Eric Armit, who is a Director of the CBC and its former Chairman, is renowned worldwide as an authority on boxers records and also as a satirical and cynical observer.
Eric Armit writes in his capacity as a boxing journalist and not as a director of the CBC. His views and comments are his own and have not been the subject of prior discussion or consideration by his fellow directors, nor form official CBC policy.
Last weekend was one full of upsets and a few controversies. Amir Khan’s win over Paul McCloskey was no upset, and even the controversy was a bit of a storm in a tea cup.
The main complaints from the McCloskey camp were that the cut was not serious enough to bring the stoppage, and that, as the round was almost finished, the referee should have let McCloskey see out the round so that they could work on the cut. As far as the seriousness of the cut is concerned I would trust the decision of an experienced, neutral BBB of C appointed Doctor than a heavily emotionally engaged corner. With the round being 30 seconds from completion there may be an argument for the fight being allowed to go to the bell, but again, it is the duty of the appointed officials to make these decisions which they did. In addition McCloskey had lost every round and if Marcos Maidana with his 84% kayo record could not put Khan away, then there was even less chance that McCloskey with his 52% was going to do the trick.
For me this was the wrong fight in the wrong place for Khan. Forget about loyalty to fans; forget about a suitable opponent for over here, Khan needed to strike again in the US market whilst his stock was high over there. Instead he ended up with an unimpressive win and also had the damage of seeing his value as a performer suffer serious slights at the hands of Sky.
Sky may not be a major world player in the way that SHOWTIME and HBO are, but it was stupid to get dragged into a dispute with them, as you should never close a door in boxing. For me it showed a lack of political acumen by the Khan team, who have burned a few bridges that they might need as a safety net in the future.
Orlando Salido’s win over Juan Manuel Lopez was a huge shock. I had thought it an average, mark-time defence for Lopez, instead of which it became a major banana skin. The worrying thing is that when Salido did not crumble, and showed that he could floor and hurt Lopez, there was no plan B, and Lopez continued to walk into trouble. It would not be an Orlando Salido fight if there was no controversy. Salido had one of those beginnings to his career that make you shake your head at the great fear today of a fighter actually losing a fight. In his first 12 fights Salido’s record was 6-5-1, with four of those losses coming by way of KO/TKO, not the sort of start you associate with a future three time world champion. Salido failed in his first world title challenge in 2004 when he lost to Juan Manuel Marquez for the IBF and WBA featherweight titles-no controversy there. His next title challenge was against Robert Guerrero in 2006 for the IBF featherweight title when the Mexican won a clear, unanimous verdict, and was champion-until his test results showed positive for steroids, and he was stripped off the title. Next title fight for Salido was a controversial split decision loss to Cristobal Cruz in 2008, again for the IBF title. In May 2010 he won the IBF title in a return with Cruz. No controversy there. He then lost the IBF title in a unification match with Yuriorkis Gamboa. No simple losses for Salido. This time he managed to weigh 10lbs over the weight limit and lost his title before he even stepped into the ring.
The danger signs were there for Lopez as Salido had Gamboa on the floor in their fight. The much anticipated Lopez vs Gamboa fight will now have to be shelved. Bob Arm has promised Lopez that he will get a return, perhaps as early as August, but I am not sure it is something he should rush into.
The win for Victor Ortiz over Andre Berto was not so much of a shock as Salido vs Lopez, but it was a surprise. The stoppage loss to Marcos Maidana for the interim WBA title at light welterweight in 2009 and a disappointing draw with Lamont Peterson in his last fight at light welter in December, meant that Ortiz was a decided outsider in the betting. I feel sorry for Berto who must have found it frustrating to be the holder of the WBC title but be left out of the Pacquiao/Mayweather/Cotto/Mosley/Margarito money makers, now blow his title in a fight that he should have won.
The biggest upset, not in the sense of its impact on the boxing scene at large, but as a result, was the win for Muhammad Rachman over Thai WBA strawweight champion Kwanthai (I only use first names as they constantly change their second names to that of their new gym or a sponsor). Kwanthai was ten years younger, unbeaten in 32 fights, had made a career out of beating Indonesian fighters and had home advantage. Former IBF champion Rachman, generously rated No 12 by the WBA, had lost four of his previous six fights, including a six rounder with a four fight Thai novice in January, so should have had no chance. Instead the “Rock Breaker” not only won, but kayoed Kwanthai.
It made it a great weekend for Indonesia with Chris John and Daud Cino Yordan becoming the first two Indonesians to compete against each other for a world title. I wonder what the legacy of Chris John will be. If he was American, Mexican or European, then having a 45-0-2 record, being unbeaten in 14 world title fights, and having defeated challengers from Indonesia, Argentina, USA, Japan, Panama, Venezuela, Mexico (Juan Manuel Marquez), Australia and Colombia would make him an all-time great, but as he has only fought twice in the USA, and despite the above, he is not assured of a place in the International Hall of Fame and even now is currently overshadowed by Gamboa. I still have a bee in my bonnet around the standard of scoring and there were some classics at the weekend.
Sometimes the differences in the scoring make me wonder if the judges are on the same planet, let alone in the same stadium. In the fight between Leo Cruz and Martin Honorio on the Bayamon show one judge had it 100-90 and another 96-94, both for Cruz. That means that one saw Cruz winning every round, and if the other judge had scored one round that he gave to Cruz, to Honorio instead, then he would have had Honorio as the winner.
In the bout between Argentinian Matias Ferreyra and Chilean Oscar Bravo, one judge had Ferreyra winning on a score of 115-112 and another had Bravo winning 118-109. A difference of eleven points over 12 rounds. Even Chris John has figured in some strange scoring. When he beat Rocky Juarez in their second fight, one judge had John winning by ten points, and another had Juarez only one point away from getting a draw. No one in his right mind can say that there is not something wrong, either with the method of scoring, or the people doing the scoring. Heaven forbid we use the amateur scoring method, but I would at least like to see one Commission in the USA give trial period to the Compubox scoring method.
Boxing needs losers and some guys make a really good habit of it. You only have to look at how they have been matched to see that they are tailored to lose. Dennis Sharpe gave Deandre Lattimore eight good rounds at the weekend. Sharpe had lost his previous six fights, and the combined totally of his opponents came to 76-0. Ronnie Warrior Jr took Dmitry Salita the distance at the weekend, his third loss in a row, and if you include Salita’s record, then his last three opponents had combined records of 55-1-1. One “match” that was way out of line was European champion and IBF 3rd rated flyweight Andrea Sarritzu against Estonian Sergei Tassimov, who had won just one of his last 25 fights.
Armenian Khoren Gevor can consider himself very lucky to have been let off with a six month ban from the German Federation after he attacked the referee who halted his challenge to Robert Stieglitz for the IBF super middleweight title. There is no excuse for attacking a referee at any time, and to give a six month ban, knowing that the fighter would not be looking to fight again for 4-5 months is pathetic. What sort of message does that give out, and what protection and security does it give to referees?
I don’t know of a greater waste of time than trying to debate which fighter would win when the fighters never met or fought in different eras. The arguments over this can sometimes get quite heated, but one in Siberia went even further than usual.
According to reports, an argument over the merits of Mike Tyson and Klitschko brothers ended in murder as a Russian stabbed his friend to death in the Siberian city of Tyumen. Not worth arguing over, and certainly not worth dying for.
Once a fighter wins a title, it gives him a big edge when it comes to negotiations over his title defences. Apparently Australian Danny Green, the IBO “Cruiserweight” champion, has never fought at the 200 lbs limit. Really just a built up light heavyweight, in each fight Green has had since winning the title he has insisted that the bout be at catchweight with that weight limit set below the cruiserweight limit, and it is claimed that for his fight with B J Flores there were even financial incentives for Flores to come in at a lower weight. So it appears that the weight limit for any division is what it is declared to be the governing sanction body-as modified by what the champion is comfortable at. Not a new practice, since Manny Pacquiao has also insisted on a similar agreement.
The WBA have called for purse offers by April 28 for the fight between cruiserweight champion Guillermo Jones and interim champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez. There was a claim that this fight was already set for 25 June in Germany, but as far as I know the purse date is still valid.
Plenty of fights to look forward to. Amir Khan’s conqueror Breidis Prescott and Olympian Demetrius Andrade are in action on Friday against Bayan Jargal and Omar Bell respectively. The big event on Saturday is the final of the bantamweight tournament between Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko, with tournament losers Vic Darchinyan and Yonni Perez fighting for third place. On April 30 Gilberto Keb Baas defends his WBC light fly title against mandatory challenger Adrian Hernandez on April, and still on Mexican world title fights, Julio Cesar Miranda defends his WBO flyweight title against Brian Viloria June 4, Raul Garcia will defend his WBO straw title against mandatory challenger Rommel Asenjo in Mexico City, Hernan Marquez will defend his WBA flyweight title June 25 against an opponent yet to be named and veteran David Lopez will challenge WBA secondary light middle champion Austin Trout on June 11. Over in Panama the WBA secondary middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin will defend against Ugandan Kassim Ouma on June 4. Golovkin goes to Panama because of options held on him by the promoter out there when Golovkin kayoed poor Milton Nunez to win the interim title.
The heavyweights continue to be an old man’s game as Tony Thompson, 39, meets Maurice Harris, 35, with the winner to fill the No 2 spot in the IBF ratings. Harris is currently No 8 and Thompson No 9 so what happens to those above them only the IBF know.
This continues to be a crazy world. Swiss boxer Francesco Passanante became a double “world” champion at the weekend as he won the vacant World Boxing Foundation title and went from interim to full Global Boxing Association champion-by beating a Ghanaian of indeterminate age who had not had a fight for two years!
In Troy New York, Emmanuel Lucero, a Mexican living in Pennsylvania won the New York State title by beating a guy from Florida-only in boxing!!!