. In fact this one is really weird when we think about, because had it taken place just a few weeks later the result would have been. That's not just us talking and making excuses, but literally the rules were changed the following month. What was ruled a TKO here, wouldn't have been had the bout taken place after the rule change.
Shinny Bayaar (15-4-2, 4) vs Paul Edwards (7-0, 1)
The bout in question saw British based Mongolian fighter Shinny Bayaar take on the unbeaten Paul Edwards in December 2010, in a bout for the British Flyweight title.
Coming into the bout Bayaar was the British Flyweight champion, and was looking to make his second defense. He had won the belt in October 2009, beating Chris Edwards, and had defended it with a draw against Ashley Sexton, in a thrilling bout in May 2010. Although he had losses on his record Bayaar had really turned his career around. He was once 6-4-1 (2) but then reeled off a 10 fight unbeaten run, including his title win and his defense against Sexton, and was seen as one of the best little men in Britain at the time.
Despite originally being from Mongolia, Bayaar had only actually fought once in the country, fighting to a draw. He had then fought in the Philippines, losing against former world champion Manny Melchor. He would lose against on his UK debut, in 2001, and at the time he sported a record of 0-2-1. Though again he rebuilt really well. Like most Mongolian fighters Bayaar was tough, and although not the most technical he really could fight, letting shoots go and having rough and tough wars. Sadly for him a lot of his bouts saw him suffering cuts, in part due to his style and in part due to his southpaw stance, that would turn out to be the case again here. Aged 33 coming in to this bout he was old for a Flyweight but was still in the run of his career.
The 24 year old Paul Edwards was the challenger and was regarded as a good prospect in the UK. He had been a good amateur, winning an ABA title, and had scored a notable win over Andy bell in February 2010. Although talented he lacked power, and had narrowly come through his 2 previous bouts, taking razor thin wins over Bell and Anwar Alfadli. Not only had he struggled in his previous 2 bouts but he was also being made to take a leap up in class here, going from 6 rounders to 12 round title bouts in one giant step.
Heading in to the bout Edwards was the notable under-dog, but with his unbeaten record, amateur pedigree and youth he was very much considered a live challenger.
What no one expected, was what we got.
The opening seconds saw the two men try to feel their way into the fight, but after only a few moments Bayaar began to march forward, and try to close the distance. Edwards tried to get his respect but that only seemed to anger Bayaar who began to up the intensity. Sadly that caused a clash of heads which left Bayaar with a huge cut in his forehead. Around 40 seconds after their headclash Bayaar was taken over to the doctor, who stopped the bout due to the nasty cut, which was genuinely brutal.
Almost anywhere outside of the UK this would have been either a No Contest or a technical draw. In the UK however there was an out dated rule, that meant if a fighter couldn't continue due to a clash of heads, the other fighter won by stoppage. That rule was in effect here, and resulted in Edwards getting an opening round TKO win over Bayaar as a result, and winning the title.
The rule that caused this result had been set to change in January 2011, a month after this bou, and finally saw the UK matching the rules of the rest of the world. For Bayaar however, that was too late, his reign was over.
Sadly we never got a rematch for this one. Paul Edwards lost the belt in his first defense, to Chris Edwards, who then beat Bayaar by decision when the Mongolia returned to the ring in December 2011, in what turned out to be Bayaar's final bout.
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features