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Home Boxing BRITISH ANNOUNCERS, FLAGRANT BIAS
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BRITISH ANNOUNCERS, FLAGRANT BIAS

altFrom booing the national anthem of the country you are visiting, to recycling holiday songs, to bringing your own horn section, the British are clearly the most annoying group of fans.  This is usually dismissed, however, as they are fans.  Let them enjoy the game as they see fit, as long as no one gets hurt.  Americans see this kind of blind allegiance out of Latino (and now Filipino) fans all the time.  It is nothing new to us.  Yet, for the British, it bleeds to the announcers and officials, and that is where it is becoming a disgrace.
 
First, the announcers.  I admit, I gave Jim Lampley quite a lot of grief for his biased handling of The Paul Williams - Sergio Martinez match, but when watching any British telecast, I am always reminded that I have never seen a more blatantly biased group of fans posing as journalists in all my life.  Their "David Haye is the next Messiah" coverage of the recent John Ruiz match was shameful to anyone who wants to watch an unbiased call of the action. 
 
They gave Ruiz full marks for heart, but barely mentioned the flagrant fouls committed by David Haye.  Only in the first round did they mention that the second knockdown was incorrectly scored.  Ruiz was losing every round, but was scoring occasionally, and standing up to legal punches well.  In fact, of the 4 knockdowns suffered by Ruiz, it looked as if only 1 took place as the result of legal blows.  Instead of calling for fairness as they did initally, their worship slowly overtook their senses.  They evenutally had the gall to suggest Ruiz was "looking for things to complain about"  I am not a Ruiz fan... in fact you can even say I was cheering for Haye (until I read the comments of the British "fans"... more on that later), but he was barely making a fuss over a repeated flagrant foul. 
 
This is not a new problem.  Let us not forget the laughable British cry when Herol Graham was KO'd by a big shot from Julian Jackson in 1990... "Oh!  That's what we were worried about!"  Excuse me?  Am I watching journalists, or friends in a living room?  If you are being paid, keep who you are rooting for to yourself.  Even before the knockout, they had referred to Jackson as "The American" more often than by his name.
 
The referees are also a constant source of robberies.  As a fan from California, I am used to referees pulling the trigger too fast.  Often the first time a powerful combination is scored by the favorite, the bout is stopped.  Therefore, when I complain about British referees jumping the gun, you know they are likely quite guilty.  Joe Calzaghe scored with nothing more than a flashy looking shoe-shine, which caused no damage, and Peter Manfredo's night was done.  Enzo Maccarinelli was staggering at first, but was up and ready to fight against David Haye, only to have it waved off after he actually cleared his head, and stood still!  Carl Froch even once asked a referee to "let it go on a bit longer" after his Polish opponent was rescued way too fast!
 
Now, lest one think the Brits be ashamed of their fans, think again.  In addition to the aforementioned horns, inane songs, and booing, these are the same fans who would not allow Tim Witherspoon and Marvin Hagler to enjoy rightfully earned victories, because they hailed from the wrong country.  In the age of technology, however, we are seeing the tru nature of fiught fans from every culture, with only the click of a button.  If Mexican fans sound angry, ghetto, and racist on sites like youtube, you ain't seen nothing yet.  Go watch clips of any Lennox Lewis, Nigel Benn, or Frank Bruno fight, and count how many times you see slurs against everyone, usually Americans (often when there isn't even an American fighting in the clip!)
 
In closing, I am happy for the globalisation of boxing, in the overall.  It brings the world together, but like any family reunion held in a public place, it also lets everyone else know about some of the garbage you have in the gene pool.
 
Chris Strait
www.convictedartist.com

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