We got our first “major” boxing event of 2024 last night and we now have our first scandal. Referee Tony Weeks, this weekend’s main character thanks to a horrifically early stoppage in Vergil Ortiz Jr’s first-round finish of Frederick Lawson, claimed on Facebook that two of Lawson’s pre-fight brain scans revealed an aneurysm before a different doctor did the same scan, found nothing, and cleared him to fight.
Weeks has since deleted the post, but Dan Canobbio was quick enough to nab a screenshot beforehand. I can personally attest to seeing the post on his Facebook page, complete with a comment from former contender Mykal Fox.
Golden Boy’s Eric Gomez quickly denied the claim to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, then referred “all other questions” to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. NSAC has yet to respond.
I’m not going to do the neutral journalist thing and say “these allegations, if true, yadda yadda concerning yadda.” I do not believe this for a second. NSAC may be among the most blatantly corrupt commissions in the country, as seen in their refusal to discipline their myriad incompetent officials and willingness to sanction garbage like Power Slap, but I cannot fathom them nuking themselves to save a D- main event.
But fine, let’s pretend that Weeks somehow got his hands on Lawson’s medical info. For it to have had any impact on his refereeing, he had to have seen it before the fight. That means that in Week’s ideal scenario, the one in which he heroically saved a compromised fighter after every other official failed him, he knowingly allowed a man with a potentially lethal brain injury to take punches from Vergil f***ing Ortiz.
Like, what was his plan if Ortiz just obliterated him with one shot and never gave Weeks an excuse to step in early? If Weeks is telling the truth, he failed as a human being by letting Lawson enter the ring at all.
We’ll keep you posted as the situation develops. I’ll make another prediction and say the fallout will be significant.