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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Miroslav Kapuler Drops Controversial Split Decision

Miroslav Kapuler Ishchenko lost a controversial split decision to Salvatore Cavallaro today at the 2022 European amateur championships in Yerevan, Armenia. Though the ultimate decision was not an outrageous travesty, the bout was marred by two of the judges.

Kapuler, a 25 year old representing Israel, came out of the red corner in ring A pressing forward, but the southpaw quickly reverted to fighting off the backfoot. Cavallaro, a 20 year old from Italy, was effective in close. Kapuler's timing and balance seemed just a bit off. At one point he lunged forward with a 1-2 that came up short and Cavallaro capitalized. Kapuler had his moments in the round, including a counter left early, but three judges gave what was a close round to the Italian because of  some nice body work.

The second was a bit messy early, but Kapuler fell into a rhythm and controlled the round. The Israeli landed many counter right hooks and counter lefts. He moved well so that Cavallaro couldn't return fire. Halfway through the round, Cavallaro was visibly frustrated. He threw down his arms and shook them; they were stiffening up because Miroslav was not allowing him to release his punches. Kapuler landed a beautiful left and got out as the round waned. He slipped when the Italian tried to throw. It was a great round for the Israeli.

Amazingly, two judges scored the second for Cavallaro. At best, Johany Maden of France and Maciej Robert Dziurgot of Poland are incompetent at judging boxing matches, but at worst, a few extra Euros helped them determined their scores, which were baffling.

The third was a competitive round because Cavallaro intelligently began to shoot rights to Kapuler's chest since the southpaw proved too slick to fall victim to head shots. Later in the round, the Italian landed the right uppercut, another smart choice since Miroslav leaned forward at times. But Kapuler connected with some good lefts from the outside. He landed plenty of jabs, a left to the body, and a big left over the top. He punctuated the fight with an eye-catching combo and seemed to do enough to win the round and the fight. Four judges gave him the third.

But the only judge he needed sided with the Italian. The judge from Czechia agreed with his colleagues from France and Poland, giving Cavallaro a 29-28 victory although in a more reasonable manner than the other two. Antonin Gaspar only gave Kapuler the second while, curiously, Maden and Dziurgot only gave him the third. Judges Geir Dahlen of Norway and Recep Itmez of Turkey both had it 30-27 for Kapuler. Cavallaro moves on to the quarterfinals in a very unsatisfying decision thanks to Maden's and Dziurgot's scoring of the second round.

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