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CASAMAYOR?S CONTROVERSIAL WIN


PhilBoxing.com




In the undercard to Miguel Cotto-Shane Mosley at Madison Square Garden, Joel Casamayor won a very controversial split decision over Jose Armando Santa Cruz.

Ringside spectators were calling it the ?worst boxing decision of the year.? Frank Lombardi and Ron McNair scored the bout, 114-113 for Casamayor and Tony Paolillo had it 114-113 for Santa Cruz. The huge crowd at Madison Square Garden noisily booed after the judges' ruling was announced.

Casamayor was clearly outboxed and outpointed yet he kept his World Boxing Council interim lightweight title. Santa Cruz, a Mexican now residing in California, connected with a short counter that sent the Cuban boxer down in the first round. Casamayor was coming off a thirteen-month layoff and it had a clear consequence on him. He was completely out of form, could not connect with his punches well and had taken Santa Cruz, his former sparring partner, too carelessly.

Casamayor resorted to holding frequently enough but referee Steve Smoger did not deduct any points. In the seventh round, Santa Cruz used his hard lefts to sprinkle the champion with punches, clearly controlling the fight as it went on to the final bell.

Santa Cruz knocked down Casamayor 50 seconds at the start of the fight and appeared to be in command of of the fight but was not fortunate enough to get back the interim title he lost 15 months ago to American David Diaz, who now holds the WBC lightweight crown.

The 36-year-old Casamayor admitted the long lay-off affected his fight He had not fought since winning the WBC lightweight crown from Diego Corrales 13 months ago, improved to 35-3-1, 21 KOs while Santa Cruz fell to 25-3, 14 KOs.

The Associated Press scored it 117-109 while Boxing Scene had it 118-109 all for Santa Cruz., who was the WBC's No. 1 ranked challenger. Casamayor is a Cuban boxer, who turned pro after defecting to the United States on the eve of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

As an amateur, Casamayor won the gold medal in the bantamweight division at the 1989 Junior World Championships and the gold medal in bantamweight at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics.

Casamayor is a former WBC and WBA world lightweight titleholder and current WBC interim lightweight champion. Prior to the Sta. Cruz bout, he is The Ring magazines? world lightweight champion. It could possibly change after the controversy.



Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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