December 30th’s Random Boxing Rants

My prospect of the year picks for 2017 were a mixed bag:

https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/pound4poundirelands-2016-fighter-fight-knockout-round-prospect-upset-and-trainer-of-the-year/

Top pick Jarrett Hurd won a vacant title against Tony Harrison, then beat skilled veteran Austin Trout, both in entertaining fights, to set himself up for a unification against the likes of Jermell Charlo.

Unfortunately, #2 pick Jason Quigley suffered a setback with a serious hand injury, suffered in a tougher-than-expected win over Glen Tapia in March, his only bout of the year:

Hughie Fury boxed just once also, a close loss for a world title against Joseph Parker.

He was ultra-defensive and reluctant to engage, frustrating the plodding Parker in possibly the year’s most boring fight, one in which both men looked terrible.

Fury will get other chances in the future, but while he proved he has a skillset to hang with some of the divison’s top ten, he’ll have to be a lot more aggressive to succeed.

 

Unfortunately, just two of the ten bouts I craved in 2017 (Canelo-GGG & Ward-Kovalev II) actually took place:

https://pound4poundireland.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/fights-to-look-forward-to-in-2017/

This is surprising, perhaps, given that 2017 has to be viewed as a strong one for the sport, probably the best since 2013.

Some of the fights (Gonzalez-Inoue, Joshua-Haye, for example) withered on the vine due to the older boxers suffering losses and appearing to be shot.

 

Looking back at my monthly Judging the Judges pieces from the past year, the question emerges of who were some of the worst repeat offenders of the year?

Britain’s Bob Williams claims the unenviable #1 position amongst referees & judges with 5 separate citations for poor officiating.

Phil Edwards, Steve Gray, Steve Weisfeld, Ian John-Lewis, Victor Loughlin, Don Trella, Jamie Garayua, Steve Morrow, Tony Weeks, Irakli Malazonia, Richard Ocasio and Valerie Dorsett also picked up multiple mentions each.

Dishonourable mention must also be made of:

  • Adalaide ‘118-110’ Byrd
  • The Arkansas commission for allowing a HIV-positive boxer to fight
  • The New York commission for their sins as outlined by Thomas Hauser
  • WBO supervisor John Handelaar for not knowing the weigh-in rules of his own organization
  • Clark Sammartino for not knowing the identities of the boxers in the fight he was judging
  • And extra special mention to Bob Bennett and the Nevada commission for their sanctioning and subsequent justifications of Mayweather-McGregor, as well as the Rigondeaux-Flores post-fight mess.

Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (December 2017)

Dec. 2nd – Let’s start on a rare positive note, by giving credit to judges Julie Lederman, Steve Weisfeld and Eric Marlinski for correctly judging Sadam Ali the winner over Miguel Cotto on his swansong outing.

It would have been very easy to be swayed by the sentimentality of the whole evening and gifted the decision to the hugely popular veteran.

Dec. 9th – It’s never too late for one of the robberies of the year, however.

Tevin Farmer schooled Kenichi Ogawa in a vacant 130lb. title fight, only to find himself robbed by the cards of Max DeLuca (115-113) & Burt Clements (116-112).

Dec. 13th – Bob Williams missed a clear knockdown scored by Lawrence Okolie in the second round en route to his stoppage of Portuguese journeyman Antonio Sousa.

The real controversy came later in this York Hall show, and again involved Bob Williams.
He laughably scored hyped prospect Conor Benn a 57-54 winner over Cedrick Peynaud after a wild 6 rounds, meaning he had not scored a single round to Peynaud after the 10-7 first session.
This makes absolutely no sense, considering that Peynaud hurt Benn again in the third and was generally in control until the 5th round. In fact, Benn didn’t even need to score his dramatic 5th and 6th round knockdowns to get the decision!
One of the year’s worst cards.
Dec. 16th – Billy Joe Saunders pitched a Wright vs. Trinidad-esque abject shutout on home boxer David Lemieux in Montreal.
Gerardo Martinez’s 117-111 card was stupidly generous to the Canadian.
Dec. 22nd – Rose Volante won a 135lb. title against Brenda Karen Carabajal in Argentina, scoring two knockdowns on her way to the win.
Hector Miguel seemed intent on robbing her, however, turning in a 94-94 score.
The Fury/UKAD situation, raging since their February 2015 failed drug tests, and chronicled much of the way on this site (largely in this ‘judging the judges’ section), has finally come to a conclusion, if not a wholly satisfactory one:

In my view, it boils down to this: UKAD reportedly feared legal reprecussions because of their mishandling of the case, namely the gross “delays in results management”, but also did not want to appear toothless by appearing to not sanction the Furys over the tests.

The Furys simply wanted to put the case behind them, and, in the case of Tyson, to box on again as soon as possible.

Thus, the two-year backdated ‘non-ban’ ban was invented, lip-service to a legitimate process and punishment, but not changing the fact that Tyson was allowed to potentially box dirty to beat Klitschko in late 2015 (something UKAD are careful not to suggest when outlining Tyson’s subsequent clean samples) when he could have been banned in the event of an expedited results procedure.

Pound4poundireland Scorecards from December 2017

Anthony Yigit 117-111 Joe Hughes, officially UD

Rey Vargas 120-108 Carlos Negrete, officially UD

Sadam Ali 117-112 Miguel Cotto, offically UD

Lee Selby 120-108 Eduardo Ramirez, officially UD

James DeGale 114-114 Caleb Truax, officially Truax by MD

Francisco Vargas 89-82 Stephen Smith (technical decision), officially TUD

Tevin Farmer 118-110 Kenichi Ogawa, officially Ogawa by SD

Jake Ball 99-92 Miles Shinkwin, officially UD

Katie Taylor 96-93 Jessica McCaskill, officially UD

Alexander Povetkin 120-107 Christian Hammer, officially UD

Yves Ulysse 100-87 Cletus Seldin, officially UD

Billy Joe Saunders 120-108 David Lemieux, officially UD

 

From September:

Joseph Parker 115-113 Hughie Fury, officially MD