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A Bad Week for Boxing— DQs, Dives, and Paper Titles; Fan’s Take
This past week, even by boxing standards, was a pretty bad one for the sweet science.
As a boxing fan trying to support his favorite sport in the face of growing derision from mainstream sports enthusiasts, the task is never an easy one. Boxing just has a way of testing the patience of its most loyal fans and, really, driving a wedge between itself and the mainstream sports world at every possible opportunity. This past week was no different.
The major card last week was held in Houston, Texas and featured an ultimately unsatisfying double header that, at least on paper, had some promise.
Unfortunately, a thrilling, near upset on the part of Carlos Molina over heavily-favored James Kirkland was ruined by referee Jon Schorle, who disqualified Molina in the tenth round on a technicality.
For those who didn't see the HBO-televised bout, Molina was comfortably ahead on two of the three judges' scorecards when he was dropped at the very end of the tenth round. The fighter easily beat the count and was being given the mandatory eight count when one of Molina's corner men, thinking that the round was over, entered the ring. Referee Schorle shoved him out and continued the count. Moments later, after Schorle conferred with the commission representatives at ringside, Kirkland was declared the winner by disqualification for the actions of Molina's corner man.
So, at the end of a tough contest between two honorable warriors, all of their work was negated by one arbitrary ruling. The fans were disgusted, the fighters were frustrated, and the sport got another black eye. Meanwhile, once again, it became painfully obvious that the putrid Texas boxing commission is simply not fit to hold big time, main stage boxing events.
On the main event of the Molina-Kirkland debacle, a pudgy and battle-weary Erik Morales was served up to well-connected, 24-year-old Golden Boy fighter, Danny Garcia for a forced passing of the torch bout.
Sadly, though, Morales really had no torch to pass as he gave up his WBC junior welterweight paper title the day before due to an unwillingness to try and melt down to the actual 140 lb. limit.
The fight, itself, was a rather sad affair for those who still remember the prime "El Terrible." Morales, who saw his best days eight years and at least sixteen pounds ago, never quite got his legs under him and was wobbled on several occasions by a solid, but not exceptionally heavy-handed Garcia en route to a one-sided unanimous decision loss. Morales did offer up some resistance, as expected, but that made the whole thing all the sadder. Morales' best was merely enough to keep him standing.
Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, Zab Judah dominated Vernon Vernon Paris at the Aviator Sports Complex to earn yet another shot at a world title.
Fans were hopeful that the 24-year-old Paris, who had shown plenty of fire in his destruction of Tim Coleman last year, was a star in the making. Early on in his bout with Judah, however, it became painfully obvious that he was not the next big thing in the junior welterweight division.
Judah would cruise to an easy TKO 9 victory and become the mandatory challenger for the winner of Lamont Peterson-Amir Khan II in May. So, instead of a new star, fans will get to see the fifth rebirth of 34-year-old "Super" Judah as he once again gets repackaged as someone "with all the skills to dominate the division." We've seen this story before, and the end usually results in a complete Judah collapse on the main stage against a real world class opponent.
On a much smaller scale, the Kimbo Slice (AKA Kevin Ferguson) farce continued as he took on Brian Green, a fighter with no professional experience and no real amateur experience, either, at the O'Reilly Center in Springfield, Missouri.
Green, despite having less boxing experience than most of those reading this article, was actually beating the former street fighter/MMA star until a questionable punch from Slice ended the contest with three seconds left in the fourth and final round.
The punch and Green's subsequent reaction immediately came under scrutiny and led many to conclude that things may not have been on the up and up with the bout. Whether the fight was a sham or not, the impression that it could be, is enough to justify the growing dog pile on boxing's sporting dignity.
All in all, a promising week of action slowly morphed into a pretty lousy affair and yet another source of embarrassment to those who have seen the real heart and soul of boxing.
True fans are willing to deal with the garbage because they know that, when at its best, nothing is as good as real, main stage boxing. It's just too bad that the fans have to wade through so much sludge to find the pearls.
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Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. He is also a contributor to Fox Sports. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
Kelsey McCarson, Kirkland takes home DQ win over Molina in Texas, The Boxing Tribune
Boxingscene, Danny Garcia Unseats Erik Morales, Grabs WBC Crown
Geno Mrosko, Kimbo Slice boxing match fixed against Brian Green?, MMA Mania
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