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Home Boxing HBO Presents Not Only a Great Card, But Also an Eyewitness to Robbery
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HBO Presents Not Only a Great Card, But Also an Eyewitness to Robbery

hbo_boxing._01On Saturday night, HBO boxing presented the best boxing card they have presented in a long time. As a true boxing fan, I looked forward to three very competitive bouts. These bouts did not fail to provide even the smallest of boxing fans some excitement.

In the first bout, fighters that met at the crossroads of their career, met head to head. I interviewed both of these fighters, Veteran Ishe Smith, took on up and coming middleweight Danny Jacobs for the vacant WBO NABO middleweight title. Jacobs, who promised me in a pre-fight interview to be the busier of the two fighters, kept that promise, beating Smith to the punch, often frustrating the veteran. Smith started of strong in the first round, but Jacobs started to steal Smith’s game plan of counter punching, and out boxed the former “Contender” star. Jacobs controlled most of the rounds past round one and the frustration was evident on Smith’s part, hitting Jacobs several times after the belt. After repeated warnings, referee Laurence Cole deducted a point from Smith at the end of round nine, sealing Smith’s fate. The judges saw the fight 100-89 and 96-93 twice for the Jacobs, who now must be seen as a contender for one of the middleweight belts. I had the fight 97-92.

In the co-main event, former IBF featherweight champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero took on IBF super featherweight champion Malcolm “Stone” Klassen for the title. Despite being cut in the over the left eye, Guerrero managed to control the action and easily guided himself to the title belt. Guerrero seemed to be too much for Klassen and overpowered the champion despite the cut left eye. With his wife, who is suffering from leukemia, sitting at ringside, Guerrero lifted the belt over his head by the scores of 116-113, 116-112 and 117-11. I had the fight 117-111.

In the main event, Juan Diaz, 35-2 (17), took on Paulie Malignaggi, 26-3 (5), for the WBO NABO Jr. Welterweight title, but what we saw was a crime. Malignaggi came into the fight with Diaz complaining of a possible bias against him, due to Diaz fighting in his hometown of Houston Texas. Malignaggi started off very strong, not letting Diaz plant himself to get off a good punch and keeping him off balance, although he started to bleed from a left eye cut that he suffered during training camp. In round 2, Diaz suffered his first cut of the night, over his left eye, due to a punch. The cut would open once more, this time due to a clash of heads in the round 5.

Diaz started to overpower Malignaggi in round four, even momentarily stunning Malignaggi, and began to land at will in rounds 6 and 7. It looked like Diaz would take control of the fight, but Malignaggi had different plans, taking control of the fight from that point on, ending very strong. When ring announcer Michael Buffer announced the judges decisions of 115-113, 116-112 and 118-110, all for Diaz, the crowd cheered, but seemed to also let out a sigh of “man did we steal that one” relief. Even HBO’s Harold Lederman was shocked at the decision. If I were the Texas Athletic Commission, I would look into Judge Gale Van Hoy and whether he took money for his 118-110 score, or to see if he was under the influence of an intoxicant. Van Hoy’s score is nothing short of negligent, bordering on criminal and he should not be permitted to judge another fight.

Malignaggi, very upset at the judge’s decision, let the expletives fly in a post fight interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman and for good reason. Paulie Malignaggi controlled at least 8 of the twelve rounds of the fight, easily defeating Juan Diaz. I actually scored the fight 115-113 for Paulie Malignaggi and was speaking with several other writers, post fight, who gave me their take on the bout. Convicted Artist Magazine Editor in Chief, Benny Henderson Jr, a Texan who has spoken in length with Juan Diaz in the past, had Malignaggi winning 116-112. Legendary boxing promoter Johnny Bos, who was the manager for Paulie Malignaggi at one time, had Malignaggi winning 116-112. 8countnews owner, Brad Cooney had Malignaggi by a score of 115-113. Former Malignaggi opponent, Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry, had Malignaggi winning the fight easily. 15rounds.com’s Marc Abrams was on the opposite end of us, giving Diaz the nod at 115-113, but also stated he could have seen it a draw.

What this bout boiled down to was very bad judging, especially on the behalf of Gale Van Hoy. Not surprisingly, Malignaggi complained about Van Hoy and Raul Caiz being picked as a judge in this fight. It appeared to be a justifiable complaint as Van Hoy completely ripped off Malignaggi. After the fight, Caiz was described as “Golden Boys girlfriend, even though he scored the fight closer.” This was a great fight, ending in a felony robbery. This is the kind of decision that has hurt boxing and the reason that judges like Gale Van Hoy need to be watched closely and in this case, investigated.

For more on this bout, listen to Bob Carroll, Butch and "THE Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. every Wednesday night on Fightin' Words Radio Show from 8-9pm EST. To listen live via the internet, go to http://1490wwpr.com and look for the "listen here" tab.

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