Articles from Ewan McKenna and Steve Bunce worth reading before tonight’s event:
What else is there to say about the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor freakshow?
I have little sympathy for Paulie Malignaggi, who allowed himself to be used and abused by the McGregor camp.
For a man so seemingly savvy (and certainly smart enough to try to parlay this ‘controversy’ into a fight of his own with McGregor), he got punished for his derision of McGregor: drafted in for one reason only, to snap a viral picture of him on the ground & capture a 30 second clip of McGregor success perfect for the social media age.
Who cares what else happened in their 20 full rounds of sparring? Who cares that Malignaggi was out of shape, jetlagged, shot, retired, knocked out by little known Sam Eggington? Who cares that the ‘knockdown’ was flash at best?
History is these days written by the social media winners and perception is all that matters.
And the widespread perception among casual sport fans going into tonight that will help drive ludicrous PPV numbers is that McGregor can box and he beat up a world champion…so why not do so again?
He’s wearing 8oz gloves, which supposedly gives the guy who’s never worn them an advantage over the guy who’s fought with them almost 50 times.
Thank god for bookmakers and legal gambling in this part of the world. I’ve never seen odds like this.
Found a stream of the Cotto-Kamegai weigh-in pic.twitter.com/l5z0l1DrBI
— James (@FoloPunch) August 25, 2017
Oscie isn’t happy that McGregor didn’t choose to fight his man:
— Tom Craze (@TomCraze) August 26, 2017
July 1st – Frank Buglioni vs. Ricky Summers could have been scored either way.
Robert Williams’ rubbish 118-111 card didn’t at all reflect the action.
In Russia, the usual incompetent officiating took place throughout the card headlined by the disgraced Alexander Povetkin.
There was a scandalously late stoppage from ref Irakli Malazonia in Sergey Lubkovich-Gabor Gorbics.
Gorbics battled on with a closed eye and suffered a highlight reel KO for his troubles.
Irresponsible refereeing at its worst.
The exact same thing happened with, you guessed it, the same referee in charge of the night’s co-feature as Eduard Troyanovsky took on Michele Di Rocco.
The fight should have been stopped after the penultimate knockdown, the referee was too far away from the action as the final blows rained down, and it all resulted in a cruncing final punch to punctuate another highlight reel finish that should have been avoided.
Ref Viktor Panin was at the centre of a bizarre interlude in the Povetkin-Andriy Rudenko main event.
Halfway through the first round, a simple clinch and cuffing rabbit punch left Rudenko complaining of a neck injury, and he turned his back, refusing to fight on.
What followed was a five minute period when the ringside doctor openly gave treatment to Rudenko (since when is this allowed?), before he finally continued, and ended up going the 12 round distance, only intermittently complaining of the injury.
Clearly everyone involved was desperate to avoid the fight ending as an early no contest/unsatisfactory TKO, but was such an interlude anywhere in the rules? Shouldn’t Panin or someone at ringside have had a handle on what the correct procedure should be?
Since Panin initially didn’t rule any type of foul, accidental or otherwise, shouldn’t Rudenko’s sudden refusal to fight have resulted logically in the fight immediately being stopped?
July 2nd – Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn will surely go down as the year’s most debated and controversial fight, with opinions sharply divided on whether Horn was a worthy winner or Pacquiao was robbed.
Count me in the former camp, as I thought Horn was the clear winner and felt much of the ire for the judging (emanating mostly from the US) stemmed from Teddy Atlas jumping the shark on commentary for ESPN.
In my view, Chris Flores, Ramon Cerdan and even Waleska Roldan (whose 117-111 card matched my own) did a perfectly competent job.
July 8th – Phil Edwards allowed constant fouling and lacing from Gary Corcoran, as he mauled his way to a highly debatable decision over Larry Ekundayo.
July 29th – Jorge Sebastian Heiland hobbled around from the first bell against Jermall Charlo and never, excuse the pun, stood a chance.
Benjy Esteves Jr. should have stopped the fight earlier than he did, and in round 2 he showed amateurish indecision by initially made a hand motion to rule a knockdown a slip, only to then change his mind & pick up the count.
Heiland claimed to have suffered the injury at the beginning of the fight, but that seems an outright lie. Reportedly, Heiland even had trouble walking at the weigh in.
How such physical debilitation was not noticed and acted upon by anybody at the New York State Athletic Commission is a mystery.
It almost seems as if no pre-fight medical examination was carried out, which seems ludicrous, until one thinks that this very oversight was committed by this same commission in the recent past, as exposed by Thomas Hauser.
Jarrell Miller dominated Gerald Washington, stopping him after 8 rounds.
One judge somehow had the bout even at the time of the stoppage, but, at this time, I have been unable to find out which of the three it was.
July 30th – Victor Ortiz vs. Saul Corral should have been stopped after the penultimate knockdown, which would have saved Corral from an unnecessary brutal KO.
Shame on ref Jack Reiss.
Nevada State Athletic commission boss Bob Bennett is boxing’s least believable liar:
“I’m known as an executive director to be very conservative in approving fights, whether they [be] MMA or boxing. I have a format that I go by that I had to deviate a little from.”
An oxymoron, with the emphasis on moron.
His barely concealed glee at securing an “unprecedented event” for his state was vomit-worthy at yesterday’s fight week presser.
Further belly-laughs can be had in delving further into his reasoning for sanctioning this bout, acting as if a Nate Diaz fight in UFC has any bearing on a debutant taking on the best boxer of recent decades:
Most disturbingly, the NSAC flouted their own rules in allowing the use of 8oz gloves for this 154lb. fight, despite an open letter from the Association of Ringside Physicians warning of the dangers of such a decision:
Bennett sure did a 180 in the weeks following this quote from August 2nd:
It’s almost surprising until one takes into account all the previous occasions Nevada has bent over backwards to accomodate their favourite son:
Ricky Summers 115-114 Frank Buglioni, officially Buglioni by UD
Alexander Povetkin 120-108 Andriy Rudenko, officially UD
Jeff Horn 117-111 Manny Pacquiao, officially UD
Larry Ekundayo 116-112 Gary Corcoran, officially Corcoran by SD
Jahmaine Smyle 95-94 Darryll Williams (rematch), officially Williams by MD
Bradley Skeete 119-109 Dale Evans, officially UD
Sullivan Barrera 98-91 Joe Smith Jr., officially UD
Jezreel Corrales 96-92 Robinson Castellanos (technical decision), offically TMD
Miguel Berchelt 119-108 Takashi Miura, officially UD
Mikey Garcia 118-110 Adrien Broner, officially UD
Robert Easter 118-107 Luis Cruz, officially UD
Is anybody surprised that Anthony Yarde pulled out from the Hosea Burton purse bids to instead fight a rubbish ex-MMA fighter?
Burton would be a “step backwards” according to Frank Warren.
Currently, Yarde has to be viewed as all hype until proven otherwise.
Shannon Briggs tells the truth but not the whole truth:
Just when you thought the public bust up between Amir Khan and his wife (feat. Anthony Joshua) would be the most embarrassing boxing break-up of the year, enter Chris Eubank Sr. to throw his jodhpurs into the ring:
Fairly shocked by the Frampton/McGuigan split, although rumours had been going around for a while.
This was a link-up that was widely expected to be career-long. It’ll now be interesting to see which TV station, trainer and promotional entity Frampton aligns himself with.
Cyclone promotions will rely almost solely on Josh Taylor going forward.
April 22nd – Away boxer Max Bursak was harshly deducted two points for holding by ref Tom Taylor in his one-sided loss to Gilberto Ramirez.
Oscar Valdez vs. Miguel Marriaga was a fiercely contested fight, marred by the cards of Julie Lederman (119-108) & Steve Morrow (118-109), who gave the challenger no credit for his efforts.
Blue chip prospect Shakur Stevenson eased to a debut win over Edgar Brito, but with a weird ending.
The bout was stopped on an inocuous looking cut (caused earlier by a head clash) at the bell to begin round 6, so it went to the cards.
Perplexing, however, that Steve Morrow, Pat Russell, Fernando Villarreal would all score the sixth round (which had to be perfunctorily scored as per the rules despite not a single punch being thrown) for Stevenson!
Insert joke about cards already being filled in pre-fight here.
May 6th – Ref Tony Weeks missed Joseph Diaz Jr.’s knockdown of Manuel Avila in round two of an easy win.
May 13th – Star amateur Josh Kelly’s mismatch against Jony Vina should have been halted by ref Shaun Messer long before things got nasty halfway through round 4.
Conversely, on a separate UK card the same night, Philip Sutcliffe Jr. was clearly stopped prematurely by the notorious Howard Foster in the sixth round of his fight with Josh Leather.
The circus of Mayweather-McGregor and inevitable whoring out of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and its unethical boss Bob Bennett began appropriately, with Bennett declaring that he does not view the bout as the mismatch almost the entire world does:
May 19th – Andy Kremner dominated Fonz Alexander in an entertaining four rounder in Bolton, only to be forced to settle for the narrowest of 39-38 verdicts on the card of sole adjudicator, ref Darren Sarginson.
May 20th – Ryota Murata was inexplicably robbed against Hassan N’Dam at home in Japan, Gustavo Padilla (116-111) & Hubert Earle (115-112) the offending parties responsible for what will likely be one of the year’s worst decisions in a significant fight.
May 26th – Faded former titlist Mike Alvarado battered Matthew Strode in two rounds.
But notably, Strode was given a standing 8 count by ref Dave Smith earlier in the round when under severe pressure, something which was simply not part of the rules for the bout.
Either stop it, or don’t, Dave.
May 27th – Anthony Fowler stopped Latvian lemming Arturs Geikens in the first round of his pro debut, but not after clocking his overmatched foe with a big shot while he was already down.
He’s lucky Geikens didn’t play for the DQ, although ref John Latham decided to ignore the original knockdown and allow the bout to continue after approximately a minute’s recovery time. Geikens was promply stopped, for real this time, before the round was over.
The ref didn’t look like he knew what the proper ruling was, and one wonders if such a rule exists in the BBBofC regulations.
June 10th – Boxing never ceases to surprise, and usually not in a good way.
Ryan Burnett dominated Lee Haskins to capture a bantamweight world title in Belfast. Shock greeted the rendering of the decision as a split, US judge Clark Sammartino scoring it 118-110 Haskins.
It soon transpired that Sammartino didn’t know which boxer was which and had put his scores in the wrong columns.
How in the hell can a judge travel across the Atlantic to work a fight and not know who the hell is who out of its two participants?!
Imagine if this had been a close fight, would the error have even been revealed?
After one of the most shockingly incompetent errors imaginable, Sammartino should obviously never be allowed to judge a fight again.
June 17th – A quite incredible night of officiating and regulation this was in Las Vegas…
The worst came first in Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Moises Flores, as Rigo landed a punch, seemingly unintentionally, clearly after the bell to floor Flores (who had thrown and missed his own punch simultaneously), who admittedly did his best Andre Dirrell impression, feigning that he had been knocked out & failing to rise up to take his stool.
What followed was the most bizarre 20 minutes you’ll ever see as a lengthy debate ensued between Drakulich (who insisted that as far as he was concerned the punch landed before the bell, as well as saying that if it landed after it would be a disqualification, without mention of the intentional nature of the punch or otherwise affecting such a decision…which is a fundamental misunderstanding of the rules from a supposedly top ref), Robert Byrd and NSAC boss Bob Bennett.
Then Bennett and Drakulich put on headphones to view the finish again on video replay, but, unable to get sound to figure out when the bell rang, acted as if the matter had been resolved and decided on a KO.
Then Bennett was rightly roasted by Jim Lampley is a live HBO interview.
The result has since been changed to a no contest, but this was absolutely farcical.
Cedric Agnew, a former world title challenger, saw his bout with Dmitry Bivol downgraded from a 12 to a 10 rounder by the Nevada commission because he had only recently taken part in 8 rounders.
Is this really the same commission that sanctioned Conor McGregor to make his pro boxing debut against Mayweather? Consistency and common sense be damned…the rules too, but more on that in the next edition of ‘Judging the Judges’.
And in the main event, one can debate all day about whether Ward was en route to a truly decisive win over Sergey Kovalev in their much-anticipated rematch. However, at least a few of the finishing blows were below the belt and ignored by ref Tony Weeks.
Even the stoppage itself was strange, as Weeks halted it immediately as Kovalev dipped in a sitting position to the middle rope, when a knockdown (the ropes holding Kovalev up) would have been the more appropriate call.
Overall, a misfire of officiating that spoiled the fight.
In Belfast earlier that night, Craig Evans decisioned Stephen Ormond, effectively ending his career as a contender at title level. He did this despite having to contend with flagrant headwork from Ormond throuhgout, none of which was cautioned by ref Phil Edwards.
June 30th – Robert Easter vs. Denis Shafikov in Easter’s home town of Toledo was a competitive fight.
The shutout scorecards of Henry Eugene Grant & Jamie Garayua in no way reflected this.
On the undercard, Jamontay Clark took on away fighter Ivan Golub and received a questionable unanimous decision, featuring the terrible 79-73 card of Ken Bucher. Ref James Howe was also at fault for missing a crucial knockdown in round 4.
Adam Abramowitz of Saturday Night Boxing sent an impassioned letter to Bernie Profato, the Executive Director of the Ohio Athletic Commission, to outline the many problems:
Thomas Hauser writes on the quite incredible goings on (skipping a pre-fight medical examination, death threats, misunderstanding by regulatory personnel of basic rules, throwing away taxpayer money by overstaffing events, cowtowing to UFC political pressure, and more) at the disgraceful New York State Athletic commission, who are evidently doing their best to top their Nevada counterparts: