Once again the judges got it wrong

By Rich Mancuso

Saturday evening, once again boxing got it wrong and you can blame the judges.  Mauricio Herrera, at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, In Bayamon Puerto Rico was rendered with a majority decision his quest to win the junior welterweight title from Danny Garcia. A tough fight to score, and at the least Herrera deserved the draw.

Moments before the Herrera outcome, bantamweight Josh Crespo of New Haven Connecticut was denied a win when judges rendered a four-round draw against Luis Acevedo, the closing bout on the NBC Sports Net Adamek-Glazkov heavyweight fight from the Sands Resort in Bethlehem Pennsylvania.

Yes, it is a recurring issue. The judges got it wrong and in fairness to the fighters and fans it makes boxing look bad.  Crespo has been through this route of a draw, his second in four fights.

The magnitude of the scoring outcomes is the same as always. Either have a better selection of the judges at ringside, as stated in the past, perhaps former fighters should have that role, or continue to advocate the cause to clean this mess with a national boxing commission.

Or, as Crespo said after one judge had the fight 39-37, two for Acevedo, “I personally felt like I didn’t press enough on the last round and that could have been a 9-9 round.”

He added, “Got to knock them out.”  And in fairness to Crespo, and also to Herrera, fighters are becoming more aware that they need a knockout or stoppage to secure a rightful win in the ring.  And it is because leaving the outcome in hands of the judges is a risk and leaves to more questions than answers.

“He never threw one body punch,” stated Crespo in his defense about the draw to Acevedo who made his pro debut. The opponent, from accounts, was a promotional fighter of Main Events. Crespo went on to say, that “One round does not make a draw.”

No, one round does not constitute a draw and Crespo may have been denied a win. Though in the fight game, a draw is as good as a win. Crespo was not thinking that on the drive home to New Haven, more so, as is with any fighter, a draw is a setback when a win should have been granted.

He said, “It was clear I was the sacrificial lamb. I knew that going in.” However, no fighter, either, the up and coming Josh Crespo, or the championship contender, Mauricio Herrera, should have the mentality of approaching an opponent as the lamb.

Herrera, according to the Showtime broadcast team won the fight. The final tally here was a draw, though it can be debated that he was the more aggressive fighter and could have won by a round. Two of the three judges at ringside in Puerto Rico gave Garcia four rounds.

Oh, open scoring did not help the situation.  Herrera, the crowd and television viewers knew Garcia was ahead after the fourth and eighth rounds. So, the judges may have been swayed to look at the fight differently in the later rounds.

But, we all know that is not possible. Because judges appointed for fights at ringside are supposedly competent, and are not aware of punch stats and other statistical evidence that assist with their decisions.

Yes boxing got it wrong again Saturday night. There will be other opportunities along the way for Herrera and Crespo. But until the judges get it right, boxing will always be a questionable sport and that is not fair to the fighters.

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