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Oliveras retains
By Ewan Whyte
©
Photo: Ovación
October 14, 2006

     
   
   
   
   
   
Date: 13th October 2006
Venue:
 
Club Sportivo América, Rosario (Santa Fe, Argentina)
Titles at stake:   WBC super bantamweight
Weight:    -55 kg 338 g
Number of Rounds:  10 (x 2 minutes)
Referee:   Luis Guzmán (Argentina)
Judges:

 

Carlos Rodríguez (Argentina)

Héctor Primerano (Argentina)

Gustavo Estrella (Argentina)

WBC Supervisor: Osvaldo Bisbal (Argentina)

Televised live by TyC

 

Alejandra Marina Oliveras
'La Locomotora'
 

Anays Cecilia Gutiérrez Carrillo
'La Dama del Ring'

Titles
 

WBC world super bantamweight champion

 

Record:

7-0-1 (3 KOs)

11-2-1 (3 KOs)

Weight

55 kg 330 g 55 kg 33 g

Age

28 21

Place of birth

Jujuy (Argentina) Barranquilla (Colombia)
Fights out of: Córdoba (Argentina) Barranquilla (Colombia)
Trainer: Carlos Alberto Tello Aníbal 'Zuzuky' Miranda
Manager: Mario Margossián Manuel Pérez Tafur

Oliveras retains

 

Alejandra Oliveras forgot to visit the little girls’ room before the fight – the way you do, when you have a WBC title to defend and the trainer of four reigning world champions in your corner – and her boots were pinching all the way through.. This, too, is understandable. You’re a Size Seven in training, a Size Seven at the weigh-in, a Size Seven in the dressing room, a Size Seven walking down the corridor into the arena and then… PAFF, the lights hit you and you’re on live television in front of God-knows-how-many-million spectators. As we all know, the camera adds 10 pounds.

Perhaps, instead of Carlos Tello, she should have had Imelda Marcos in her corner; bur never mind. She managed to retain. (Everything).
 

“There’s an unwritten rule in boxing,” writes Rodolfo Parody for Ovación this morning, “that says any aspirant to a title must demonstrate clear superiority over the current holder for the championship to change hands. And the Colombian failed to do so.”
 

There’s another rule that Acuña, Torres and Oliveras herself understood and expressed before recent outings (to Australia, N Korea and Mexico respectively), which is that to defeat a champion in her own home town – in front of judges who, even if not consciously biased, are bound to be influenced by the reactions of the other onlookers, who cheer, (and see?), and reinforce the judges' perception of, only those punches the local fighter lands – you have to knock her out (or oblige the referee to rescue her). You can’t just run, and cling, and counter, and hope that at least two of the three judges are keeping an accurate record of the blows that land.
 

No one is keeping an accurate record. It isn’t possible. Even with judges of unimpeachable integrity, wearing pilots’ headphones to cancel the crowd noise, you’d still get unfair decisions, because you can’t ask anyone to follow the flight of four fists (and handle a pencil) at the same time.

And besides. What are the judges supposed to be telling us? i) Who would have won if the fight had been allowed to continue? In that case, the earlier rounds should be disregarded; all that’s relevant is which fighter seems the stronger at the end. ii) Which fighter handed out the most punishment? In that case, the force (rather than the mere number) of blows should form the main focus. It doesn’t. Twice Marcela Acuña has made a complete mess of her opponent’s face (while her own remained unmarked) only to be told at the end by the judges that she’d ‘lost’.
 

Due, perhaps, to a further absurdity : the system whereby, instead of looking at the big picture and using their common sense, judges score each round in isolation, as though it were a separate and equal entity, tallying up the rounds only at the end – boxing's equivalent of the Electoral College. You have Paris vs the Tooth Fairy in the first round. Stalingrad in the tenth. And, unless there’s actually a knockdown, equal weight is given to both!
 

The whole apparatus is a huge waste of money and a distraction. It tells us nothing of interest – even when (as must be the case at least sometimes) what it tells us is true. Here, both fighters were on their feet and still swinging when the final bell sounded; ergo the fight was a draw; ergo Oliveras retains her title. Why complicate matters? All the presence of judges seems to have done is to seduce Gutiérrez Carrillo into thinking there was an easier way of winning. There wasn’t. She had to stop Oliveras, and if first accounts are to be believed, she didn’t even try.
 

So, if Gutiérrez Carrillo has failed twice now to capture a world title, is it her own fault? Yes. But there’s a deeper issue. In any society, and in any context, Justice has a value. It has a value that is almost impossible to overstate. Injustice is poison. Even the allegation of injustice pollutes and enfeebles any social order in which it is made. Nobody died here, and perhaps the decision – even according to the existing rules of boxing (absurd as they are) – was correct; but the Colombians are bound to cry foul – as they did after the Acuña fight – and when they do so, how is anyone going to justify to them the decision to take all three judges, plus the referee, plus the fight supervisor, from the country of one, only, of the fighters? And the one who already had home advantage to boot!
 

It’s a platitude, but a good one: Justice must not only be done; it must be seen to be done. If you really must have judges, you really must have judges from a neutral country. Ditto for the fight supervisor. Ditto for the ref.
 

Last night the referee, rightly or wrongly, deducted a point from the Colombian after a collision of heads in the second round that left Oliveras with a cut, the bleeding of which her corner – a pit crew Fernando Alonso must envy – managed to staunch, but which rendered the champion’s laudable, if predictable, attempts to knock the challenger out even more frenetic. Towards the end of the fight, she switched her attack from the head to the body, which is where – if the old saw “kill the body and the head must fall” is the sole touchstone – a clever fighter begins. The best fighters, though – the Ana María Torres’s of this world – are switching constantly the point of attack throughout the fight – within the same round, and even within the same combination. Where to strike at each instant is a decision fighters have to take for themselves. But Oliveras is still learning. It’s her strength and the technique with which she delivers her blows that’s got her where she is. She trains like a demon. She has a great coach. She lacks acumen.
 

Rodolfo Parody again to conclude:  “The judges Carlos Rodríguez (98-93), Héctor Primerano (98-91) and Gustavo Estrella (98-91) decided in favour of 'La Locomotora'. It was obvious that these cards didn’t justly reflect what went on the ring. But few people cared. The city had never hosted a world title fight before and the people of Rosario had come to have a ball.”
 

The fact that Cinderella was wearing the wrong slippers spoilt nobody’s evening but her own.
 

(Sources: La Capital(Ovación), El Ciudadano(El Hincha), TyC Sports, Boxeo-boxing, Deportivo colombiano) 

 

 
     
     
   
 
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