Joe Fournier loss to YouTuber KSI in boxing fight declared No Decision after businessman appeals result

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KSI - Joe Fournier
(Leigh Dawney/Misfits Boxing)

During the latest MF X DAZN: X Series event, KSI claimed victory in another boxing bout. This time, it was against former boxer Joe Fournier, who he stopped in the second round on May 13. Fournier, however, has successfully appealed – and the result has been changed to 'No Decision'.

Fournier entered an official appeal on Monday. The Professional Boxing Association confirmed it had received a request from Fournier, who stated he got hit with an illegal elbow in the fight. 

After allowing both parties to present their cases as to why the fight result should have remained the same or been changed, organisers have now changed the outcome following a 'Review Decision' by Gareth Morris, the referee in charge of the fight.

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Micky Vann, the supervisor in charge of the fight, and barrister Gul Nawaz Hussain joined Morris in conducting a "thorough review of the evidence and representations", the PBA said in a statement released on May 19. KSI responded on Instagram by saying he was "still undefeated".

What happened during the KSI vs. Joe Fournier fight? 

Fournier, who last fought at the pro level in 2021, was hit with a KSI right to his ear in round two. A few moments later, KSI knocked Fournier down, but instant replay revealed that his elbow connected with Fournier’s face, not his hand. 

Social media was in a frenzy following the result, with many rejecting the legitimacy of the fight and Misfits Boxing in general. Fournier posted on his Instagram story what he thought of the shot that ended the bout. 

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“I knew fighting the promoter there would be every angle in his favor but to call this a KO instead of a disqualification after an intentional elbow is disgusting!!!" Fournier wrote. “We will be appealing this decision Monday and I hope both [KSI and Misfits Boxing and Professional Boxing Association] do the right thing and show their integrity to the sport of boxing!!”

KSI’s response to Joe Fournier

Among the responses to the elbow was Jake Paul, the rival of KSI. He stated the fight should be deemed a no-contest or a disqualification. 

KSI, who appears to have a deal to fight Tommy Fury, who beat Paul, next, did acknowledge there was "unintentional contact made with his forearm.” However, he said the outcome of the bout was inevitable. 

KSI vs. Fournier result: Why has the fight outcome been changed?

The PBA said Morris had reached an independent decision. "Even though KSI was winning the fight, the blow with the elbow/forearm has been found to be accidental and the obvious disappointment that will follow [sic], it has been decided that the contest is declared a No Decision in accordance with the Rules," it said.

"The PBA has conducted the review properly, fairly and with legal assistance throughout as the bout was sanctioned and regulated under the unified rules of boxing," it said. We have ensured that this process was conducted swiftly and fairly to uphold the integrity of boxing."

What is a 'No Decision' and when is it used in boxing matches?

'No Decision' results are extremely unusual in modern boxing. The result has been used in the past to curb gambling on fights and by pre-arrangement between boxers when a defending champion wanted to ensure they did not lose their title on points, according to BoxRec.

One early example came in a light heavyweight bout between Stanley Ketchel and Jack O'Brien in 1909. Although Ketchel dominated the fight, O'Brien kept his title because he lasted until the end of the 10th and final round and New York rules at the time outlawed official decisions.

In 2011, a two-hour California State Athletic Commission allowed Bernard Hopkins to keep the heavyweight titles he had lost when he was ruled to have suffered a TKO against Chad Dawson, changing the result to a No Decision after watching dozens of replays of an incident in which Hopkins dislocated his shoulder. Dawson won the rematch the following year.

No Decision is sometimes used when four rounds have not been completed in a fight. Super flyweight Joshua Franco was awarded one after he suffered a swollen eye in a head clash in 2020 with Andrew Moloney, losing both title fights the rivals had against each other either side of that contest.

The verdict is more common in MMA when there are ambiguous ends to fights. Current UFC champion Leon Edwards and opponent Belal Muhammad shared a No Decision in 2021 as a result of a horrific injury sustained by Muhammad because of an eye poke.

Members of the media have stepped in to produce an official verdict for the purposes of gambling outcomes and fan debates in the past. The consensus among viewing reporters has sometimes been known as a 'Newspaper Decision'.

The Sporting News will provide updates on this development when available.

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Daniel Yanofsky is a combat sports editor at The Sporting News.