A year after unfinished fight, Askren insists Santos' eye injury faked

One Championship (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--It has been almost a year since his world title fight with Luis Santos was abruptly ended by an eye poking incident, but One welterweight champion Ben Askren still believes Santos just sold that call and that the injured eye is not legitimate at all.

"The last time I was in Manila obviously the bout didn’t have the outcome anyone wanted and my opponent was a lot less than courageous in faking his eye injury. The Filipino fans were unfairly robbed of a good fight. They lost the main event that night," Askren recalled that April 24 match-up at the Mall of Asia Arena while once again hitting out at his Brazilian foe.

A rematch was ordered in November in Singapore, but the fight was called off due to Santos not making weight, leading to both camps exchanging tirades on who is to blame for a series of postponements of the said showdown that was revealed during the aftermath of the cancellation.

Askren will return to the said venue on April 15 as he will defend his belt against Nikolay Aleksakhin at One: Global Rivals.

Askren vowed, "I owe the Filipino fans.... I have to do an extra dominant job on April 15th to make sure the Filipino fans get a fight made up to them that they lost out on last year."

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