Notebook: Algieri may have got a gift; Cotto at the Garden and more.

By Rich Mancuso

This is not meant to diminish the talent of Chris Algieri who now holds a junior welterweight title.  It is difficult to diminish the effort of Algieri who fought with a closed right eye, however a split decision win and dethroning Rusian Provodnikov does merit some concern.  Was this a hometown decision for Algieri at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn this past Saturday evening?

Algieri, of nearby the Huntington New York, had a hometown crowd as an extra man in his corner. The fight was originally scheduled for the Nassau Coliseum and was shifted to Brooklyn and Barclays, home of the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA.

The marketing efforts of headlining Provodnikov in Brooklyn did not go to plan. The Russian community that came to support their champion did not factor with the judges at ringside, or one judge for that matter who scored it 117-109 for Provodnikov.  The split decision win for Algieri went his way, 114-112, on two other cards, and that is the subject of debate.

 That can never be answered correctly, after all this is boxing and decisions are always meant to be subjective.

One can look at the first round, 10-7 that went to Provodnikov because of two knockdowns. Then there are the judges that in the end were the difference. 114-112 for Algieri, because they obviously saw the complexion of this fight quickly change. The new champion moved and boxed accordingly, avoiding punches and had a solid jab.

But, how many of those jabs connected enough to render a 114-112 outcome? Further review of the fight, two times, and it can be seen that Provodnikov connected as Algieri continued to move away with a closed eye hindering his efforts.  And it is difficult to comprehend how one judge, name withheld for reasons, gave Algieri seven consecutive rounds of 10-9 after that first round:

Here is a breakdown that shows a disparity with the judge who obviously got it right from rounds 2-9 with the standard 10-9 going to the winner of the round:

Judge 1:                                        

Round 2: Provodnikov

Round 3: Provodnikov

Round 4: Algieri

Round 5: Algieri

Round 6: Provodnikov

Round 7: Algieri

Round 8: Provodnikov

Round 9: Provodnikov

Oh, the ringside judge who got it right, Max DeLuca was named a 2010 “Judge of the Year” by the WBC in 2010. By far, more experience than the other two who, in the opinion of this writer, gave Algieri a gift.

One other factor as to who gets to judge a fight of significance, they are appointed by the appropriate governing bodies of championship fights, that being WBC, WBA, IBF or any of the other alphabet soup organizations in the sport. Also, the respective athletic commission or control board, as they are also known, have a say in who gets to judge at ringside.

In this case, the New York State Athletic Commission, which has come under scrutiny too often, had a say in the matter of the three judges at ringside. Added to the mix, one of the judges (Name withheld) has business ties with a co-promoter of the fight, and it was not Top Rank which has promotional rights of Provodnikov.

There are obvious flaws in the system of scoring a fight at ringside, and who should get that opportunity. Experience is a factor, and that leaves a lot to be desired. Without a national boxing commission, scrutiny and experience at ringside will never be correct.

So, the sport will continue to leave the outcome in the hands of inexperienced officials at ringside, rather than utilizing the experience of former fighters to render decisions, especially those fights of significance.

Saturday night at Barclays Center, there was injustice again for the sport. Argue it is subjective but if the decision is constantly in question then boxing will never earn the respect that is rightfully deserved…

COTTO AND MORE:  Algieri could be in line for a rematch with Provodnikov but Mauricio Herrera, coming off a strong effort and loss to Danny Garcia, could be in the mix for his first title defense….Top Rank is denying reports that Algieri is a possible next opponent for Manny Pacquiao in November…

Miguel Cotto, home and enjoying the title as the first four-division champion from Puerto Rico is looking at options for his first title defense as middleweight champion.  The names being mentioned are all prominent and mega-fight material, in other words another Cotto pay-per-view fight is on the horizon.

Top Rank, working in conjunction with Cotto and his promotional company, are looking at a possible December date at Madison Square Garden. Cotto has made it known that the Garden is his second home when it comes to his career, the venue where has won and defended four of his titles, not counting a title loss to Austin Trout two years ago.

Two weeks ago, Cotto won a convincing fight and dethroned Sergio Martinez of the middleweight title at a sold-out Madison Square Garden, and there is every reason to believe that Cotto will look at the venue to be the site of his final fights when his illustrious career comes to a conclusion.

Cotto and Manny Pacquiao again will not happen. There is an issue of Pacquiao wanting to drop weight and the preference for Top Rank is for Pacquiao to return in November, preferably in China. 

The more likely scenario, as has been heard, is Cotto making a first defense of his new title at the Garden in December against Canelo Alvarez. Of course that fight can be made as boxing fans have seen some unity with Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy making peace with Bob Arum and Top Rank.

Yes, the so-called “Cold War” of the two major boxing promotions appears to be over now that De La Hoya and Richard Schaefer, his former CEO, have split. And for the betterment of the sport and for fans, finally he fights they want to see.

Assuming Alvarez can handle the weight, or it becomes a catch weight situation, a Cotto-Alvarez fight at the Garden could become a reality and set some records at the gate and on pay-per-view.

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