Although Top Rank CEO Bob Arum was not ringside at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., on Saturday for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. controversial unanimous decision over Bryan Vera in their 173-pound catchweight bout, the 81-year-old boxing promoter said the official judges “got it right.”
“Boxing got it right. I thought so,” said Arum, who promotes Chavez but could not be at the fight. “I didn’t watch the fight live because I was at a wedding, but I subsequently watched the fight and I had Chavez winning the fight, 6-4 (in rounds).”
Vera, on the other hand, said that the ruling “makes me sick to my stomach,” adding, “I thought I won the fight” and “I outworked him.”
According to HBO’s punch stats, Vera had a 176-125 advantage in overall punches landed, as well as winning 109-98 in power shots compared to Chavez, who was awarded the decision by scores of 96-94, 97-93, and 98-92, by Carla Caiz, Marty Denkin and Gwen Adair, respectively.
“The way I remember scoring to be is that the guys who throw the most authoritative and damaging punches get credit for that, not the guys that just slap around and slap around and don’t land devastating punches,” said Arum.
“That’s how I remember scoring. Sure, the guy threw more punches, and probably landed more punches, but they weren’t the same kind of punches that Chavez was hitting him with.”
Arum will be promoting another HBO-televised fight on Saturday at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., when three-division titleholder Miguel Cotto faces junior middleweight Delvin Rodriguez in an area where the popular Cotto will be the A-side opponent, similar to how Chavez was against Vera.
Arum said that he sees no reason for scrutiny in regard to Cotto-Rodriguez, despite a poll of 59 media members, in which 53 scored the bout in favor of Vera, with six draws. In its round-by-round, RingTV.com scored the fight for Vera, 97-93.
“The only pressure that there should be is on these press guys who haven’t been around boxing long enough and who don’t know how to score a fight,” said Arum. “That was an easy fight to score. I could even see that there was a possibility to score it 7-3 for Chavez, though I wouldn’t have. But to say that Vera won that fight, that was absurd.”
Rodriguez’s promoter, Joe DeGuardia, disagrees, also raising the scoring controversy surrounding Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s unanimous decision over Canelo Alvarez on Sept. 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“There have been two instances in the past three or four weeks where there appeared to be biased or unfair judging,” said DeGuardia, who with Vera’s handler, Artie Pelullo, will co-promote junior middleweight Demetrius Andrade against Vanes Martirosyan on Nov. 9 for the WBO’s vacant belt at The American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
“So there has been a little bit of backlash, and the Chavez fight is a perfect example. Look, you know my background. Prior to boxing, I was a prosecutor. So my thought process, frankly, is that I want to make sure that everybody does right. But if they don’t, then I’ll look into it.”
DeGuardia said on Monday that he has been informed that the officials for Saturday’s fight are referee Frank Santore Jr. and judges Mike Ross, Mike Pernick and Rich Green, all of whom are from Florida.
Neither Florida State Athletic Commission executive director Cynthia Hefren nor assistant executive director Frank Gentile could be reached for an immediate comment.
“As far as the scoring of the fight, I can understand Chavez winning. I could see Vera winning. I could see it both ways. Sometimes, that happens in a fight. That doesn’t necessarily mean that anything wrong happened,” said DeGuardia.
“But when you look at a 98-92 score, to me, that’s inappropriate, and something doesn’t look right there. That to me, you could say is that the result of a boxer being the A-side. I hope Florida looks at that and talks to their officials. We just want a fair, unbiased decision on the fight when all is said and done.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org