Unfair Matchmaking, Refereeing and Judging is Ruining Pro Boxing ?
Editorial By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
If a second knockdown had been counted as his first one, former European Super Lightweight champion Sandor Martin would have earned a majority 10-round draw with former world champion Teofimo Lopez, instead of losing a controversial 10-round majority decision.
Former IBO World Cruiserweight champion Kevin Lerena dropped Daniel Dubois three times in the first round for what constitutes an automatic TKO win under World Boxing Association rules, but the British Boxing Board of Control superseded the WBA with its own rules. In addition, the timekeeper rang the bell 12 second too soon, allowing Dubois a double escape. In round three, Dubois dropped Lerena twice. Lerena got up, and the bell rang. However, the referee gave the victory to Dubois, the WBA Regular Heavyweight champion, without giving Lerena the chance to go to his corner for the next round. Both bouts were unrelated, but the circumstances still raise many questions.
Irish featherweight Michael Conlan’s first-round stoppage of Karim Guerfi in the SSE Arena Belfast televised main event was not Guerfi’s only first-round loss, but the mismatch was still made, to the delight of the Irish boxing fans in attendance.
Manny Pacquiao fought YouTuber DK Yoo for six rounds of two minutes duration, but it was hard to watch the mismatch slaughter, given Pacquiao trained for the charity bout. Only the historic Rocky Marciano versus Jerry Lewis charity bout was worse.
If the Tyson Fury versus Dereck Chisora III WBC World Heavyweight title main event bout, which looked more like a rotten exhibition in outdoor cold, was not a mismatch, I do not know what is. Fury looked like Rocky Balboa pounding a piece of meat hanging in a Philadelphia meat market and torturing it.
A 12 bout card on Saturday, December 10, 2022, at Olympia, in Liverpool, England, featuring only one match between fighters with a winning record. Eleven boxing with winning records were matched up against eleven fighters with either winless or extreme losing records. The eleven professional losers on the card combine for 462 losses total after they all lost on the card. On the Michael Conlan Belfast card on Saturday, December 10, 2022, the first three opponents combine for 90 losses after losing their respective matches.
On Sunday, December 11, 2022, on the Conor Kelsall card in Rotherham, England, the five opponents on the undercard combine for 384 losses after all five of them lost on the card, including the 153nd loss of light heavyweight loser Lewis von Poetsch, who was sent to the canvas on this occasion.
At the Metronome in Barnsley, England, on Friday, December 9, 2022, British light heavyweight Harry Matthews of York earned his 65th loss. Not to be outdone, on Saturday, December 3, 2022, on the Jake James seven-bout undercard at the Bolton Whites Hotel in Bolton, England, 140 bouts welterweight loser Fonz Alexander got himself knocked out at 54 seconds of the first round. The seven ‘B’ opponents on the undercard, none of whom had winning records, combine now for 373 losses. 0-25 Manchester lightweight loser John Spenser opened the card. In the second bout, a shocker occurred, when 5-14 super lightweight Karl Sampson of Manchester stopped 4-0 prospect Lerone Harrison at 2:15 of the second round, ruining the promoter’s state of mind.
Over the past weekend in the United States: 14-24-3 super welterweight Rondale Hubbert on Minnesota made it onto an Orlando card; 10-22-3 bantamweight Robert Pucheta made it onto a card at Commerce Casino; 6-14-1 William Davis made it onto Michigan card; at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, one of the five ‘B’ side opponents had winning records, and none of them won either, emerging with a combined 57 losses; 0-13 welterweight Marquez Greer, and 1-11 lightweight Ndira Spearman, got knocked out in the first round and the second round, respectively, in the opening bouts at Sports Arena in Memphis. However, the main event in Memphis featured an upset fourth-round knockout by 29-55-9 Arkansas heavyweight ringer Terrell Jamal Woods, who knocked 10-0 Istvan Bernath of Hungary. Woods, who previously outpointed 30-0 JD Chapman, and knocked out 8-0 Rolando Soto, was definitely the promoter’s nightmare in the main event.
When we look at all of these mismatches, we also have to look at the motivations behind them. The fighters on the ‘B’ side are almost always in there for the check. As Woods proved, though, the underdog is not always to be underestimated. Overall, at the highest levels and the lowest levels, rotten matchups, refereeing, and judging are ruining pro boxing. During the Pandemic, a buck is a buck. The majority of pro fighters, ranked or not, will take the green when it is offered. Perhaps this hypothesis is more a reflection of the Coronavirus time period, whereby fewer opportunities mean more motivation to take bout proposals when they are offered. In any case, the professional losers will always be there. 300-bout veteran and 256-bout British loser Peter Buckley’s ease at winning his final bout proves there could be many more ringers out there than one would be led to believe.