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Like Hillary, Kovalev wins but loses in the judges’ ‘electoral college’

“As much as I love boxing, I hate it. And as much as I hate it, I love it.” –– Budd Schulberg

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Bad news for Vladimir Putin. Good news for his “favorite”, President-elect Donald J. Trump.
We have boxing’s version of the puzzling “electoral college”, the decrepit system that denied Hillary Clinton the presidency despite besting Trump in the popular votes in the recent election.
We respect the judges’ verdict, an identical 114-113 unanimous decision in favor of American Andre Ward (31-0, 15 KOs), but the night belonged to dethroned Russian world champion Sergey Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) in the battle for WBA, WBO, and IBF light heavyweight belts on Saturday night (November 19) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
With 84 percent KO in his ledger, the 33-year-old warrior, born in Kopeysk, Russia, should have prevented a “hometown” decision by finishing off the 32-year-old challenger from Oakland in the early rounds.

RESCUE

But orthodox Kovalev allowed Ward to be rescued by the judges when he failed to put him away for good after scoring a second round knockdown which was worth 55 electoral college votes in the presidential race.
But unlike Clinton who gamely accepted her upset defeat, the Russian KO artist could only complain: “It’s the wrong decision. I don’t want to say my opinion. The witnesses are here – they saw it. It’s my job. It was a fight of my life. I am disappointed in the judges’ decision. He got maybe a few rounds, I agree with that. I kept control. I lost maybe three rounds the whole fight.”
He added: “Of course, I want a rematch and I will kick his ass. I want to show good boxing. I am against here it is the USA and all the judges were from the USA. He is a boxer. It’s a sport, don’t make it politics. It’s a sport and I won the fight!”

‘NOT SURPRISED’

Ward, who earned my admiration when he blasted to smithereens the incredible Chad Dawson for the WBC and WBC super-middleweight crowns in 2012, believed he won the bout: “No, I was not surprised when I heard the decision, I don’t’ know where you got that from. I know it was a close fight – the crowd you can hear they thought I won…I have been a champ before I knew it was going to be a tough fight – it was the first time in my career I was dropped.”
Ward added: “He did everything I expected him to do. He started to show up as I expected he started to fight like I expected. My coach did a great job…It’s hard for me to call myself great. At the end of the day I am a two-weight division champion. Of course, I would do a rematch. I am not going to negotiate a fight right now I will go home and relax and see what’s next.”

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Posted by on November 20, 2016 in BOXING, SPORTS

 

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Why 49-46 for Donaire if the fight ended in 4th?

“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.” PLATO

 By Alex P. Vidal

Our former buddy in the Rotary Club, Frank Atas, called me several minutes after the ring announcer declared Nonito Donaire Jr. winner by 4th round technical decision over WBA featherweight “super” champion Simpiwe “V12″ Vetyeka (26-3, 15 KOs) on Saturday at the Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao, China.

“Lex, if Donaire won on a 4th round technical decision, why is it that the scores of all the three judges were 49-46? Why not 39-36?” Atas asked. “The reason why I called is because I wanted to know if they changed the rules of professional boxing.”

Atas, a former boxer and ring official before he became a member of the Philippine Constabulary in the 70s, was partly right. In a 10-point must system, four times 10 equals 40. Since it was ruled as a “4th round technical decision” win for 31-year-old Donaire, the scores should have been 39-36 if the Fil-Am challenger lost only in one of the four rounds.

DEFICIT

The four-point deficit on Vetyeka’s scorecard meant he lost in two of the four rounds and was deducted one point each for every headbutt inflicted on Donaire’s left eye.

Logically, 49-46 means Donaire and Vetyeka were swapping bombs in the fifth round when Puerto Rican referee Luis Pabon called it a night. But this wasn’t the case.

After fourth round or before the start of fifth round, Donaire (33-2, 21 KOs) informed Pabon he could no longer continue due to the nasty cut on his left eye and the blood bothered him in the last nine minutes. Pabon then ordered the three judges to score the next round under the WBA rules thus they all gave each boxer 10 points. The wisdom of awarding 10 points to both ring titans hinges on the numerical fact that a 39-36 score means the fight was terminated below four rounds. 

Under the universal rules, Vetyeka could retain the title if the stoppage happened in the first three rounds or before the fourth round by technical draw. Donaire was very much aware of this from the very first drop of blood on his cut. Tactically, to survive four rounds could be the last ace in his sleeves that very moment knowing he was way ahead on points courtesy of a flash knockdown in the fourth canto.

CONTROVERSY

A post-fight controversy smeared Donaire’s collection of his fourth world crown in different weight categories when sportswriters watching the fight at ringside claimed the headbutts were actually legitimate punches. The referee had supposedly erred to declare an “accidental headbutt” because Donaire was hit by a legal blow, according to several sports scribes.

If Donaire’s wound was caused by a legitimate punch, Vetyeka should have been declared winner by technical knockout (TKO) before or after the fourth round.

A defending champion who loses his title under an ugly turn of event like this one usually would be the most loquacious and hot tempered. But not Vetyeka, who gamely accepted his fate.

In fairness to Team Vetyeka, the vanquished African champion deserves a rematch.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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