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Fenech wins super-featherweight belt after 31 year bout

Fenech coaching protege Brock Jarvis in October

Aussie boxer Jeff Fenech has been retrospectively awarded a fourth world title, 31 years after being controversially robbed of the super-featherweight belt.

Fenech joins an elite group of boxers to have won world titles in four weight divisions after finally being recognised for one of sport's great injustices.

More than 30 years after being controversially denied the super-featherweight belt, Fenech has been awarded the strap retrospectively at a World Boxing Council convention in Acapulco, Mexico.

In 1991 at the Mirage hotel and casino in Las Vegas, on a Mike Tyson undercard, Fenech endured the worst robbery in Australian boxing history when the judges declared his bout with Ghana's Azumah Nelson a draw.

The result remains one of the most controversial in the sport's history, with WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman moved to form a "special committee" to review the fight.

"All the ring officials from all over the world score the bout in favour of Jeff Fenech," the convention was told.

"The WBC board of governors approve the motion to crown Jeff Fenech to become a four-time world champion."

Already regarded alongside Kostya Tszyu as one of Australia's two greatest boxers, Fenech now joins a select group including Thomas 'Hitman' Hearns and 'Sugar' Ray Leonard to have won world titles across four weight divisions.

Fenech told News Corp:

"It's crazy, brother. It would've meant more to me back when I really won the fight. But for them, the WBC, to do this is so special.
"Far out, it means so much to me. I've got 20 or 30 Aussies who have flown over with me. It's an incredibly special night."

Other legendary boxers celebrating with Fenech included multiple world champions Vinny Pazienza and Antonio Tarver. Pazienza riffed:

"I love Jeff, he's a bad-ass. And I'm a bad-ass - we're both bad-asses. "Jeff is a bomb and boxing is a crazy life. He is a fighter that everybody wanted to see, when Jeff was on TV everybody watched his fights."

On that infamous night 31 years ago, official judge Jerry Roth of Las Vegas had Fenech ahead 115-113, Miguel Donate of Puerto Rico scored it 116-112 for Nelson and Dave Moretti of Las Vegas had it 114-114.

The decision was booed by 15,000 fans at the venue. Fenech said at the time:

"It's total bullcrap - I've been robbed,"
"The whole world knows I won."

Most believe Nelson won three of the first four rounds but Fenech the remaining eight rounds.


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