Monday, 19 March 2007

Sport: Boxing must clean up its act.

I love watching boxing and have done so for as long as I can remember. I've grown up watching the golden era of Hagler, Leonard, Hearns, Duran. I had the privilege of watching a young Tyson absolutely terrorize the heavyweight division. And of course, I'm a massive fan of the truly great Muhammad Ali.

Today I watched a brilliant fight between Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez in the 130-pound division. These are two of the finest boxers in the world at the moment, at any weight. They put on a superb display of skill, speed, stamina, courage, determination and will to win. The fight was so close that the decision could have gone either way. The commentators at ringside were split as to who they thought won. The great trainer Emanuel Stweard had Barrera narrowly winning. In the end, the judges gave it to Marquez.

I have no problem with the decision. However, I have a massive problem with the way the judges scored the contest. One judge decided that Barrera won only two rounds of the twelve. TWO ROUNDS? What were they looking at? It certainly wasn't the same fight as the rest of us. All of which leads me to the point of this rant: Who are these boxing judges? How are they qualified to judge some of the richest sporting events in history?

I'd really like to see only ex-boxers judge fights. They are the true experts. The sport needs to rid itself of the sort of farcical scoring this fight was subject to. Barrera, Marquez and every other fighter deserves nothing less.


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Elita said...

Well written article.