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WBA suspend judges after disputed N'Dam win

Hassan N'Dam of France (L) celebrates his victory over Ryota Murata of Japan. (AFP)


The World Boxing Association (WBA) has suspended two judges for six months after Frenchman Hassan N'Dam won the middleweight title on a split decision over Japan's Ryota Murata last weekend.

N'Dam controversially took the vacant world title in Tokyo on Saturday despite being knocked down by the 2012 Olympic champion Murata and suffering heavy punishment for much of the fight.

But WBA president Gilberto Mendoza, who has already ordered a rematch, told a press conference Thursday that Panama's Gustavo Padilla and Canadian Hubert Earle had been banned after studying their scorecards.

"My scoring, as well as the scoring of five (independent) judges and the supervisor of the fight were different from that of Mr. Padilla and Earle," Mendoza was quoted on the WBA's official website.

"I had to address this case personally, and so I did it on Saturday night. However, we had to announce our decision on the judges after a closer evaluation."

Padilla and Earle will have to pass tests before they can judge WBA-sanctioned fights again, the association added.

Padilla scored the bout 116-111 to N'Dam while Earle had it 115-112. American Raul Caiz scored it 117-110 to Murata, who largely dominated the fight.

After the shock result was declared, Mendoza tweeted: "Let me apologise to Ryota Murata. There are no words to repair the damage. I will demand the championship committee order a direct rematch."

Murata floored N'Dam with a right hook in the fourth round and wobbled him on several other occasions.

N'Dam sank to his knees when the scores were announced as boos rang out from the Japanese crowd.

Murata, hoping to become only Japan's second middleweight world champion, and first in 22 years, lost for the first time in 13 professional fights.

Akihiko Honda, president of Murata's Teiken Gym, called the result "the worst judging decision I have ever seen."

N'Dam improved his record to 36-2.