By: Anthony George
Boxing is alive and well despite what mainstream America thinks of it. A miscellaneous sport…? I think not. Yes boxing has a lot of issues, and a lot of corruptness, what sport doesn’t? Boxing is held to a different standard when it comes to the amount of shit that sticks to it. I particularly do not get this because when it is right, boxing has the biggest payoff of any sport. And I can prove it.
Whether it is baseball, football, basketball, and, of course, hockey; if a fight breaks out in one of these sports it is always the most exciting part of the game – always the biggest news. If a fight breaks out in the crowd in one of these games, the fans could care less about what is going on, on the field, court, or ice. They want to see the fists fly. Boxing provides this kind of action virtually every weekend. So how can a sport, which always provides what the American public wants, be categorized as miscellaneous? Considering how huge boxing is everywhere else in the world, there could be only one answer. We Americans are a bunch of dumb asses. Of course this does not count for anyone who visits BoxingIQ.com .
This weekend provided one of the best Friday night fights of the year. I saw Mauricio Herrera out work Mike Dallas over ten rounds and get a well earned decision. Teddy Atlas, Joe Tessitore and a whole lot of fans saw something else. Not sure what type of glasses they were looking through.
The main event provided something special. I am not sure how far John Molina is going to go, but I do know, twice now, he did something on FNF which is rare. To stop a guy with such conviction in the later rounds, after losing pretty much all of the early rounds is rare in this sport and should not go unnoticed. This guy just fights a different type of fight, has a different type of mindset, than most fighters, and I love it. Show me more!!!
HBO had a pretty good card this weekend as well didn’t it? Tavoris Cloud took care of business, Bermane “Don’t call me Laverne” Stiverne, had a victory in the small mould of John Molina, although I would be just fine never seeing him again. Then, there was the main event. Devon Alexander “the Great” faced off against Lucas Matthysse who was coming off a split decision loss against Zab Judah. Judah was sort of on home turf when Matthysse fought him. Now, he had to come and do battle with Alexander on his home turf. It was sad how easy of an outcome it was for everyone to predict. The writing was on the wall for this one, in blood.
Anyone who felt this fight was not a robbery, I say shame on you. If your only defence is that there have been much worse decisions in boxing history, which is no defence at all. If your only defence if that Matthysse could not stop Alexander, I say HOGWASH! Since when is that an excuse? Perhaps if that was in the contract beforehand, all Alexander has to do is go the distance, he wins; but we all know that proposal is as ridiculous as all of these excuses. I am as big a defender of boxing as anyone, but there is no defending this stinker of a decision and it is hard to imagine it was not predetermined in some way.
Those defending this, as not being a robbery, did get me thinking. What are some of the worst robberies in boxing history? Unfortunately, there are so many to choose from, it is hard to make a definitive list without leaving a whole bunch out. So here is what I think are five of the worst decisions in boxing. My thinking went from 1970 on, as I have not had the pleasure of seeing a whole lot of boxing prior to that, although Doug Jones vs Clay comes to mind as one I could have put. I also omit Marvin Hagler vs. Sugar Ray Leonard, as everyone knows that is near and dear to me.
I leave it out because I have heard most people agree with me on this one, saying Hagler won but there are still a lot on the side of Ray. But for the people I have asked, it is about a 7 to 3 ratio in favour of Marvin… a lot of smart folks out there. I also leave out staples like Lewis- Holyfield 1, Whtikar-Chavez, and Delehoya-Sturm. These are pretty well regarded as some of the worst, and talked about on Zutes Boxing Talk, quite a bit.
With this I wanted to provide you with five other stinkers you can sink your teeth into.
1. James “Lights Out” Toney vs Dave Tiberi- February 8, 1992: This fight stunk on many levels. Toney already pulled the rabbit out of his hat against Reggie Johnson and Mike McCallum. Tiberi was a journeyman to keep Toney busy, as a rematch with McCallum was close down the road. While Toney ‘won’ a split decision, the fight was not even close. If Toney won three rounds, that was a lot. Alex Wallau who called the fight with Dan Dieordorf, was disgusted and let Toney know about it. The saddest part of all is Tiberi, who worked his ass off got jobbed. He would never have a moment like this, fight above his head like that, again. Toney, who blamed not being in shape on the performance, was rewarded with not training properly. This behaviour did not catch up to Toney again until he fought Roy Jones.
2. Muhammed Ali vs. Ken Norton 3- September 28th, 1976: The only fight to be held in Yankee Stadium. I guess the result was such an embarrassment, the Boss said, no thanks, to anymore boxing. Again, for those who think Ali won this, and there are a lot, produce to me the scorecard where Ali wins more rounds than Norton. Since Ali only won four rounds, at best, it is truly impossible. What is amazing about this one is it was a unanimous decision. They didn’t even try to make it look good! The three officials who gave it to Ali, Barney Smith, Harold Lederman (yes the same one), and referee Arthur Mercante.
3. Jose Luis Ramirez vs. Pernell Whitaker 1- March 12th, 1988: The fight took place in France and gave prominent American fighters a legitimate excuse to not want to fight over seas. Unlike most of these robberies, Pernell had a chance to redeem himself in a rematch and did so big time. Perhaps this is why this one goes a little bit under the radar. It is still, however, pound for pound, one of the biggest robberies in boxing history.
4. Jose Luis Castillo vs. Floyd Mayweather 1- April 20th 2002: For all of those who love to boast about Floyd’s “0”, either did not see or forgot about this fight. It was absolutely a disgusting robbery. Floyd knew he lost, just like everyone else. When else has he been so humble and grant an immediate rematch? To his credit, Floyd did win the rematch (although not as impressive as Whitiaker did). The sad thing about this one is, besides still having to hear about Floyd’s “0”, it took the chance away from Castillo of having the distinction of being the only man to dominate Floyd Mayweather jr., and be in one of the greatest fights of all time. Excuse me as I hold my nose.
5. Nicholas Iannuzzi vs. Lateef Kayode- February 4th, 2011: Freddie Roach’s unbeaten protégé was matched up against a tough opponent in Ianuzzi. But someone he was supposed to look good against, Ianuzzi showed boxing skills that Kayode could only dream of. Kayode had no answer for this surprise and was thoroughly beaten in every aspect of a boxing match. Around round 7 or 8, Roach told his beaten fighter his only course of victory was by knockout. There was no other option. It turned out Roach was the only honest man in the building that night. What is most sickening about this fight is that Ianuzzi lost a point in a round ten and it did not matter as two out of the three judges had Kayode winning away, 98-92, 97-92. If this was not foul play, there ain’t no such thing. Now SHOBOX is still shoving the very mediocre Kayode down our throats. Terrible!!!
It is worth mentioning that I am not suggesting these are the five worst robberies ever. I am sure you have some of your own that you feel are worse. These are just five I felt are worth mentioning and wanted to get you guys thinking about.
**R.I.P Nick Charles. I am so glad HBO gave you your wish to call one last fight. You were a pro.
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