Are the judges really to blame in a year of hard fights?
By Ramon Matthews Jr: Judging has certainly become one boxing’s weak points over the recent years. Boxing has actually become harder to score due to the style match-ups, particularly this year. In a year that has actually been a great year for boxing so far, we will take a look at the 5 most controversial decisions of the year (in no particular order).
5. Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Marcos Maidana: In a good action fight, something rarely seen from boxing’s current best fighter on Earth Floyd Mayweather, he was outworked in the first four rounds. From that point on depending on who you talk to, Mayweather took control of the rest of the fight. Given the fan support of Maidana, and the dislike of Mayweather by many can see why fans would feel that one fighter bested the other. High energy high emotion fights can sway fans, but should it or could it sway the judges? For many reasons, the punch output and viciousness of Maidana vs the technical brilliance of Floyd Mayweather will always leave that fight open to opinion and scrutiny. Result Mayweather wins MD 12
4. Ruslan Provodnikov vs Chris Algieri: The defending WBO champion at 140lbs Provodnikov from the first bell opened up like an absolute savage, knocking his opponent down and causing grotesque swelling around the eye of Algieri. However, later in the fight the challenger Algieri who would battle back using textbook boxing while the relentless Ruslan Provodnikov stalked his wounded foe. It was the classic battle so common in boxing of the boxer vs the puncher. The fight taking place in Chris Algieri’s home state of New York will always provide some skepticism about the judging and fairness of that fight, depending on who you ask and will remain controversial. Result Algieri wins SD 12
3. Omar Figueroa vs Jerry Belmontes: The undefeated WBC lightweight champion faced off against amateur rival Jerry Belmontes who had beaten him in the amateurs. In a very competitive fight, Jerry Belmontes was very busy with solid boxing on offfense and defensive, and the champion Figueroa known for his blood and guts style used his pressure and power and advantage to wear down his opponent. Belmontes rattled off nonstop combinations and seemingly outboxed Figueroa by a wide margin, however Figueroa’s pressure fighting style kept him right there in the fight round by round. This will definitely be a fight subject to opinion and whispers of controversial scoring. Result Figueroa wins SD 12
2. Vasyl Lomachenko vs Orlando Salido: Lomachenko is a prime example of what happens when a fighter with incredible boxing ability, at 1-0 faces top level professionals who can exploit his inexperience as a pro and put him in vulnerable positions. His fight against the rough and tough Salido is a good example of just how hard it is to measure phenomenal boxing ability against a rough and sometimes dirty veteran using a 10-9 point system. Salido came in heavy for the fight using heavy inside fighting mixed with some controversial low blows versus the smaller more mobile Lomachenko who hurt Salido late in the fight. There is definitely an argument to say that Lomachenko won, based on how close the fight was down to to the last bell. Result Salido wins SD 12
1. Danny Garcia vs Mauricio Herrera: By far the most controversial fight of the year, and we all think we know why. Some feel if Herrera would have fought Garcia anywhere except Puerto Rico or in Garcia’s own kitchen he would’ve won. Danny Garcia the defending Jr Welterweight champion landed the more eye catching and harder punches on occasion, but Herrera punished Danny Garcia with the jab. There were moments where both men were in control of the action. With pressure on Danny “Swift” Garcia to perform in Puerto Rico, and pressure on Herrera to sieze the moment, it created a very complicated battle over the course of a tough 12 round fight. It will always be a subject of controversy due to Herrera’s better than expected performance, and Garcia’s fairly poor performance in Puerto Rico. Result Garcia wins MD 12