In a sport where sanctioning bodies routinely manipulate the rankings to serve their interests, where networks permit promotional companies to dictate scheduling and where promoters allow a general distaste for one another to get in the way of making the best fights, is it possible that judging is the most corrupted part of boxing?
The short answer: Yes.
Exhibit A: Saturday night's
Well, not everyone.
Fortunately, the other two judges scored the fight for Diaz and he emerged with a split decision, but the inexplicable scoring by Hamada left observers in a state of disbelief.
"That's one of the worst jobs of scoring I have ever seen," said HBO boxing analyst
Kellerman was right. This fight wasn't even as close as the other two judges made it, 115-113 and 116-112. Diaz's jab, which, according to CompuBox, connected nearly 400 times, was carving Katsidis' face from the second round on. Diaz's slashing body shots clearly took their toll as, at times, Katsidis didn't even look like he wanted to throw punches. CompuBox, which at this point seems like a reasonable alternative to human judging, had Diaz landing 296 of 801 punches (37 percent), while Katsidis landed only 149 of 868 (17 percent).
With interest in non-
While Ruiz may have some legitimate points, there is zero chance that the WBA will overturn the decision and declare the fight a no-contest as Ruiz is requesting. Why is Ruiz surprised that there were questionable decisions made in an overseas fight? Corruption may just be in the fledgling stage in the U.S., but in Europe there have been accusations of corruption for years. When Ruiz lost to Valuev for the first time in 2005, the decision was so blatantly wrong that the German crowd -- staunchly in Valuev¹s corner before the fight -- roundly boo'd the new champion. Ruiz protested to the WBA after that loss and was rebuffed. There is no reason to believe his words will fall on more sympathetic ears this time around.
The sticking point is TV rights, with Klitschko's camp wanting the fight televised on RTL and Sauerland preferring it on the rival ARD network. Klitschko isn't interested in this fight anyway. He'd much prefer a unification fight against another Sauerland fighter, newly crowned Valuev, but the delays probably ensure that Klitschko will not fight for another world title in 2009.
Pairing the two hard punchers together would guarantee action and also unify three of the middleweight titles. Win, win.
Will someone tell me when Jones regained his status as an elite fighter? No one was a bigger Jones fan than me but he hasn't been the same since Tarver dropped him in the second round in 2004. That was the first of three straight losses for Jones, who has somehow revived his career with wins over the likes of
So no, I'm not a huge fan of this fight.
If I have to pick a winner, however, I'm going with Calzaghe. Jones laid some big punches on Trinidad, but Tito was about as mobile as the Statue of Liberty in that fight. Calzaghe doesn't have the pop to knock Jones out, but his hands are still among the fastest in the sport and he'll have Jones chasing him around the ring while he counterpunches him to death. Take Calzaghe in a unanimous decision.