Ring announcer resigns following post-fight controversy that shook the boxing world

Hennessey revealed the ensuing social media backlash was too much to handle

The American boxing ring announcer who called out the wrong winner after a title fight last weekend has resigned.

Following a boxing match between Cherneka Johnson and Nina Hughes in Australia on Saturday night, announcer Dan Hennessey read out the judge’s scorecards and mistakenly said Hughes was the winner of the WBA bantamweight title.

The ensuing social media backlash was too much to handle, Hennessey revealed.

"Thank you all for the kind words. Unfortunately, the worldwide backlash is absolutely incredible and it's affecting my mental health to a degree where I will have one more show ever," he wrote on Facebook. "I am doing this show because I am still a man of my word ... I love and will keep in touch with all my friends from around the world. Thank you. No longer the world's punching bag. I'm out."

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Nina Hughes

Hennessey read out the judge’s scorecards and mistakenly said Nina Hughes was the winner of the WBA bantamweight title. (George Tewkesbury/PA Images via Getty Images)

The resignation comes after Saturday’s controversy shocked the boxing world.

ESPN’s Joe Tessitore ripped into Hennessey over the controversy.

"I want clean up what we saw with this absolute clown show, garbage amateur hour we saw with the ring announcer moments ago," he said.

On Saturday, Johnson and Hughes went the distance and the fight came down to the judges’ decision.

Both fighters thought they had won the contest and were eagerly waiting to hear how the judges had scored it.

Cherneka Johnson looks on

In contrast, Cherneka Johnson was euphoric to hear that she had actually won. (Warren Little/Getty Images)

The fighters joined Hennessey and the referee in the middle of the ring and Hennessey initially announced that Hughes was the winner of the fight.

The enthusiastic boxer began to celebrate but then the error was noticed.

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The fighters were called back to the middle of the ring and Hennessey corrected himself, revealing Johnson won via split decision.

From triumphant to defeated, Hughes was forced to go from hearing she was the champion to hearing that she had suffered the first loss of her professional career.

"I just don't get it," Hughes said after the drama, via Sky Sports. "How can they announce I had won and then change the scores? I thought I'd dominated early. I thought she won a few of the later rounds but I felt like I won it comfortably."

She added: "I don't get how you can announce the winner and then change the scores. It's a joke. I feel like I've been robbed big time. There's got to be a rematch. I didn't lose that fight."

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In contrast, Johnson was euphoric to hear that she had actually won.

"I'm not the judge and I'm just glad that they figured out the wrong decision," Johnson said. "Nina was a tough fight. I'm not the judges, but I definitely think I won that fight. I'm just over the moon I won this bout."

Pair of red boxing gloves hanging on the wall

Dan Hennessey read out the judge’s scorecards and mistakenly said Hughes was the winner of the WBA bantamweight title. The subsequent social media backlash was too much to handle. (Adobe Stock)

After the initial drama, Hennessey apologized on Facebook.

"I own it. It's all on me. I take full responsibility for the Chernika Johnson V Nina Hughes controversy," he wrote. "Not the Judges, not the sanctioned body. Me."

He added: "I have apologized to all involved and now I apologize to you. I am sorry for what happened. Again, I own it and can only try and do better next time. Not my best day in the office."

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and Reuters contributed to this report.

via May 14th 2024