“Almaz” Raimkulov: They robbed the kid, plain and simple

11.06.05 - By Izyaslav “Slava” Koza: Let me be real brutal here because I cannot understand how anyone could have had the Almazbek Raimkulov-Joel Casamayor fight a draw. That sort of scoring seems pretty ridiculous to me, and here is why: First of all, after the fight, Emanuel Steward said that “Kid Diamond” belongs with the elite of the division, and I do not agree with that statement, since he didn’t face an elite fighter at all.. Joel Casamayor did not look like a guy that had gone to hell and back with Freitas, Corrales or Castillo. In fact, from rounds 2 through about 10 or so, he reminded me of one fighter that I had seen recently in almost every manner. That fighter is curiously enough another Cuban, only he was named Eliecer Castillo and he got knocked out in the fourth round in his fight versus Wladimir Klitschko.

Seriously, if you somehow missed the fight from around round 2 onwards, all you have to do to get an idea of what Joel Casamayor looked like is pop in Castillo-Klitschko. How anyone could give him any single one of those rounds is beyond me.

Almazbek didn’t look that good either, don’t get me wrong. For some reason, he had a real balance issue in the fight, and that is why he lost a point for the knockdown in the first, because he was off balance as he would be for a major portion of this fight. Were Casamayor not in the mood to run the Boston Marathon, he might have done a better job in exploiting this, sadly he did not. Almazbek carried the fight to Joel, and even if he wasn’t hurting Casamayor or landing very clean punches, (I thought they were good enough) you have to give those rounds to the guy who is trying to fight and not to the guy trying to run away.

I fully understand what Casamayor’s plan was, but obviously it failed. He knew Raimkulov hadn’t gone past 10 before and he thought that he would run for the majority of the fight then TKO the Diamond late. I think he was in for a rude awakening when down on the cards (according to anyone who knows how to score fights that is) he became the aggressor in the tenth and found that Raimkulov was just as able in counterattacking, as being the aggressor. I think those rounds were very close in that, yes, Raimkulov was tiring a bit, and Casamayor was the fresher of the two, but Raimkulov was countering effectively, it seemed to me. Even so, let's assume you give Casamayor the 10th and the 11th round, and he got a 2 point swing in the first, how in the hell does he deserve a draw for that?

The 12th round was very interesting because with a minute in Casamayor hurt Almazbek, and seeing as I saw a bit of an upset in the making I was cheering for the Kyrgyz kid to hold on. At that point, Casamayor had won the round obviously, but then with about 20 seconds to go, seemingly out of it, Almazbek pulled off a sweet 3 punch combo that found its mark, that made me and everybody in the room jump up and clap in approval. I thought that the combo sealed both the round and the fight for the Diamond. However, even then lets assume you give Casamayor that round (even though again I thought the unsteady feet of Casamayor after that marvelous last gasp combo were ready to do a Zab Judah), how can you still have a draw?

I’m no mathematician but at least I have the ability and the power of sight, which the two of those judges were definitely lacking. Now what somebody said to me after the fight was that Casamayor looked the better of the two, and Raimkulov looked the worse for wear. I don’t deny that but the difference is Raimkulov just boxed and fought over the course of 12 rounds, while Casamayor was content to practice for the 5000 meters in the next Olympics.

What is ultimately worse is one of these judges had somehow found a way to give Casamayor the nod in more rounds. So this wasn’t a majority draw but instead two of the judges each scored it for one of the fighters and the third had it a draw. Now look if your judging on who can run the fastest and who looks prettier, maybe judging a bikini contest, or a beauty pageant is the job for you. I mean, look even a draw, although beyond me, seems somewhat likely if a judge tried to give Casamayor some pity rounds like the 6th, where nothing really different happened except that Raimkulov maybe didn’t look as good as the previous round. So you throw a couple of those in, maybe you can come up with a draw. Okay, honest mistake, a stupid one, but still honest. Again, how can you give more rounds to the guy running away and flicking a jab out once in a while?

What angers me is Emmanuel Steward, the famed trainer starts to go off on how, he could see it as a draw? I mean, come on, fine, there could be an honest mistake in scoring, but you have to give respect to the guy that carried the fight. The only reason that fight was a fight or a boxing match was because of what Raimkulov did. I give him full credit for a win, and I ask myself if Joel Casamayor needs to pop in the Castillo-Corrales fight, before he steps into the ring next time, in order to understand exactly what it means to fight. This was a horrible decision, in my opionion, and I hope people realize why.

Article posted on 11.06.2005

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