Rodriguez-Collins: Another argument for instant replay

27.08.07 - By Ted Sares: On last Friday night’s ESPN fight, all action fighter Delvin Rodriguez, a native of the Dominican Republic, met talented Keenan Collins (12-2-1 with 8 Kos) of Reading, Pa., who was coming off a split decision loss. D-Rod entered the bout with a 20-2-1 record with 12 knockouts, and was coming off a KO loss to Jesse Feliciano for the USBA welterweight title. In that televised thriller, Rodriguez, dominated the early rounds, but was eventually worn down and savagely taken out by the non-stop pressure of Feliciano.

Both fighters were looking for redemption, but unfortunately both came away empty as an “accidental head-butt“ by Rodriguez opened a deep cut on the forehead of Collins in the second round and led to their scheduled 10-round welterweight bout Friday night being called a no-contest.

After a slow start, D-Rod caught fire in the second stanza, asserted himself, and made it pretty clear how this fight would end. The Collins corner, quickly seeming to recognize their fighter was in a place that was only going to get worse, contended the cut was too deep for him to continue. The fight was then halted by the doctor. Perhaps a slick move on the part of Collins’s corner, but jus another questionable one for boxing. It brought back less-than-pleasant memories of Camacho Jr vs. Jesse James Leija.

As the replay clearly showed, there was no butt, or at least none that was caught on the tapes. There was, however, a strong slashing right (the kind that cuts) that hit Collins exactly on the spot where the cut occurred. Still, Referee Eddie Claudio maintained the cut was the result of an accidental head butt.

Well, it was either one or the other, but based on what I saw (or didn’t see), I say the former. Indeed, most corners will not argue for the fight to be stopped under such conditions, that is, unless the corner belongs to a Camacho Jr against Leija. But there is one way to find out and hopefully the New York State boxing commission will use it by reviewing the tapes.

Manifestly, a boxing match should never be stopped while some judge watches a 3-minute replay of a round, but if the 60 seconds between rounds is enough time for the TV editors to give us replays of the hardest punches, ones that might have caused cuts, there is more than enough time for judges to watch those same replays? If Teddy Atlas or Joe Tessitore can do it in 30 seconds, surely a referee can as well.

It’s time for state commissions to get smart and start taking advantage of technology, albeit carefully, to help the referees and other officials make the right calls.

It was my time to shine and they ripped me off. Lennox Lewis on his draw with Evander Holyfield.

Article posted on 28.08.2007

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