Philippines, 25 Feb 2018
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News  


INSIDE SPORTS: HOMETOWN DECISIONS


PhilBoxing.com


Filipino boxing fans and even journalists in our country often complain about how some of our fighters are “robbed” in hometown decisions when they fight in places like Thailand, Japan, South Korea, South Africa. We often also complain about decisions in fights in the US that don’t even involve Filipinos.

While we collectively concede that referees and judges have a tough and sometimes thankless task, we contend that if we Filipinos are to expect fair decisions abroad we must ensure that when foreign boxers fight in our own country we do exactly what we demand of them.


Its not often that we are able to see Japanese boxers in action in the Philippines because they generally don’t like to fight here for fear of hometown decisions that would tarnish their ring records or perhaps more importantly because they earn good purses in Japan and our Filipino promoters cannot afford to match that.

It was therefore to the credit of Rex “Wakee” Salud who partnered with MP Promotions of Filipino ring idol Manny Pacquiao and Solar Sports to stage the “Battle for Supremacy” between the Philippines and Japan which was sponsored for all to see by Tanduay, the No.1 Rhum. Unfortunately only one Filipino – Randy Suico - who retained his OPBF lightweight title with a smashing eighth round KO over mandatory challenger but clearly overrated Koji Samejima who cried in his corner after the knockout – asserted his supremacy.

Regrettably two of the judges in the Wyndel Janiola – Hiroyuki Isataka ten round flyweight clash and our very good friend Bruce McTavish in the Jimrex Jaca – Ryu Miyagi WBO Asia Pacific super featherweight title fight, asserted Philippine officials supremacy, not the fighters.

The slo-mo replays confirmed that the cut suffered by Jaca which caused the ring physician to advise McTavish to call a halt in the second round was caused by a legitimate punch and not by a head-butt. Because of the McTavish ruling Jaca retained his title when he didn’t deserve to and despite the polite protestations of Miyagi’s handlers there was nothing that could be done to reverse the decision.

While it is true that Jaca decked the Japanese towards the end of round one, Miyagi dropped the Filipino twice in that same round and had him in trouble in the second. One other fact that worked against the Japanese was that the GAB ring physician took an eternity to check on Jaca’s cuts which gave him much needed time to recover his breath since he didn’t appear to be in top condition. Besides, Jaca gets cut easily and an opponent doesn’t have to resort to head-butts to reopen the cuts.

In fairness to McTavish a long and valued friend, he claimed that the fight was stopped because of the blood that was gushing into the eyes of Jaca who couldn’t see as a result and that the initial cut caused by an accidental head-butt had worsened considerably and caused or at the very least contributed to the stoppage. Under the rules since the fight was only in the second round they couldn’t go to the scorecards and he had no choice but to declare the fight a technical draw.

However, our point of view is that since the fight was stopped only after the second cut was opened which many felt was due to a punch and not a clash of heads as Bruce claimed it was, then the Japanese should have been awarded a TKO victory. Of course it would be unfair for us to insist that we were correct when McTavish, an internationally respected referee, was closest to the action.

In another setback for the Japanese, Isataka, a fine young fighter gave Janiola a boxing lesson for most of their ten-round battle and although the Filipino did have his moments with some flurries, the Japanese always came back. The wide disparity in the scorecards of the judges said it all. Salvador Lopez had Isataka winning by a 97-93 margin considering that Janiola was deducted a point for an accidental head-butt in round eight. But to our chagrin as well as that of many fair-minded fight fans Romy Yulo and Cris Odullo scored it 96-94 for Janiola.

This meant a six point difference between the judges scorecards which was compounded by the fact that Janiola was slapped a one point deduction by referee Ver Abainza. Here again the manager of Isataka expressed his disappointment to our group in the most civil manner and took the painful decision in stride which was a credit to the Japanese.

If we want our boxers to be treated fairly abroad then we should follow the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ronnie Nathanielsz.


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