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Thursday, February 11, 2010

The third man in the ring for Pacquiao-Clottey?

by Allan Tolentino

Being a referee is a very tough job. It is in the referees' hands to keep the fights in violent order. The job requires tremendous physical and mental competence, as well as strength of character to come up with quick accurate decisions. We have to understand that sometimes a punch can travel 0.004 seconds, almost invisible to the naked eye, plus add the adrenaline and hoopla of the fights, can make any referee get confused and make a wrong judgment or misjudgment.

All men make mistakes. It happens all the time in all officiating officials of any sport. More so in our sport of boxing, back in the day, celebrity champion boxers were tapped to officiate a fight. This is so to amp up the hype and sell more tickets. And the result can be horrible. If we take a look back at Ali vs. Liston 1, former World Heavyweight champion Jersey Joe Walcott was asked to be the referee in the fight. Although Jersey Joe was a very good champion, he was totally inexperienced as a referee! That's why when Ali got Liston down, he couldn't decide if he'll count, or stop the fight or take Ali to the neutral corner. Pandemonium erupted at that moment and he decided to announce Ali as the new champion. But sometimes even a very experienced referee can make a bad judgment or bad misjudgment just like what happened during the Soto vs. Lorezo 1, when Joe Cortez couldn't decide what to do consulting the Nevada State Athletic Officials on the
ring-side while Lorenzo was on the canvass bleeding profusely, then later on decided to announce Lorenzo as the winner by disqualification. But as the saying goes "Nobody is perfect, even referees make mistakes."

But what about if the referee makes too many bad calls?

When I watched Kelly Pavlik vs. Espino fight, I was appalled on how biased the referee in favor of Kelly Pavlik! I have no doubt that Kelly won that fight, but does the referee needed to blatantly side in favor of Kelly Pavlik? You have to wonder why does the referee pulls Espino away but does not push Pavlik? And at the end of the rounds the referee shoves Espino hard. There was one time when Pavlik was taking some punches from Espino and out of nowhere the referee jumped in the middle and broke off the fighters even if there were no clinch! Watch the video clip in youtube at 3:52 second mark. Hilarious!

Now let's try to take a look at the proposed referee for Pacquiao vs. Clottey fight.

Jim Rex Jaca vs. Juan Manuel Marquez: There was a clash of heads in round 8 that bloodied the face of Juan Manuel Marquez. Referee Cole stopped the fight and called for a time-out. He brought Marquez in a corner and had him checked by the ring-side doctor, and you know what he told Marquez? Watch.

He was asking Marquez if he wants to stop the fight and told him he is ahead on the scorecards! What kind of unbiased referee would say something like that?

Now, let's take a look at Pacquiao vs. Barrera 1

Round 1, how the heck can Referee Cole calls that a knockdown in favor of Barrera when Barrera didn't even threw a punch? Round 6, 12 seconds remaining in the round, two solid upper-cuts landed on Barrera's head that sent him crashing to the canvass. And what did Referee Cole called it? A slip!

And now, Referee Laurence Cole was reportedly the referee for the Pacquiao vs. Clottey fight despite of all of these evidence of his bias officiating?

For one, I agree with promoter Gary Shaw when he advocates against these incompetent officials. And what should we do about it? Boycott them!

These incompetent and biased referees and judges, they give boxing a really bad image.

I hope that the powers may be could do something about this.


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