Cotto-Mayweather, Pacquiao-Bradley: Judges get both fights right and wrong at the same time
By Kevin Vazquez: Boxing like any other sport has had its share of scandals. We surely have seen both sides of the spectrum lately, from tainted wraps all the way to the man in the hat ring side.
After watching Miguel Cotto vs. Floyd Mayweather, and Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley extensively, I felt these two fights deserved a reset.
Starting with Miguel Cotto Vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.. Leading up to the bell, anticipation of a fight that many felt should have been made years ago, was at an all time high. Most where quick to say “if we can’t get Pac/Mayweather this is the second best.”
However a majority of fans and experts wrote Cotto off, saying he would be out boxed and the fight would be a land slide in favor of Mayweather.
While the score cards reflect that sentiment, the fight itself was anything but. Cotto Vs. Mayweather was a hard fought fight for both combatants. In a sense it was a revival with proof that Cotto has a lot left. While at the same time solidifying that Mayweather is by far the best in boxing, as he rose to the occasion against what he called the best, and toughest fighter he has ever fought.
My question is, with countless onlookers seeing such a close fight, why were the score cards so blatantly wide in favor of Mayweather? I scored the fight for Mayweather by 2 rounds. I had Cotto leading by 2 going into the 9th, then “Money May” deposited his check, rallying to win the last 4 rounds.
Usually in a championship fight the challenger has to take the belt away from the champion. Considering this; close rounds are usually scored for the champion, affective aggression, ring generalship, and clean and affective punching. Particularly rounds 1, 3, and 5. In these 3 rounds specifically, Cotto was clearly the champion, the effective aggressor and his ring generalship was pretty much equal to Mayweather’s. Mayweather only having an edge in clean and effective punching should have lost rounds 1, 3, and 5.
One judge gave Cotto round 3, and one judge gave him round 5.
Then there’s rounds 6 and 8, which Cotto won convincingly. Although I had Mayweather winning the fight 115-113, Mayweather only won rounds 11 and 12 convincingly and the rest were won by a slight edge.
The score cards were 117-111, 117-111, 118-110, all for Floyd Mayweather.
What does this fight have to do with Manny Pacquiao Vs. Timothy Bradley?
Boxing is a sport of emotional investment by the fans. Connecting with fighters to the point where you feel they’re pain when they loose and they’re elation when they’re victorious. So a fan naturally approaches a fight with pre-conceived notions, and expectations of a specific result.
In fact, the only things that can alter these expectations is a knock out, a stoppage, or a blatant one sided pounding. Problems are created when expert analysis along with fan bias, reaches the judges and sway’s them to the point where they approach the fight with the same views.
Cotto Vs. Mayweather is an example of how the atmosphere of expectation can lead to abnormal judging. Commentators have been guilty of it for years, and while judges cannot see punch stats during the fight, commentators and fans receive compubox stats through out. Revealing these stats during the fight ultimately shapes a viewers point a view to which; rounds will be given based on numbers and not on what actually happened during the round. Not to mention the process of compubox is given to human error.
Essentially Mayweather was expected to win the fight by a land slide, and although most viewers agreed it was a close fight, the scores do not reflect a close fight. The judges, the commentators, Harold Lederman and most ring side observers had Cotto loosing before he ever stepped in the ring. So a CLOSE fight was a DOMINANT victory for Mayweather, (see: definition of oxymoron).
Now for the connection. Manny Pacquiao was expected to utterly destroy Timothy Bradley. Most experts agreed this fight was a waste and fans were disgusted with the choice of opponent. In fact the only silver lining was, Bradley was young and hungry.
I had Pacquiao wining the fight with Bradley only winning 3 rounds. All the judges had the fight 113-115, with one judge scoring for Pacquiao and two judges scoring for Bradley.
Do I agree with the decision? No. should Pacquiao have won? Yes. I however commend all three judges for approaching the fight with individual mind sets, not to be swayed by public perception, and expectation.
The judges saw two men enter the ring as equals, no regard for past achievements or positions on any unofficial pound for pound lists. They judged with impunity, integrity, and impartiality.
In Miguel Cotto Vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr., the decision was fair, but the score cards were wrong. For Manny Pacquiao Vs. Timothy Bradley, the decision was wrong but both fighters where treated fairly.
An argument could be made that Cotto stood as much of a chance of winning against Mayweather as Timothy Bradley did against Pacquiao. Yet which of the two had the better outing? If any fighter other then Floyd Mayweather was standing in front of Miguel Cotto that night, Cotto would have Gotten the decision- To that point, if Cotto had fought like Timothy Bradley the score cards would be justified.
In the grand scheme of things, we all hope for the right outcome. When that outcome is not equal to our expectations we cry foul. Meanwhile we should be expecting all parties involved to be treated fairly.
After all, isn’t that what we really want, for our favorite fighters to be given a fair shot at winning?
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