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Shame on Feldman


PhilBoxing.com




LAS VEGAS. It should?ve been a win by unanimous decision for Manny Pacquiao over Keith Thurman to win the super WBA welterweight title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena last Saturday night but judge Glenn Feldman of Connecticut spoiled what would?ve gone down as a clear win.

Feldman and the two other judges Dave Moretti and Tim Cheatham made up the same jury that was assembled for Pacquiao?s previous fight against Adrien Broner last January. It was the first time in Pacquiao?s career that the same judges worked consecutive fights back-to-back.

Feldman?s 114-113 scorecard for Thurman was a surprise. He awarded six of the last seven rounds to Thurman. At the end of 11 rounds, Feldman had it even, 104-all. So the margin of difference was in the last stanza which he scored 10-9 for Thurman, the opposite of how Moretti and Cheatham saw it. Both Moretti and Cheatham gave the 12th round to Pacquiao. But even if the two judges had the final round for Thurman, Pacquiao would?ve still won in their scorecards, 114-113.

It was Feldman?s fifth assignment with Pacquiao. Feldman and Moretti were two of the three judges picked for Pacquiao?s fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in 2015. Feldman had it 116-112 and Moretti, 118-110, both for Mayweather. They both have now worked five of Pacquiao?s last seven outings.

In Pacquiao?s win over Broner, the three judges agreed on the winner. Feldman and Cheatham saw it 116-112 while Moretti had it 117-111, all for Pacquiao. Only Moretti had been a judge for a Thurman fight before last Saturday?s event.

Sports columnist Ed Graney, writing in the Las Vegas Review Journal, criticized Feldman?s scoring in a subtle way. ?The fact judge Glenn Feldman had the fight 114-113 for Thurman is a mere sidebar to a ridiculously astounding main storyline of Pacquiao?s brilliance because the time has long passed when we should ever blink with surprise at how those hired to score the action ultimately do,? he said. ?Feldman saw things few others did. He?s just the latest. That the other two judges----Dave Moretti and Tim Cheatham----had it 115-112 for Pacquiao might have even been a tad close. I had it 116-111. The winner was obvious as Pacquiao knocked Thurman down in the first round and off he went toward improving what is now a 62-7-2 record.?

Graney said Pacquiao?s performance at 40 ?defies logic,? adding that ?longevity has rarely appeared so amazing.? He noted, ?few in sports have reached such an age while navigating the sort of reclamation journey of Pacquiao ? he just keeps going ? even had he lost Saturday to a fighter 10 years his younger, a champion in Thurman who is two inches taller and owns a longer reach, the odds would have still favored Pacquiao continuing to seek out opponents and climb into rings.?

Pacquiao?s legendary stature, however, shouldn?t influence judges in scoring his fights. If he deserves to win, then let the judges score it his way. But if he deserves to lose, the judges should score it the other way. In Feldman?s case, his incompetence was a disappointment not only because Thurman didn?t deserve to win----and he admitted it----but also because it was a knock on a living legend.

I was at ringside for the fight, working the TV commentary with Dyan Castillejo and saw it 116-111 for Pacquiao, the same as Graney?s scorecard. I gave rounds five, six, seven and nine to Thurman and the rest to Pacquiao. With the knockdown, the first round was 10-8 for Pacquiao. Strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune said the 10th round where Thurman doubled up from a shot to the body and ran away from Pacquiao to keep from falling could?ve also been 10-8 despite no knockdown.

To preserve the integrity of the sport, there should be a more careful examination of how judges perform in scoring fights. Feldman, for instance, shouldn?t be allowed to work another marquee fight until he proves himself all over again competent in taking on a major assignment. Too many stinky decisions have marred the beauty of the Sweet Science. Judges are paid to do a good job, not to submit a decision that?s a far cry from what it should be.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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