Sunday, 21 July 2013

Dereck Chisora vs Malik Scott: The Aftermath

My opinion on Dereck Chisora-Malik Scott fight from last night:

What actually happened:
- Scott seemed to be winning going into round six.
- Chisora floored Scott at the end of round six.
- Scott hit the canvas at 0.17 seconds on the clock. Count down yourself (ignore the ref), and you can see he doesn't stand up until 9.5 seconds of the count. Most boxers stand up around the 8 mark.
What might have happened:
- Scott might have steadied himself, got back into the fight, and boxed Chisora's head off.
- Chisora might have just as likely stopped Scott in the next round; especially when you consider the shot which put Scott down was the first big punch of the fight.
Different interpretation:
- Scott was listening to the REFEREE and not looking at the clock (obviously), and the ref clearly says "Nine" which is when Scott got up. Reasonable thing to do perhaps, even though it is certainly more common to get up by the count of eight.
- Some have pointed towards corruption. Why not? This is boxing afterall; plenty of it about. In this case, i think that's a bit of a trigger happy reaction. Not that i don't think it can happen, because i've seen plenty of fights that made me think something fishy was going on. But in Britain i think you need to know about the safety rules and regulations.
British Referees:
- British refs are notoriously quick to end fights compared to say those in the USA. Take a fight like Brandon Rios vs John Murray; that fight would have been ended by round six or seven in the UK. Or take Guillermo Jones vs Denis Lebedev in Russia recently; that fight would have ended at the first sight of a bad eye over here.
- Is this a bad thing? It's certainly debatable. Personally, i think it is always important to go for safety first and "too soon" rather than "too late". On the other hand, there is a fine line between protecting a fighter from himself and taking away a fighter's big opportunity too soon. I remember saying to somebody once: "I suppose if referee Micky Vann had stopped the fight when he SHOULD have [early on] in the Graham Earl vs Michael Katsidis fight, we wouldn't have seen a Fight Of The Year contender, and Earl wouldn't have made a name for himself." He replied: "Yeah, but look at Earl now." Earl is a bit punch drunk now, supposedly.
Safety in UK:
- This is the bit we need to really concentrate on. Both British and American fans (and any others reading this), need to understand that the British Boxing Board of Control cannot be compared to any American commissions. The BBBoC is in charge of boxing in the whole of the UK; What they say goes. And they must listen to what the government tells them. In the USA, there are multiple commissions, with multiple bosses, and multiple rules and regulations. Trying to ban boxing in the USA would be impossible as there are fifty States, all with their own legislation, mayors and senators etc... Boxing in the USA is fine because if it gets banned in New York or Boston, you can go fight in Philadelphia or elsewhere. If it gets banned there, you can go to California. If it gets banned there go to Texas, where it will never be banned. This is why you need to compare British boxing to single European sovereign states. For example, boxing is banned in Norway, Iceland, and until recently Sweden. And the calls for it to be banned in the UK have been immense in the past.
- The British Medical Association has called for a ban on boxing for years. Every time there is a bad incident in the ring in boxing in the UK the calls for a ban come around again. In my opinion, and i'm pretty sure it's true, British boxing had to get squeaky clean after the Nigel Benn-Gerald McClellan fight in 1995; that was the big turning point. There had been other famous tragedies such as the Eubank-Watson rematch, or the Barry McGuigan-Young Ali fight but the Benn-McClellan fight was the turning point. That was the one which brought boxing into a serious national discussion. It was shown live on TV, the calls for boxing to be banned afterwards were deafening, and it has never been shown on TV since. For a country with just ONE commission, you can see how this would be a problem.
- Now take a country like the USA, where there are anywhere up to fifty boxing commissions, presumably. The following fights all ended in tragedy: Sugar Ray Robinson-Jimmy Doyle, Emile Griffith-Benny Kid Paret, Lupe Pintor-Johnny Owen, Leotis Martin-Sonny Banks, Davey Moore-Sugar Ramos, and many more. How many of these fights caused serious debate about boxing being banned in the whole of the USA? None. The reason being it cannot be banned over the whole country for reasons previously explained.
- Does the former paragraph make American spectators a little more lustful for blood than their European counterparts? I'm not sure if that's the case, but what i do know is that boxing has culturally been one of America's big sports. Before American football, basketball, and ice hockey came along, it was all about baseball, boxing, and horse racing. So when you think of a sport like boxing in the USA, for a long time it was a huge business. Could that business mentality have obscured the safety regulations slightly, especially when you take into account the multiple commissions which mean fights can always be made elsewhere?
- Meanwhile, in Great Britain during that same era, it was all about football, cricket, rugby union, horse racing, and probably boxing coming in fifth place. Not to say it wasn't popular, because i've been told by one notable expert that boxing was hugely popular in Britain back maybe a century ago. But, let's not forget, British boxing has never had as many superstars as the USA had meaning it would have never been as easy to sell to the masses on a continuous scale. Also, throw in the fact most of Britain's finest fighters would travel to the USA for months at a time to fight in an era where information and results weren't available at the touch of a button.
- I wanted to write this to make sure people know the difference between fighting in Britain and fighting in more lenient places like the USA. A lot of people might not realise this but Britain had to clean up the sport big time as banning boxing in the UK has been debated multiple times over the years.

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