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GARY STARK, JR. ROBBED IN SHOBOX THRILLER Protest to be filed with Oklahoma Commission, USBA and IBF

HCB Press Release - 2/17/2007

In a USBA Super Bantamweight championship that had high energy and fast-paced action from start to finish in which both boxers fought valiantly, Gary “Kid” Stark, Jr. lost the most controversial decision of the year to Mike Oliver at Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma last night on ShoBox: The New Generation.

DiBella Entertainment, Stark’s promoter, will promptly file a protest with the Oklahoma Commission, the USBA and the IBF. DBE president Lou DiBella said that Tony Holden Promotions, the local promoter of the fight who is not affiliated with either of the two fighters, would also file a protest.

“Mike Oliver is a terrific fighter, but he really lost last night,” said DiBella. “I have not talked to one person in boxing who didn’t see a Stark victory. Even John Scully (Oliver’s trainer) knows the truth.”

Even though Stark (New York) and Oliver (Connecticut) are Northeast-based fighters, when the decision was announced, the vocal crowd, expecting a Stark victory, booed wildly.

“Something smells in Oklahoma and it’s not the livestock,” said DiBella. “DBE fighters won’t be returning to Oklahoma anytime soon. There’s bad mojo there.”

Snow-bitten New York City wrecked havoc on Stark’s travel plans on Wednesday, delaying his flight close to 24 hours and stranding him at the airport. The popular Staten Islander didn’t arrive in Oklahoma until well after midnight on Thursday into Friday. Despite the ordeal, Stark put on a peak performance only to be denied by the judges’ scorecards.

“It was difficult to console Gary last night,” said DiBella. “It is particularly disturbing that Kid was robbed after the ordeal that he went through to get to Oklahoma. He fought the fight of his life, and should be proud of his performance. He is the uncrowned USBA champion.”

“After everything I went through, I still fought my fight,” said Stark, Jr. “When I heard 116-112 twice, I was positive I won. I beat that guy, and I can’t believe that the three judges were the only ones that couldn’t see that.”

Stark and Oliver established themselves as two of the leading 122-pound challengers in boxing, and with controversy surrounding last night’s fight, DiBella believes that a rematch is in order.

“This is fight that demands a rematch and that rematch has the potential to be another fight of the year candidate,” said DiBella. “We will be talking to Showtime on Tuesday to try to make this fight again. The USBA should demand a rematch.”

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