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Home Boxing I'M PLAYING FORTUNE TELLER AGAIN
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I'M PLAYING FORTUNE TELLER AGAIN

gabriel-campillo-tavoris-cloudAfter watching the recent Gabriel Campillo-Tavoris Cloud battle, as well as Deandre Lattimore suffering a near-upset, I am reminded how much referees hold careers, as well as our entertainment, in their hands.  Imagine if Nunez was stopped, as commentators Al Bernstein and Steve Farhood were calling for, in his bout with Lattimore.  We would have been robbed of the fight's most exciting moments, when Lattimore was dropped twice, and nearly decisioned because of it.

Cloud vs. Campillo could have easily been a 1st round TKO win for Tavoris Cloud.  If that had been the case, nobody would have really blamed the referee, and we'd be annointing Cloud the heir apparent to Dawson-Hopkins, and dismissing Campillo as an awkward fighter with no chin.  Instead the referees gave fighters a chance to recover, and they gave us a great thrill.  Because nobody can prove what fights would have given us a better ending if they had been allowed to continue, referees go without being called on this infraction.  No more.  I am going to get the dialogue started with 3 fights I feel would have been great, or at least a lot better, had they been allowed to continue.

Guillermo Jones KO 4 Wayne Braithwaite
Braithwaite was coming off a loss to Mormeck in 2005, and trying to force a title shot, while Jones was trying to overcome his career of inactivity, in his 3rd fight that year.  The winner would get a title shot (although it took 3 years).  It was an exciting, back and forth brawl, wathcing both fighters hurt each other on numerous occasions.  Jones style was awkward, and Braithwaute was clearly not the same fighter he was before the Mormeck loss, but the referee's inexplicable stoppage robbed us of several more rounds of back and forth action.  Jones was staggered badly in the early part of the round, and then, in an exciting twist, truned the tbales on Braithwaite and staggered him.  Braithwaite was going defensive, while bobbing and weaving on the ropes, when it was suddenly stopped.  He weakly defended his stoppage in an interview with Jim Gray, by saying that Braithwaite had taken too many unanswered punches... which simply wasn't true.  I have no idea what would have happened after ropund 4.  That's how even a fight it was, anbd how random a stoppage.  However, I know it would have been exciting.

Arturo Gatti KO 5 Gabriel Ruelas
The boxing press (pre-internet, 1996) had annointed Gatti the king of the comebacks after this fight, but what it truly masked was an incorrect stoppage.  Ruelas was far from dominant, but he was outworking Gatti, and hurting him, when he was caught with a thundering left hook at the close of round 5.  He barely beat the count, but the bout was waved off.  The round was over, and Ruelas was perhaps ahead on the cards.  The former world champion deserved a chance to recover and get back into the fight.  His opponent was definitely granted that priviledge on many occasions.  I think we would have seen several more rounds of back and forth action, before Gatti probably caught him again... but we will never know.

Orlando Salido KO 8 Juan Manuel Lopez
A bit late to say we were robbed of action?  Not the way this fight was happening.  The better fighter had the weaker chin.  Salido is not just a chin and power, however.  He is also a damned good fighter, who makes life difficult for most opponents in the last 10 years.  I am not attempting to say that Lopez wasn't hurt when the referee pulled the trigger on the stoppage, but when the stopped fighter throws the last punch of the fight, you do not look good in ending his evening.  Add to that Lopez was undefeated, the champion, fighting in his hometown, and it was an even, all action fight up to that point, and it equals a very bad stoppage.  Lopez could have gone on to outbox Salido down the stretch, or maybe slug it out and make it closer.  Maybe Salido catches him with a bigger shot, and leaves no doubt.  Again, we will never know, and we were having fun finding out.

Chris Strait
www.convictedartist.com
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