By Jonathan Harris – As the year of 2017 edges to a close we can be very thankful for a fulfilled action-packed year of boxing with a few thrillers still to come in December!
Most of the “edge of your seat” fights have also been followed by a few dark clouds reigning over the decision tables of the judges, Mostly the very much talked about and the very controversial scorecard of the infamous Adelaide Byrd that gave a comfortable win to the Mexican Canelo Alvarez when he met the Hard hitting Gennady Golovkin on September the 17th. A fight that most people deemed was going to be “Fight of the Century” had the attention fastly ripped from it because of this Scorecard and judge which is a huge disappointment when both fighters fought so hard to make for an exciting watch.
More than A few times through the history of the sport we love so much there has been hugely disputed decisions and upsets but is the system improving in any way to make these atrocities less of an occurrence?
Like any sport where money is involved, You find corruption and hidden politics that has infiltrated the world of boxing so deep it takes a lot more than a scratch of the surface to uncover the root and source of the problem. This includes not only professional but amateur boxing also. One prime example would be from the 2016 Olympics held at Rio De Janeiro when the Talented young Irish Bantamweight Star Michael Conlan, who was a victim as some would say of unfair and very inaccurate scoring cards which unfortunately prevented him from taking a medal back to his home country. Conlan was not shy about making his disappointment known to the world, raising his middle fingers to the judges and quoting in an interview “Amateur boxing stinks from the core right to the top”. On a personal level, the most gut-wrenching quote he made during his interview is “I’m absolutely devastated, my Olympic dream was robbed from me today”. Fortunately, even though he resented boxing for the corruption, Micky turned professional shortly after and is now an exciting prospect in his division currently on a 4-0 winning streak.
Experienced fighters have more than likely come across poor decisions inside of the squared circle multiple times and had accepted the problem and deal with it by swallowing their pride and accepting something they wish they did not have to, but the real problem is within young fighters trying to start a career and either falling short to unfair scoring or even witnessing others inside of the sport being a victim of poor judging and scoring.
For onlookers, it seems to some that a loss is just a blemish on a fighters record, but a perfect record is not everything and not what I feel is what is being damaged the most. Dreams of a young fighter being obliterated by discriminatory decisions could be enough for a young person to give up on passion and talent that they have running through their veins, and that is exactly what has the highest possibility of weakening the growth of the sport.
On the outside, The world of Boxing can look Very alluring, but beyond the bright lights, the big paydays, flashy cars and world fame there is the Blood, sweat and tears. As fans, we can only begin to imagine the groundwork that goes into the trade of fighters, so when their dreams are seized by an unfortunate and unfair decision that is completely out of their grasp it makes being inside the squared circle not only physically but also mentally the hardest sport in the world!