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Are Bad Decisions and Bad Behavior Really that Bad for the Sport? | September

A while back, I witnessed a pretty poor decision in the form of Travis Cloud vs. Gabriel Campillo. Watching it by myself on the downstairs TV (and then skipping over Williams vs Ishida as I knew that was going to be garbage), there were times I was asking for the ref or Cloud’s corner to stop the fight as I felt that Tavoris was taking a lot of punishment from rounds 7 thru 10. In my opinion, Campillo won 2 rounds after the 2 knockdowns in the first and should have won by a score of 115-111.

That said, as soon as Jimmy Lennon Jr. announced there was a split decision, I knew that Cloud was receiving a hell of a gift. My first thought during the Cloud post fight interview (after admiring his diction, verbosity, and ability to shut someone up while interviewing with Jim Gray no less) was, “Wow. I bet being a novice judge judging a Don King fight must be a great paying part time gig”. That really makes it tough for some of you that like to do a little boxing online betting.

Some people may view this as another black eye to boxing, why no big fights should ever take place in Texas, and an example of the type of result that needs to be fixed in order to bring people back to the sport. Do I think like that? No. In fact, boxing is sometimes at is best when it is a mess. Fan Man was a blast. I still occasionally chuckle thinking of Mike Tyson biting Evander Holyfield’s ear off. Oliver McCall breaking down in the middle of a championship fight? Priceless. Think I am wrong? Let us take a look at the results of this past weekend and the messy pre and post fight antics that me and the rest of America found interesting.

Over the course of the 12 rounds in Corpus Christi TX, the Cloud-Campillo fight was entertaining. The first round featured 2 knockdowns, the middle rounds offered lots of action courtesy of jazz like smooth combinations from Campillo, and the final 2 rounds saw a desperate Cloud trying to pull away with the victory. The awful split decision wreaked worse than a soiled diaper deep fried on a hibachi; but, will yield some positives.

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First, the Campillo team is appealing the decision to the IBF, which has a history of demanding rematches for past controversial results. I would venture to guess that the IBF will ask for a rematch which would once again garner a television spot on either HBO or Showtime. Second, Campillo earned much more exposure in the form of the loss than he would have in a win. His previous two egregiously judged losses had little to no sting to the boxing public because few people actually saw those fights. But on American television, this poor decision loss is giving him much needed exposure and is creating new fans in the process. Third, Tavoris Cloud may have been exposed to some degree and that will make him more marketable to other fight managers and promoters. Let’s review. More exposure, greater marketability, and a rematch of an entertaining bout with a built in story line? Who exactly is losing here?

This weekend we also had the Vitali Klitschko vs. Derek Chisora fight. There was an incident in the pre fight weigh in where Chisora slapped Vitali. Then, before the fight began, he spit water at brother Wladimir. After the fight, just for good measure, Chisora and Haye decided to brawl in front of the post fight podium. I mean, is this Derek Chisora classy or what?! Both of the Klitschko’s have gone on record stating that this is unsportsmanlike conduct and the German authorities are trying to levy heavy suspensions on both David Haye and Derek Chisora. To put it lightly, every aspect about this heavyweight’s performance is the definition of a train wreck. But you know what? Whenever anyone criticized slow traffic on the people who are slowing down to view the car crash, you can go ahead and blame me. Folks, I never thought I would hear myself say, “Boy, when is that crazy mother *&%$#@ fighting next? I can’t wait to see who Derek Chisora fights next”. This sort of behavior is reprehensible and ludicrous. However, it pouts butts in seats, eyeballs to the tv sets, and brings new life to the heavyweight division. Germany, quit trying to get their fight licenses pulled and lets see the disaster happen. I know I’ll watch. David Haye, running around the ring for 12 rounds trying to escape another crazy Brit who wants to “shoot Haye dead” is must see tv in my book.

I am in no way saying that what happened this weekend was right, pretty, or decent. What I am simply trying to demonstrate is that ugly decisions and fight antics really are not as bad to the sport and to these fighter’s careers as some people make them out to be. Through a bad decision, Gabriel Campillo may get a rematch or possibly get another high profile fight on American TV. Tavoris Cloud looked like he has slowed down a step and in the “win” may have attracted more high level opponents than in any fight previous. Derek Chisora is now officially on tivo in my house and will have a built in storyline for his next bout with either of the Klitschko brothers or the fleet of foot David Haye. And the Kiltchkos? It at least gave them exposure on ESPN, CNN, and YOUTUBE and allowed people that have left boxing see that they are alive, fighting and still boring out stadiums in Europe. No one lost this weekend and from where I’m sitting, everyone is a winner, including boxing.

Shaun’s thoughts on boxing and everything else:

-          Paul Williams still gets hit too much. If he steps in the ring with the likes of a Alfredo Angulo, there is a good chance we see his neurons scrambled again like in the second Martinez fight.

-          While the rest of the world sees the Rios-Gamboa fight as a possible fight of the year candidate in the near future, I have the sneaking suspicion that Gamboa is not going to be as willing a participant as the world believes he will be.

-          I am currently am watching the People’s Court while my car gets fixed. If I didn’t feel like I was losing IQ at an exponential rate, I would watch this shit every day.

-          My boss’s boss tried to give me the up and down fist bump at work on Monday, which I somehow screwed up. Why is it that 50 year old men try so hard to look hipper than they really are? And how is it that this 30 year old man seems so old and uncontemporary?