By: Anthony “Zute” George
When the Antonio Tarver vs. Lateef Kayode fight ended in a draw, I developed a sick feeling in my stomach. A draw in a boxing is never a good thing. They settle nothing, and, the boxing critics automatically think the draw happened only to make more money in a rematch.
As empty, and with as little substance, as that belief might be, draws are still very unappetizing and for the most part, bogus.
Most boxing matches end with someone deserving to win. With most draws, two judges split their vote for each fighter with the remaining card calling a fight even.
There are very few circumstances were a draw is valid, two major fights come to mind for me where such is the case:
Michael Dokes D 15 Mike Weaver 2: This fight took place in 1983. It is part of my boxing collection and it is a fight I watch quite often. While most folks felt Weaver was robbed, I am completely fine with a draw.
The first fight these two heavyweights had was much more controversial in my opinion as it was stopped way too early in the very first round. Dokes had Weaver with his back to the ropes but there was no call for a stoppage. It was one of the worst decisions ever.
Thomas Hearns D12 Ray Leonard 2: For those who know me, this has to come as a shock. Somehow, this fight has gone down in boxing folklore as a robbery. I firmly disagree, and anyone who actually watches the fight and scores it properly, will see it my way (probably not).
Not sure why everyone thinks Hearns dominated this fight, which would have had to have happened, if you thought he was robbed…right?
Yes, I know Ray was dropped twice, but there were ten other rounds to have scored. Leoanrd certainly deserved a 10-8 round of his own when he was banging Tommy all over the ropes in round five. This was a close fight that could have gone either way and in no way did a robbery take place that night.
There are plenty of other cases where a draw was a down right robbery. Way back in 1979 Vito Antuofermo earned a draw against Marvelous Marvin Hagler, one of the worst decisions ever.
There are many things that annoy about the so called beliefs in this fight. What I often read is that Vito ‘rallied’ late to make the fight close… really? Hagler won the first 11 or so round of this fight with the exception of maybe one by controlling the fight with his underrated right jab. Antuofermo, in rounds 12-15 was a little bit more competitive, but in no way swept these last four rounds. Even if you want to argue he did sweep the last four rounds, what type of mathematics do you use to make the fight even?
What happened here was that Hagler was supposed to roll over the Italian Champion, who was believed to have limited skills, another trend that is not true.
The only way Hagler was going to win here was to knock him out, as the judges, and a lot of the boxing world, felt Marvin did not deserve to win this fight if he could not knock out his opponent. Sound familiar?
Don’t lose your mind Hagler haters, and I know who you are. There have been cases where fights have been called a draw that was even worse than this fight.
Lennox Lewis D 12 Evander Holyfield 1 and Pernell Whitaker D 12 Julio Cesar Chavez are as bad as it gets. There is no way that you can point out a fight that is worse, you may be able to find some that are just as bad, unfortunately, but nothing is worse than what happened in these two fights.
Calling Holyfield or J.C. Superstar the winners in these fights would have been criminal; the sport would not have survived, so how in the world can it be a draw?
We have some big fights to look forward to Saturday night. Let us hope the dreaded D word does not come into play.
All the aforementioned fights were much bigger, and a lot more important to the sport, than Tarver vs. Kayode. What happened in that fight just reminded me, once again, how detrimental to the sport a draw can be.
Now I have no problem hearing critical remarks about my opinions here. However, I do have one small request: unless you are ready to come on Zutes Boxing Talk and debate with me, round by round, any fight you disagree with, kindly refrain from making any critical remarks.
Come with your scorecard or do not come at all. Any boob can say they felt someone was robbed. Prove it to me by comparing our scorecards. I have mine ready!!!