Boxing Insider Notebook: Estrada, Rungvisai, Easter, Barthelemy, Byrd, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 26th to April 2nd; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Estrada vs. Rungvisai Rematch Will Be Twice the First Fight
Juan Francisco Estrada says he will be 100 per cent fit for his rematch with Sor Srisaket Rungvisai – and that will make the fight twice as good as the first clash and see him become World champion at The Forum in Inglewood, LA on Friday April 26, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
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Estrada and Rungvisai served up a fight of the year contender at the famous LA venue last February, with the Thai star edging out ‘Gallo’ to retain his WBC Super Flyweight title and land the Ring Magazine crown.
Former WBA and WBO king Estrada was hampered in the build up by a knee issue for the first clash, yet the Mexican ace delivered a fantastic performance. The 28 year old has recorded a pair of wins since the majority decision loss to Rungvisai, and crucially, has enjoyed a great camp in Los Mochis, Mexico to enter the showdown in great shape.
“I’ve always said there’s always a second chance and we need to take advantage of it,” said Estrada. “I was 50 per cent prepared last time, not because I didn’t want to train but because I had some injuries that affected my preparation and we had no choice but to keep facing the fight as it was a very important fight. This rematch is an opportunity and we will make the most out of it because we are well trained and the goal is to be a World Champion, doesn’t matter if it’s against Rungvisai or anyone else.
“After his hand was raised, I knew there will be a rematch because it was an interesting fight for the fans and for us, it had to be a rematch. I had to win my way back with two or three flights because I was ranked on the top 10 but needed to come up to the second rank to be able to get this fight and my team and I made it happen.
“I had a knee injury first time around and my reactions were not the same. I could not run the same, I was tired but I showed heart. The final round was one of the best rounds of the year, and if I was 100 per cent prepared with no injuries the whole fight would have been like that and maybe he wouldn’t handle that round.
“When a right-handed fighter faces a lefty, it could be a boring fight because of the stances, but when Rungvisai and I fight, our style of boxing is a great match and I think it wasn’t a dirty fight, I think it was a good fight for the fans and that they enjoyed it.
“If he is 100 per cent prepared like he was or more, I think it will be a more aggressive fight for both of us, a tougher fight but I will throw a lot more punches and that will make the difference. He is a fighter that doesn’t throw a lot of combinations, he is a fighter that is has trusts his punch, he has very strong punches and I progressively throw more combinations. I will look for the knockout thawing more punches and showing more intensity.
“Really being champion is the most important, doesn’t matter who is it against, and fighting Rungvisai, in my opinion he is the best of this division. If god gives me the chance to win the fight, I would like to fight against other World champions and defend my title with a few fights and then get to the next division.
“It will be like the first fight but now throwing a lot more punches, and like I said our styles are a great match. Our physical preparation will be crucial last time I was 50 per cent and now the key will be to get their 100 per cent.”
Estrada’s rematch with Rungvisai tops a huge card in Los Angeles with WBA World Super-Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman and IBF ruler TJ Doheny clashing in a unification battle.
Jessie Vargas (28-2-2 10 KOs) is on the hunt to become a three-weight World champion and he faces fellow two-weight World king Humberto Soto (69-9-2 37 KOs) in a crunch clash for their elite level aspirations. The Soto clash will be Vargas’ first fight with new trainer Freddie Roach, and it’s a busy evening for the Hall of Fame coach as Scott Quigg (35-2-2 26KOs) also looks to move to world honors in a new weight, targeting a Featherweight World title shot in the second half of the year.
Unbeaten Super-Middleweight talent Anthony Sims Jr is set for a breakout year and will fight for his first title on the bill. Sims (17-0 16 KOs), who is in action in Peterborough, England on Saturday night live on DAZN and Sky Sports, clocked three stoppage wins in the second half of 2018, and will look to convert that momentum in style in first the UK and then in LA.
Shakhram Giyasov (7-0 6KOs) and Diego Pacheco (2-0 1KO) landed wins in Tijuana, Mexico this weekend and will fight on the bill, while Eddie Hearn’s latest addition to his blossoming stable of young USA talents, Houston’s Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams, will make his pro debut on the card.
Robert Easter Jr. and Rances Barthelemy Meet in WBA Lightweight Title Fight on April 27th
Former lightweight world champion Robert Easter Jr. and former two-division champion Rances Barthelemy will meet for the vacant WBA Lightweight Title on Saturday, April 27 live on SHOWTIME from The Chelsea inside of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and will also feature former super lightweight champion Viktor Postol taking on France’s Mohamed Mimoune in a WBC super lightweight title eliminator, while rising heavyweight sensation Efe Ajagba looks to remain unbeaten against once-beaten German Michael Wallisch in a 10-round heavyweight attraction.
Easter vs. Barthelemy pits two highly skilled and explosive former 135-pound champions against each other as they look to grab a title and vault themselves back into the top echelon of the lightweight division.
Easter will return to the ring for the first time since losing his IBF title in a unification showdown with WBC Champion and pound-for-pound great Mikey Garcia last July on SHOWTIME. Barthelemy is undefeated at 135 pounds and returns to the lightweight division for his second fight since losing a 140-pound title rematch to Kiryl Relikh last March on SHOWTIME.
“Two former champions looking to reclaim their championship status speaks for itself in terms of the action and will to win that Easter and Barthelemy will bring on April 27,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Both guys have already proven that they have what it takes to take care of business at this level. The eliminator bout, with Postol bringing his experience and Mohamed looking to take advantage of the opportunity, is a great lead-in to the main event attraction. Plus, Efe Ajagba will bring his A+ game in pursuit of a victory over Michael Wallisch. The fans in attendance at the Cosmopolitan here in Las Vegas, and tuning in on SHOWTIME, are in for a treat.”
“Easter vs. Barthelemy is a true 50-50 fight that will end with one of these fighters leaving the ring with one of the top spots in the lightweight division,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Both are former world champions at lightweight and possess the styles and attributes that should make this an action-packed match. Combined with a very competitive title eliminator between Viktor Postol and Mohamed Mimoune, plus the can’t-miss punching power of Efe Ajagba, this is going to be a dramatic night on SHOWTIME and at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions in association with About Billions Promotions, go on sale Monday, April 1, and can be purchased at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster.
The 28-year-old Easter (21-1, 14 KOs) won the IBF Lightweight Championship in 2016 by edging an exciting split-decision against then-unbeaten and current IBF titleholder Richard Commey. After two successful title defenses in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, Easter defeated former champion Javier Fortuna by decision in a January 2018 fight in SHOWTIME.
That victory set up a unification with WBC champion Mikey Garcia, in which Easter survived an early knockdown to push Garcia the full 12 rounds before coming up short on the scorecards. At 5-foot-11, Easter has continued to show the combination of size, skill and athleticism that made him a highly regarded prospect following an amateur career that featured a spot as an alternate on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.
“I’ve wanted to fight Barthelemy since he had the lightweight title and vacated it, and now I have the chance,” said Easter. “He has an awkward style and I’m up for that challenge. I am still coming in as the taller fighter with a reach advantage and I’ll use it to make this fight go how I want it to. He is a former world champion and he is coming to bring it just like I am.”
A decorated Cuban amateur who hails from a boxing family that includes his older brother, Olympic Gold Medalist Yan, and younger brother, unbeaten featherweight Leduan, Rances Barthelemy (27-1, 14 KOs) will return to lightweight to vie against one of the best fighters in the division. The 32-year-old now trains in Las Vegas and previously captured a 135-pound belt by defeating Denis Shafikov in December 2015.
Barthelemy won a 130-pound championship by defeating Argenis Mendez in 2014 and attempted to become the first Cuban three-division champion when he moved up to 140-pounds for his first fight against Relikh, a title eliminator that he won by decision. After dropping the rematch to Relikh in a vacant title fight on SHOWTIME, Barthelemy returned to the ring in December and stopped Robert Frankel.
“I’m looking forward to a great fight against Robert Easter Jr,” said Barthelemy. “I know I have what it takes to beat him and capture another title and become a three-time world champ. My best performances have come at 135 pounds. Both of us are former world champions who are hungry and will give the fans a sensational night of boxing. I’ve never lost at lightweight and that will continue on April 27. Don’t miss this fight on SHOWTIME. It’s now or never!”
Originally from Ukraine, but now fighting out of Los Angeles, Postol (30-2, 12 KOs) previously earned a 140-pound world title by knocking out Lucas Matthysse in 2015. The 35-year-old dropped the title in a unification showdown with Terence Crawford in 2016 before bouncing back by defeating then unbeaten Jamshidbek Najmiddinov. Last June he dropped a decision to unbeaten contender Josh Taylor and most recently he defeated Siar Ozgul in November.
The 31-year-old Mimoune (21-2, 2 KOs) has fought professionally since 2010 and will be making his U.S. debut against Postol on April 27. Representing Haute-Garonne, France, he is unbeaten in his last 10 fights dating back to 2014. His last five victories have come in 12-round decisions, including two last year over then unbeaten Emiliano Dominguez and most recently against Franck Petitjean.
Nigeria’s Ajagba (9-0, 8 KOs) gained notoriety last August 24 when his opponent, Curtis Harper, walked out of the ring after touching gloves to start the first round. The 24-year-old, 2016 Nigerian Olympian won the fight without throwing a punch as Harper was disqualified. In his last fight Ajagba, who lives in Stafford, Texas and trains with Ronnie Shields, defeated his toughest competition to date by stopping longtime contender Amir Mansour after two rounds.
Fighting out of Munich, Germany, Wallisch (19-1, 12 KOs) won his first 19 pro fights after turning pro in 2010, including a German heavyweight title-winning performance in 2013 against Alexander Kahl. The 33-year-old fought three times last year, picking up two knockout victories before losing to Christian Hammer in December.
World Heavyweight Champion Chris Byrd Joins BYB Extreme Announcing Team
Two-time world heavyweight boxing champion and 1992 Olympic silver medalist Chris Byrd has been added to an already strong BYB Extreme pay-per-view announcing team for its inaugural event, “BYB Brawl 1: Brawl For It ALL”, on Friday night, April 5, live from the Cheyenne Ice & Event Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Byrd will be part of the BYB Extreme announcing team at cage-side, along with blow-by-blow announcers Din Thomas and the othercolor commentators, Dyrushio “Rusy” Harris and his brother, Dhafir Harris, AKA iconic backyard-brawler Dada 5000. Tony Martinez will support the BYB announcing team in Spanish (SAP option), while veteran Bob Alexander is the BYB ring announcer.
“I’m excited to be part of the BYB team,” Bryd said. “I’m Looking forward to commenting and sharing my vast knowledge of boxing and many years of experience. Although the two sports are different, they are still very much the same. Looking forward to April 5th
“BYB Brawl 1: Brawl For It ALL” Is the first sanctioned-event promoted by BYB Extreme Fighting Series (BYB), bare-knuckles fighting’s most intense combat sports promoter, featuring 10 professional bare-knuckle fights and two mixed-martial-arts fights, all held inside the “The Trigon”, the most confrontational cage in combat sports. The much-anticipated show is presented by title sponsor Pure and Natural (www.getpureandnatural.com) and available to watch live worldwide on pay-per-view.
BYB Extreme and Lights Out Productions was initially inspired by the Backyard Fights that were held in Miami, featured in the award-winning documentary “Dawg Fight”, which debuted on Netflix and it still remains available to watch. Dada 5000 was the subject and star of “Dawg Fight”. Production of “Dawg Fight 2”, produced once again by award-winning documentary filmmaker Billy Corben (Rakontur), concludes at “BYB Brawl 1: Brawl for it ALL”.
Byrd, who now lives in San Diego, captured a silver medal for Team USA at the ’92 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. In 2003, Byrd upset Vitali Klitschko to become the World Boxing Organization (WBO) World heavyweight champion. During his illustrious professional career, Byrd (415, 22 KOs) also defeated Evander Holyfield and David Tua.
“Seems like every day a new piece gets added that gives BYB more depth and experience,” BYB Extreme president Mike Vazquez noted. “The addition of two-time World Heavyweight champion and US Olympic medal winner Chris Byrd does just that. We are very excited that Chris will be joining Din Thomas, Rusy Harris and Dada 5000 as part of our BYB Brawl broadcast team. His experience as a world Champion and what he will bring to the commentary is priceless. BYB may be a relatively new series, but we have all the tools to bring fight fans what they want, exciting well matched fights and a quality and experienced broadcast team that know first hand what they are talking about.”
“BYB Brawl 1: Brawl For It ALL” will revolutionize bare-knuckles fighting with all fights held inside its triangular cage, “The Trigon” (pictured below) – 7′ high fences, two beveled corners and a 60-degree, tight third-corner forming a triangle, totaling 187 square feet – marking the first time a professional bare-knuckles event is held inside a cage. This will also be the first time bare-knuckles fighting and MMA are contested in a cage on the same night.
Yunusov Shows Heart and Determination with Unanimous Decision Over Colon at SugarHouse Casino
Three-time Olympian Anvar Yunusov remained perfect by getting off the deck and fighting through a bad cut to win an eight-round unanimous decision over Carlos Colon in a junior lightweight bout that highlighted an action-packed ten bout card before a sold-out crowd on Friday night at SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia.
The card, which was promoted by King’s Promotions in association with Titans Boxing Promotions, was streamed LIVE (and now can be seen on-demand) all of the world on the King’s Boxing Facebook Page. The Main event can be seen HERE
Yunusov was dropped by a right hand in round three. He was cut badly in the same round over his right eye. Yunusov was able to shake off the rough 3rd frame to come back and put Colon down with body shot’s in rounds four and five. Yunusov was able to control the action down the stretch, and win by scores of 79-71 and 78-71 twice.
Yunusov of Philadelphia by way of Tajakistan is now 7-0. Colon of Lares, Puerto Rico is 5-2.
Erik Spring and Terrance Williams locked up in a very competitive eight-round super welterweight battle that saw Spring come through with a majority decision.
Spring of Reading, PA won by scores of 77-75 and 76-75, while one card read even at 76-76.
Spring is now 12-2-2. Williams of York, PA is 5-3-1.
Popular super middleweight Brandon Robinson needed one left hand to the body to take out Lawrence Blakey at 2:49 of the 1st round of their scheduled six-round bout.
Robinson of Philadelphia is 12-2 with nine knockouts. Blakey of Pittsburgh is 5-13-2.
Colby Madison beat down Emilio Salas and scored a 2nd round stoppage in a scheduled six-round heavyweight bout.
Madison of Owings Mills, MD is 8-0-2 with five knockouts. Salas of Yonkers, NY is 5-3-1.
Laquan Evans took a four-round split decision over Jordan Demko in a a middleweight bout featuring pro debuters.
The fighters mixed it up in an entertaining four-round scrap that saw the fight go back and forth. Evans was able to overcome being dropped in the 1st round.
Evans was able to fight back, and win by scores of 39-37 and 38-37 with Demko winning a card 39-37.
Anthony Mercado proved to be too much for Andres Navarro by scoring a stoppage at the end of round five of a scheduled eight-round bout featuring junior welterweights based in Puerto Rico.
Mercardo is 13-4 with 11 knockouts. Navarro is 11-8-1.
Ryan Humburger and Brent Oren put on a display that not only thrilled the capacity crowd in attendance, but kept everyone on their feet for the duration of their middleweight bout.
Both guys took turns pounding away on each other, with each debuter being several times before Oren was worn down and not able to come out for round four.
Michael Coffie scored a vicious 2nd round stoppage over Eduardo Vitela in a scheduled six-round heavyweight bout.
Cofffie landed a thudding left hook that immediately knocked Vitela out, and the fight was stopped at 1:10 of the 2nd frame.
Coffie of Brooklyn, NY is 6-0 with five knockouts. Vitela of Durango, Mexico is 3-4.
An Explanation for All These Controversial Scorecards
By: Ben Sutherland
Adalaide Byrd’s recent 118-110 scorecard at the Canelo v Golovkin fight was seemingly outrageous. It left many out there, including myself, pondering the legitimacy of the whole thing. More fuel was added to the fire at last weekend’s heavyweight title fight between Joseph Parker and Hughie Fury who were contesting the WBO world title. In what was a close fight which could have gone either way, Fury probably didn’t do quite enough to definitively dethrone Parker. However, as the scorecards were read out, another 118-110 card appeared in favor of Parker. Fury and his team were livid and spent the rest of the night speculating about corruption in the sport to any media outlet that would listen.
Photo Credit: USA Today
Thanks to fights like these, boxing fans have recently been become increasingly disillusioned and disenfranchised with a sport that seems to often be predetermined. However, what if there was a more innocent explanation?
Boxing is subjective. Some judges prefer better technical work and boxing ability whereas many other judges will look for work rate and punches thrown. In this way, it is possible for two separate judges to view a close in favor of a different fighter. On the assumption there are no knockdowns each round would be scored 10-9 to whichever fighter each judge selected.
Boxing scores do not leave space to account for how close each individual round was. In one round, a boxer can be punched around the ring, take heavy body shots, big uppercuts and spend the entire 3 minutes tucked up or staggering around the ring but provided they don’t hit the canvas, the round is 10-9. In another round, the contest could be incredibly close with both fighters throwing similar numbers of shots, landing similar numbers of shots and evading similar numbers of shots. However at the end of it, one fighter still wins the round 10-9. There is obviously a massive difference in these two rounds but this is just simply not reflected on the scorecards.
Let’s take this a step further. For this hypothetical I will use Parker and Fury as my fighters. In this hypothetical scenario, one judge marginally prefers technical boxing ability and the other has a slight inclination towards work rate. The first round could be ridiculously close and the two judges in question could give the round to a different fighter. So after round one, one scorecard has Parker up 10-9 and on another Fury is up 10-9. If the second round is also very close, there is no logical reason why the judge would give the round to the other fighter this time. Perhaps he could worry that his scorecard might not reflect how close the fight is and give the round to the other fighter for this reason. However, it would be professionally dishonest for the judge to give the round to the other fighter simply because he was fearful of controversy. If the fight carries on playing out in this close fashion, the judge would carry on giving the rounds to the fighter he prefers by a miniscule margin. If we extrapolate this over the course of 12 rounds, it is therefore possible for our unbelievably close fight to be scored 120-108 to Parker by one judge and 120-108 to Fury by the other judge.
Any assumption that a close fight should be scored 114-114 is simply illogical. This type of thinking reflects the flawed logic in what is known as the gamblers fallacy. This is the idea that because you flip a coin once and it lands on heads, it is more likely to land on tails the next time. In reality, the chance of landing a tail the next throw is identical to the first throw – 1 in 2. The parameters of each throw have not changed and the fact that the coin landed on heads the first time does not change the coin in any way and so it is no more likely to land on tails the next time.
This same logic applies to boxing. Just because Parker scraped the first round by the skin of his teeth does not mean that if the next round is really close that it should be given to Fury.
Perhaps then, both the Canelo v GGG and Parker v Fury scorecards were symptomatic of a close fight. It just seems very difficult to reflect that in the scoring system. Whilst a 10-10 round is a possibility, it is used infrequently both official scorecards and TV scorecards. Perhaps it is time to get a bit more trigger happy with it?
The “Byrd’s” A Good Example Of How Officials Can Ruin an Event
By: Ken Hissner
Have you ever watched a major show and they go to the score cards and you think “what fight were they watching?” A judge and referee can make a big difference in an event.
The first Kovalev-Ward bout with Kovalev the defending champion was a good example how a referee can influence a fight. Ward initiated 46 clinches in their 12 round fight without having a point taken away from him by referee Robert Byrd who has to be the slowest referee to react in the game today.
Byrd’s wife Adalaide a boxing judge in Nevada made news voting for Saul Canelo Alvarez 118-110 over WBA, WBC, IBF, IBO middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin who chased Alvarez for all 12 rounds on September 16th. Byrd has been a boxing judge for some 30 years and should have had the fight much closer than what she did have it. Due to the many complaints from boxing people it’s understood she will be getting some “vacation time!” This writer had it 116-112 for Golovkin.
This writer feels Alvarez has not earned a rematch and should fight Danny Jacobs who gave Golovkin his hardest fight even if Jacobs may have outweighed him by 15 pounds or more. We don’t know since he refused to go to the day of the fight weigh-in. If Golovkin gained ten pounds in 24 hours Jacobs could have gained at least ten pounds more than that.
Golovkin should schedule his next fight as if he was given the decision he deserved and fight the WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders with all the titles on the line. Jacobs is scheduled to make his next appearance in November. The bout with Golovkin must have taken its toll on him to be off some eight months.
Nevada has become a joke for approving the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Conor McGregor bout with Mayweather 49-0 and McGregor 0-0. Roy Jones, Jr. did something similar in AZ fighting someone who had 6 amateur bouts and no professional fights. There should be “no exception” for these mismatches to be approved by these states just to “make money” from them.
New Jersey Boxing Commissioner and Hall of Fame referee Larry Hazzard, Sr., had the following to say: Unfortunately Boxing Judges and Referees can’t afford to have a bad night because most boxers only get one chance at that great moment of winning a world championship and/or captivating a great moment. I don’t buy into this corruption theory that’s espoused by some people but, I do sincerely believe that we don’t buy into this corruption theory that’s espoused by some people but, I do sincerely believe that we boxing administrators have a responsibility to make the necessary changes in the sport of boxing that will hopefully improve and enhance judging methodology.
We just can’t keep using the same judges and referees over and over for the major high profile bouts when there is a multitude of other officials who rarely get opportunities to display their abilities. We need to also, do an in-depth examination of the present scoring system and encourage judges to be more liberal with the numbers to paint a clearer picture of what is taking place round by round. A close round and a not close round, even when a knock down does not occur, is not deserving of the same 10-9 score. The New Jersey Commission has never been afraid to make changes for the betterment of the sport of boxing despite initial criticism. The replacement of the mouth piece and the wearing of rubber gloves by the referee and corner men were initiated here in NJ and criticized when initiated. Now both are standard practices around the boxing world.
Instant replay is another innovation which originated here in NJ.
We intend to explore a judging innovation very soon because if you keep doing things the same way, you will only get the same results.
For My Opinion of Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez Decision, Read Between the Lines – I Don’t Want to Be Sued by Judge Adelaide Byrd
By Ivan G. Goldman
What can we say about judge Adelaide Byrd, who scored only two rounds for Gennady Golovkin even though most folks agree he won more rounds than Canelo Alvarez?
I must phrase this carefully because you can call public figures incompetent and they have no grounds for a lawsuit. But if you call then corrupt and you can’t show evidence, they might come after you in court. And I don’t happen to have any videotape of favors changing hands. But I do have that fight recorded on my DVR.
Don Trella scored it 114-114 and Dave Moretti had the most intelligent score of all, which, coincidentally, was identical to mine, 115-113 Triple G. And then there was Adelaide. I can’t bear to type her score. Look it up somewhere else, thanks. Anyway, the fight was ruled a draw.
As for Adelaide, LBJ had a saying that covered these situations. “Never,” he said, “get in a pissing match with a skunk.” And some boxing judges make skunks smell like daffodils.
So there you have it. Triple G-Canelo was a great middleweight fight marred by one of those “controversial” decisions. It’s a word boxing media folks call upon that covers both ineptitude and corruption, and we have plenty of both in boxing.
Much of the corruption is actually within the rules. State commissions ostensibly choose judges, but following vague regulations, they consult with the promoters. Sometimes promoters make up the list and commissions do nothing more than rubber stamp them.
The promoters pay the salaries of the judges, which they earn on a fight-by-fight basis. Promoters also pay expenses – flights, meals, hotel rooms, room service, etc., etc. The rules in this regard are big enough for a cargo container to slip through. Expenses can include an envelope stuffed with cash. Really. I know of a California judge who demanded promoters order and pay for his hookers. Another judge ratted him out, but so what? The commission took no action.
Many judges are inclined to please certain promoters in hopes they’ll be remembered as friendly for future fight cards. Judges can be ranked from blatantly corrupt to a little corrupt (which is a lot like being a little pregnant) all the way over to aggressively honest, like Pat Russell, for example. He’s a former Army infantry officer who served in Vietnam and was a distinguished San Diego detective before he retired. If you offered him a bribe I have no doubt he’d dial 911.
The bigger the fight, the more the officials earn. It can come to many thousands of dollars for a big PPV fight. The referee will ordinarily earn more than the ringside judges. You see those referees who wear WBC, WBA, etc, on their shirts? They’re all jostling for those designations. The corrupt alphabet gangs take “contributions” from promoters and also have a say in choosing officials.
Some officials haven’t made much headway in their day jobs or have no day jobs at all yet figured out how to get officials’ licenses. You may wonder why people who share the same last names are often boxing officials. It’s not easy to make the roster, but certain families seem to have no trouble at all, but their familial ties are, of course are as much a coincidence as the succession of Assads in Syria or the Kims in North Korea.
Perhaps you noticed that Robert Byrd, Adelaide’s husband, refereed a fight on the same card.
You want to try something? Go down to your local commission and try to apply to be an official. If you have no juice it’ll give the commissioners’ flunkies a good laugh. Even if you get a license, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get any assignments.
I’m told that Adelaide has been a judge for about 20 years. She’s judged 22 fights so far this year. Judges like Adelaide Byrd are very much in demand.
You’ll often hear folks call for their suspension after a particularly grievous job like the one she pulled off Saturday night in Las Vegas. And sometimes they actually do get suspended. A little time off and they’re slipped back into the lineup. And they always come back. They’re a valuable asset to the promoters who hold their noses as they choose, select, and pay them.
Maybe you’re tired of reading about crummy officiating. I know I’m tired of writing about it. Forgive me. This time I saw no other choice.
Ivan G. Goldman’s 5th novel The Debtor Class (Permanent Press, 2015) is a ‘gripping …triumphant read,’ says Publishers Weekly. A future cult classic with ‘howlingly funny dialogue,’ says Booklist. Available wherever fine books are sold. Goldman is a New York Times best-selling author.