By Ivan G. Goldman
Remember that putrid draw decision after WBO super featherweight champion Rocky Martinez was out-hustled, out-smarted and outfought by Juan Carlos Burgos? Well, something may be done about it, but true justice — a reversal of the decision and a victory to Burgos — is not even being considered.
Martinez, by pulling out a draw, managed to keep his title.
What’s missing is any worthy action by the New York commission, which has the ultimate power to decide wins, losses, and draws under its jurisdiction.
But the WBO has posted an article on its Website stating that it will review the outcome. In the article by Jhonny Gonzalez, WBO president Juan Carlos Burgos says that videos of the January 19 bout in Madison Square Garden will be sent to five judges for review. The WBO will pay them to score the fight. Depending on their conclusions, the WBO will then order a rematch or allow Martinez to take on another challenger.
The original decision wasn’t the worst we’ve seen, but that’s only because the number of corrupt and/or incompetent scoring outcomes remains so overwhelmingly high and climbing. The way commissions and their atrocious officials conduct business every day is one of the biggest turnoffs in the sport.
This one had the odor of a bastardized hometown decision. Burgos, who took the fight to the champion in the first few seconds, stayed on him for twelve rounds, clearly winning most of them. But Burgos hails from distant Tijuana, and beating a Puerto Rican in Madison Square Garden can be like trying to hit a hole in one and bowl 300 on the same day.
Martinez had his moments and won some rounds, but it was pretty much impossible to award him more than four. Waleska Roldan’s score of 117-111 Burgos was right on the money. John Signorile’s score of 114-114 was absurd, and Tony Paolillo’s tally of 116-112 Martinez was downright funny. Much has been made of the fact that these judges were relatively inexperienced. Yes, but aren’t judges supposed to know at least a little about the sport before they gain that experience?
The WBO also conducted a review using five anonymous judges after Timothy Bradley was awarded a split decision over Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas last June. The review result was a clear victory for Pacquiao. The WBO ordered a rematch, but so far Pacquiao has failed to exercise it. The Pacquiao camp decided a fourth fight against Juan Manuel Marquez offered more money and glory. You can bet they’d love to get in a time machine and decide that one again.
In the meantime, if we see Signorile and Paolillo on national TV again it will tell us quite a bit about the New York commission, don’t you think?
Ivan G. Goldman’s boxing novel The Barfighter was nominated as a 2009 Notable Book by the American Library Association. Information HERE