Kovalev vs Ward - An evening of inkblotsWritten by Marc Livitz
Election fever as well as sickness has swept the country over the past ten days. Some of us refuse to accept the result while others are content to let a businessman assume the role of the most powerful individual on the planet.
You'll find an argument neither blue nor red in this article, however at the very least we can thank Saturday evening's Pay TV telecast from Las Vegas as nice distraction.
More to the point, the internet was set alight once the light heavyweight championship contest between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward concluded at the T-Mobile Arena. The backlash hurled at the decision was somewhat comforting if one is the type who feels that change is good.
Instead of vile and childish insults fired towards the President elect, the 114-113 unanimous decision win awarded to Ward seemed to take over much of social media in the form of legions of boxing fans crying foul. News flash: the numbers handed in by Burt Clements, Glenn Trowbridge and John McKaie didn't ruin the festivities at the new arena on the Vegas Strip as much as they simply topped it off.
Unfortunately, the scorecards seemed all too proper given the dubious decisions handed (not earned) to Curtis Stevens and Maurice Hooker, respectively as part of the night's pay per view undercard.
Many were already upset at the lack of potential bang in terms of the bouts leading up to the main event, yet this isn't likely what they had in mind.
The majority of us watched the fights at home as opposed to in person. There are times when we as fight fans don't realize just how much we may be influenced by the commentators on TV. Our eyes function just fine, yet at the same time, we're being told just what we're seeing.
During one of the evening's bouts, HBO staff members Max Kellerman and Jim Lampley each shared their two cents in regard to judging a fight. They each had some interesting points. Ringside judges, of course are seated in three separate locations around the ring and they don't always have the best view of the action, all of the time. There will be instances of where a meaningful punch is landed or missed, yet their respective angle may be visually impaired if they're staring at a fighter's back, for example when a good shot lands.
However, the dubious scores turned in by Tim Cheatham, Kermit Bayless and Dave Moretti after the telecast's opening contest between the aforementioned Stevens and James De la Rosa must have meant they were looking at something other than the actual contest based on what they saw and then put to paper. Two scores of 96-92 and one at 98-90 gave Stevens a questionable win. Forget the commentators and try the tried and true eye test. De la Rosa survived an early knockdown and likely did enough to win the bout, but the judges disagreed.
We saw one thing but they saw another so, it's up to interpretation.
In the following bout, perhaps we as paying fans should be grateful that Isaac Chilemba was forced to retire on his stool after the seventh round. He was being thoroughly trounced by unbeaten Russian prospect Oleksandr Gvozdyk in a "pillar to post" fashion when an injury to his hand or elbow halted the action in the light heavyweight bout.
Given the scores handed in by Adalaide Byrd and Glenn Feldman, respectively about forty five minutes later, Chilemba could have lost all ten rounds but still gained a win.
Byrd and Feldman insulted the efforts of Darleys Perez to no end when they inexplicably disagreed with Robert Hoyle and thought Dallas, Texas fighter Maurice Hooker did enough to remain undefeated.
With all due respect, we call "BS". Everyone saw it, too.
Perez took Hooker to school, around the block and back again for the bulk of eight, perhaps even nine rounds in the super lightweight contest. Hoyle had the good sense to see Perez as the rightful winner and turned in a score of 97-93, yet Byrd's score was the same, only for Hooker. Not to be outdone, Feldman poured his share of alcohol on the wound and scored the bout a draw at 95-95.
Clearly, the razor thin, hairsplitting nod given to Andre Ward in the evening's final fight wasn't a surprise. It was simply keeping with the trend of the night. The judges saw different from the majority of boxing fans, although the main event was debatably too close to call.
Still, we could ask Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach (were he still alive) about what inkblots do to the human psyche.
The inkblot test has been used to study and/or predict one's frame of mind. So, indeed it is fair to beg the question to the group of judges - what did you see?
This can't be blamed on ObamaCare. Vision screening is essential to living a good life. If it's not a deficiency in eyesight and it's not senility, then what could it be? Strength isn't always in numbers.
We deserve better and don't need to be painfully reminded that a knockout is the only sure means of a win.
Kovalev vs Ward highlights