By Jackie Kallen
Boxing is getting to be a frustrating sport to watch. I love it, have been part of it for over three decades, but I still get really upset when a fight is decided by incorrect scoring and a fighter’s career is effected negatively.
It happened to my fighter Michael Dallas in late June when he clearly beat a game Mauricio Herrera and was handed a loss for his efforts. In my opinion, it was more than just bad judging, but that’s the way this game works. Promoters and fans have certain favorites for various reasons, and I believe the judges are influenced by it.
The Paul Williams/Erislandy Lara fight was another one of those inexplicable decisions. I like Paul Williams (both personally and professionally) and I was really hoping he’d get his career back on track with a decisive and impressive win in Atlantic City. The loss to Martinez was the kind that can really rock a boxer’s world and effect his future performances. He needed a strong showing over the previously unbeaten Cuban fighter.
By the end of the fight, it seemed apparent that the shorter Lara did what he had to do to eke out the win. Williams’s bloody face told the story. Even his own corner seemed to feel that he was behind going into the final round.
This is not a new problem. Remember the second Leonard/Hearns fight? I sat there in amazement when the judges declared it a draw. Even Ray Leonard was shocked. He knew he had lost that fight. That decision no doubt still irks Hearns today–22 years later.
I have to wonder: Are these lousy decisions good or bad for our sport? Some fans say the controversy keeps people watching and prompts boxers to fight even harder to knock opponents out. But some men are just not easy to drop. So why isn’t solidly out-boxing your man enough to earn a win?
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen