Just Another Travesty

By Richard E. Baker on January 6, 2020

Pathetic scoring by incompetent judges has become just another travesty. (Robert Ecksel)

As opposed to an outrage or being indignant, pathetic scoring by incompetent judges has become just another travesty. Consider the recent ShoBox: The New Generation fight between Joe George (9-0) and Marcos Escudero (10-0). Two boxers, who are a long way from becoming prospects, much less contenders, put their unbeaten records on the line in an effort to make the next small step upwards. Escudero gave George a convincing beating and, for his effort, was awarded a split-decision loss.  

 

This fight was never close and had only two possibly close rounds. Anyone with a soft heart, or unable to hurt a boxer’s delicate feelings, might have given George those rounds, as did the ringside experts. Halfway through the fight the commentators had given up on George realizing the outcome was academic. Escudero amazed them with his boundless energy and rapid-fire punches. They were totally speechless when the scores were announced. And why not? What can be said in the midst of such incompetence? 

 

Judge Gloria Martinez Rizzo gave the fight to Escudero. She had the score much too close, but she at least saw enough of the bout to give the win to the right boxer. Judge Carlos Sucre, obviously more interested in the ring girls and a butterfly he imagined floating by, gave the fight to George. There are no words to describe Bob Lafrate. I refuse to use the title “judge” with him. To use the term judge implies some kind of competence, something he lacks. He scored the fight 93-97 for George. That is not just ridiculous, that is insane. He should never be allowed to view another fight, much less judge one. It is difficult to say if he is blind, a fool, stupid, suffers from narcolepsy, an iconoclast, got the names confused, or ... Well, let the fans decide.  

 

Anyone who judges a fight so badly should be taken to court and sued for loss of wages. When a boxer steps into the ring he puts his career, his reputation, and his earnings on the line. Sucre, and especially Lafrate, clearly robbed Escudero. It is no different than had they broken a worker’s legs as he tried to walk to his job. His future and wages have been diminished and he should be compensated. A lovely test case against judges for lost wages would certainly be interesting.

 

If fans have access to the readily available film of the fight they might try something I often do to give me extra insight to a bout. Watch the fight on fast forward. There is not much to be learned if both fighters continually move around. You will see who moves forward and who retreats. You often see who throws the most punches. Especially watch for periods where the participants do not move. Here is where something can be learned. For those seconds where the fighters did not move, George was folded up against the ropes and Escudero was unloading. This happened repeatedly in every round.  

 

Don’t ask Sucre and Lafarte to try this. They would not know what they were seeing.