Ventilation in my bulging, bulbous sac is always allowed in this corner of Universo Pugilistico, so there, let’s go through the BS of the last few weeks so we can embrace the good things that await us. This week we have comments/questions on everything Haney-Lomachenko (and some Spence-Crawford and Mauricio Lara).
Haney-Loma Fallout I (Generally Feeling Bad)
I need to vent my frustration somewhere, I am convinced that Lomachenko won Saturday’s fight. I see a lot of people talking about Haney’s shots to the body, but mostly they weren’t as repetitive as all the headshots Loma landed and Haney’s inability to slip out Loma’s left side.
I shot the fight somewhere around 8-4 for Loma and was generous to Haney in 1-2 rounds. I felt sick to my stomach when I saw Loma’s reaction after the results were announced.
I think that’s what Paul is, if Lomachenko is rich enough I think he should retire because he won’t accomplish more things while he’s tied to Top Rank.
As I said in my preview for Haney-Lomachenko, this is around the time Arum usually starts putting his old guys out to pasture. What makes this situation slightly different is that Haney apparently did not re-sign with Top Rank (as Paulie Malignaggi suggested), and Lomachenko entered the fight as a Top Rank fighter. If we go by Arum’s historic operating procedure, then Lomachenko should get the benefit of the doubt on the judges’ scorecards. Who knows?
Lomachenko could win one of the four belts Haney vacates as he goes to 140. He will eventually face Shakur Stevenson and, IMO, be decisively defeated. There will be a few more paydays for Loma in this, but he will definitely be pieced together and retired with “L”. So what he does next depends on the contracts he is tied to and how comfortable he can retire at the moment.
Haney-Loma Fallout II (Fixing Rating)
I think athletics commissions need to change the way they build and train umpires. At the same time, they need more middle-aged judges. It’s time for a new generation of referees and judges. The fact is that most of the judges come from the old school American amateur system. They’re suckers for body shots, stabs, and touching gloves. As simple as it may seem, this is what wins fights on the amateur circuit in America, and this is where most judges are stuck.
More than often, when a questionable decision comes up, it goes to a guy who constantly throws body shots, stabs, and touches his gloves.
Judging boxing matches is extremely subjective. But when you trace the background of most American judges, it sometimes explains why they score fights the way they do. If 3 judges scored the fight in Haney’s favour, that obviously tells us that they set the same criteria for themselves.
After all, I just can’t stand it when a conspiracy theorist alleges corruption in boxing.
In general, the correct result should be a draw. Had Loma won 115-113 in a fight with so many close rounds. 115-113 for Haney is not very far fetched. 116-112 deserves criticism, but it means Moretti gave Haney every close round.
– Nail Rahman
I hear you, but I have to disagree on one key point – that boxing refereeing fails because of general scoring criteria and their basis in amateur aesthetics. There is corruption. This is not a conspiracy theory. It’s not corruption in the sense that the promoter hands the judge an envelope of money and says “let my guy win”. Boxing institutionalized corruption and made it part of the internal regulatory and administrative structure. I’ve written about this before (one of the few who delved so deeply into a topic that can often be a suicidal career issue for boxing writers), so I’ll quote myself from an article I wrote in The Boxing Tribune (“Boxing is Dirty Little Secret”). By the way, Google it … has some telling quotes from Steve Cunningham, Bobby Czyz and a few others:
“For those unfamiliar with the boxing refereeing system, here’s how it works:
The list of judges, pre-approved by the lead promoter, is submitted by the sanctioning body to the committee (which is also often filled with buddies and old buddies of the promoter) and from this list, three judges are appointed to the bout. The promoter is then responsible not only for ensuring payments to the judges, but in some states is required to provide food, lodging and a small allowance to cover the judges’ expenses. In other words, the current system is one where the promoter controls virtually every aspect of the selection and remuneration of officials.
In short, the person with the most to win or lose in a fight has almost the final say on who will judge and lead the fight involving his fighter…
While there is no evidence of overt pressure to win the fight to the benefit of the main promoter’s fighter, there really is no need for any coercion. The implication is clear if you’re the judge – Rate the fight the right way, otherwise you might not get your next big assignment. No easy paycheck, no paid vacation, no hotel room, no diet, no adrenaline rush from being at the ring for a big fight.
It’s quite telling how “mistakes” always seem to happen to the host. He also says how those referees who are famous for making these mistakes rarely do so when it comes to no-fanfare fights that don’t mean much to promoters. Even a notoriously bad referee like Gale Van Hoy, who seemed to be rewarded with loads of assignments after any terrible refereeing job, gave very reasonable scorecards in the smaller fights he refereed.
The training and judging criteria may play a minor role in the failure of the referees, but I think the main problem is the incestuous relationship between the referees/officials and promoters, and the fact that no one really defends (or even mentions) the push for reform in this field. Hell, by the time this column comes out, the media will be flocking to some other issue or other news that pushes all this referee discussion back to the dark corner of the sports closet.
Haney-Loma Fallout III (Commission)
Questions for you:
Do you think the actions of the NV Boxing Commission over the past two weekends are incompetence or something else? How would you solve the problems?
That’s something different. As I mentioned above, it’s no coincidence that “incompetence” always works in favor of the home fighter. Haney-Lomachenko may not fit this particular scenario, but let’s just say that 99% of the time “mistakes” happen in favor of the player fighting for the money.
Above, I will discuss in more detail why this may be so. Check it out.
As for the fix? Nothing but a complete overhaul of how officials are elected, paid and supervised will fix this. In the current system, no change is enough. There could be 50 judges hanging from every possible corner of the arena, making full use of computerized live fight data, forced to reveal their cards publicly after every round, and we’d still have the same mess. It’s like taking a rotten stew, replacing the carrots and expecting it to be edible.
Unfortunately, no one wants to talk about it. The big names in the media know that touching what could be a true business killer is professional suicide, so they never mention it either. So what’s left to do? As some media hustler once told me in an email: “Drop the illusion. You shoot spitballs at armadillos.
Haney-Loma Fallout IV (with Spence-Crawford expansion)
Good thing, I always enjoy reading your thoughts on boxing, but Saturday’s fight was rough when we heard the decision. I had Loma in 2 rounds, I thought he was pushing to fight, he was the aggressor for most of the fight. He hurt Haney, if not, Haney felt his power. I don’t agree with the result, and most of all, I think Dave Moretti had shady cards in other prizefights. What is your view?
Now Crawford-Spence– who do you have and why? Thanks.
I agree. I had Lomachenko 115-113. I don’t want to hear about “it was close so it can’t be robbery”. We boxing fans are conditioned to this crap. We really are the abused women of the sporting world. “My husband didn’t hit me very hard last night… and it wasn’t really his fault anyway…” If the wrong man is declared the winner, that’s wrong, it’s a robbery… Period. And seeing the logic that was used in awarding the rounds, I think there is a clear reason to say that the judges got it wrong.
My choice remains the same as the first fight offer – Crawford by decision. Crawford’s versatility and freshness in the ring will be key factors in securing his win on points.
Haney-Loma Fallout V (Future)
Whether you think Lomachenko or Haney won, the undisputed lightweight championship was at stake. I personally was 114-114, my dad was 115-113 Haney and my uncle was 115-113 Lomachenko. Haney is in this quest for greatness and name-taking, as he says. In my opinion, his reputation suffered a lot because he acted as if he had won convincingly. Currently in the boxing world, Haney’s personality doesn’t seem too great. His heel turn seems so corporate and fabricated. At least from a heritage perspective. What do you think about him seeking an immediate rematch with Lomachenko? I feel like if he pushed for an immediate rematch, win or lose, it would help his legacy. I feel he will go further and pursue Teofimo Lopez who seems ready to take at 140. What do you think of the rematch? I feel like this is the biggest fight for him right now. The Shakur fight isn’t mature enough, and the Davis fight feels like just another fight.
– Gregory M
Haney giving Lomachence a rematch makes business sense. This would build on the scoring controversy and give him a shot at a more clear win. It would also go a long way in terms of public relations and his public image in the boxing world. IMO the rematch will not happen though as Haney and his dad know how close this fight was. Just don’t give a guy like Lomachenko another chance to figure it out. At the end of the fight, Haney lamented in his corner that Lomachenko seemed to know everything he was going to do. And yes, it certainly looked like he had Haney figured out early in the second half of the fight. It will be easier for Haney and his dad to just pretend they won and move on. Whether Teofimo wins or loses to Josh Taylor, Haney-Teo makes infinite sense, and for Haney it will be far more to win than any other “big” fight. But expect a softer touch as Haney makes his 140 debut and then moves on to the Lopez PPV fight.
I respect Haney for following the path he has taken in this last part of his career and I respect his skills, but yes, the routine of would-be villain Mayweather is pretty scary.
Mauricio Lara vs Great Britain
I love what Mauricio Lara is doing to these British boxers. First Josh Warrington, now Leigh Wood. Devastation was fun.
How do you see how this weekend went and who is next to be demolished in the UK?
— Brian C
When I look into my crystal ball, I unfortunately see that he has quite a job ahead of him this Saturday. If all goes well, he should level Wood again… and then he’ll never be invited to the UK until he’s old and asked to fight two divisions above his optimal weight.
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