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Decisions, decisions…
By Ewan Whyte
June 10, 2006

     
   
   
   
   

What even the local paper (www.pregon.com.ar) was today calling a "shameful decision" presented Patricia "La Leona" Quirico last night in San Salvador de Jujuy (Argentina) with the UBC super bantamweight title, while her Brazilian opponent, Renata Ferreira Do Santos, enjoyed an experience few of her fellow countrymen/women can ever have experienced : being warmly applauded by an Argentinian crowd, as she was carried aloft around the ring.

The judges (if anyone cares) scored the fight:

Santi Alvarez (Paraguay) 98 for Quirico - 92 for Do Santos.

Beatriz Maldonado (Paraguay) 90 for Do Santos - 100 for Quirico.

Manuel Valdés (Argentina) 96 for Quirico - 94 for Do Santos.

Why there should be an Argentinian judge when there was no Brazilian one is beyond me. But then, why they waste money on judges at all in professional boxing is beyond me.

Do Santos had things easy compared with Ana María Torres of Mexico (challenging for the WBC bantamweight title in Kumgansan a day earlier) who had to contend not only with two Korean judges (as well as her less-than-formidable Korean opponent) but also a referee who – if the Mexican papers are to be believed – ruled an obvious knockdown as a slip, turned a blind eye to the champion's constant clinching and playing for time, and let her lead with her head (closing Torres's eye when the inevitable collision occurred) without even deducting a point.

It is physiologically impossible to judge in real time how many and which of two punches thrown simultaneously have landed and psychologically impossible for a judge not to be influenced by the local crowd. Why then does the sport waste a fortune on the travel and accommodation expenses of three judges – doubling the payroll for no good reason - when the fighters themselves are underpaid? In my opinion (which is not necessarily that of WBAN), it would be fairer, and the sport more exciting, if they made title fights longer; and if at the end of 30 minutes, the champion has still failed to stop the challenger, there should be an automatic rematch within two months – this time in the country of her opponent, which would provide a strong incentive for champions to fight, rather than playing for time as they do today.

 
     
     
   
           
 
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