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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Roldan no stranger to Pinoys

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
07 Jul 2017



Waleska Roldan, the female boxing judge who’s been severely bashed in media for scoring a lopsided 117-111 for Jeff Horn in the Australian’s win over Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision to wrest the WBO welterweight title in Brisbane last Sunday, was in Cebu in 2013.

Roldan was a judge in WBO bantamweight titlist Paulus Ambunda’s defense of the crown against Japan’s Tomoki Kameda at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu. Kameda dethroned the Namibian on a unanimous verdict with Roldan scoring it 117-111. A year later, Roldan was a judge in IBO superflyweight champion Edrin Dapudong’s first title defense against Lwandile Sityatha in East London, South Africa. Dapudong, who’s from M’lang in Cotabato del Norte, lost on a split decision. South African judge Andile Matika saw it for the Filipino, 115-113, but Roldan and Ghana’s Eddie Pappoe both had it 116-112 for the hometowner.

Roldan never gave Pacquiao a chance against Horn and awarded only three rounds to the Filipino----the third, eighth and ninth. In her scorecard, Horn swept the last three rounds to close any window of opportunity for Pacquiao. The two other judges Chris Flores and Ramon Cerdan weren’t as generous to Horn in the homestretch. Flores gave Pacquiao the 10th round while Cerdan scored the 10th and 11th for the Filipino. Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach has called on the WBO to investigate Roldan’s basis for awarding Horn nine rounds and Pacquiao only three. The WBO recently announced it will form a 5-man panel to review the fight and evaluate if the judges' scoring was amiss. The WBO remarked that the review will not reverse the decision unless there is proof of malicious intent or fraud.

****

It’s not the first time a female boxing judge has been castigated for apparently dubious scoring. In 2012, judge Cynthia J. Ross scored it 115-113 for Tim Bradley in what seemed like a clear win by Manny Pacquiao in their WBO welterweight title bout in Las Vegas. Another judge Duane Ford concurred with Ross while judge Jerry Roth saw it 115-113 for Pacquiao. The WBO ordered a review of the fight and assembled a 5-man panel to score it. The panel found Pacquiao to be the winner but the WBO did not reverse the official result. The next year, Ross horrified fans when she scored it 114-114 in the Floyd Mayweather-Saul Alvarez fight in Las Vegas. Mayweather won on a majority decision as the two other judges Dave Moretti and Craig Metcalfe saw it for the Money Man via comfortable margins.

Another female boxing judge Eugenia Williams was lambasted for scoring it 115-113 for Evander Holyfield in a fight against Lennox Lewis at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1999. Judge Larry O’Connell had it 115-115 and judge Stanley Christodoulou 116-113 for Lewis. The verdict raised a howl and fans called it scandalous. Williams was later hauled into court before a grand jury summoned by the Manhattan District Attorney in ordering an investigation for alleged corruption. Williams eventually said she should’ve scored it a draw.

This isn’t an indictment on female boxing judges. In fact, two female boxing judges Julie Lederman and Adalaide Byrd are among the best in the business. The first-ever female boxing judge was Carol Polis who made her debut in 1973. Roach’s mother Barbara was a boxing judge from 1976 to 1987 so his call to investigate Roldan isn’t tainted by sexist discrimination. A highlight of Mrs. Roach’s career was judging the WBA/WBC middleweight title fight between Marvin Halger and Vito Antuofermo in Boston in 1981.

****

Talk of a rematch with Horn is billowing in the wake of what netizens in social media call a bum decision by a kangaroo court. If it happens, Pacquiao will be facing a fifth opponent more than once in his career. The others were Marco Antonio Barrera (twice), Bradley (thrice), Erik Morales (thrice) and Juan Manuel Marquez (four times). Pacquiao has never fought the same opponent back-to-back so if the rematch is sealed in November, it will mark a first in his career.

Horn’s wife Jo is now 13 weeks pregnant with their first child. If Pacquiao and Horn square off again in November, she’ll be about a month away from delivery. Horn and his wife were high school sweethearts. They met 11 years ago at MacGregor High in Brisbane and she fell in love with a “shy, introverted and bookish teenager.”

Two Hollywood actors who witnessed the “Battle of Brisbane” were Chinese-Canadian Ludi Lin and William Dafoe. Boxing legend Roberto Duran also attended. In an interview conducted by Grantlee Kieza in The Sunday Mail, Duran said he would win “without any problems” in a fight against Pacquiao in their prime. “Pacquiao is a great boxer and he has won many titles,” said Duran. “He has beaten some good fighters and is the best at his weight in his time. But he would not have been the best in my time. The boxers of the ‘80s were better than those of today and today, there is a lot more money for them. I was a better boxer than Pacquiao. I had more experience, more wisdom. Boxing-wise, I was more intelligent.”


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