Spinks - Karmazin: Cory Wins Exactly As Roman Predicted!

08.07.06 - By Izyaslav “Slava” Koza: I would be hard pressed to find one hardcore boxing fan who couldn’t have predicted this exact outcome in tonight’s fight between Cory Spinks and Roman Karmazin. In fact Roman made basically the exact same prediction during our interview. All the St. Louis native had to do was make it close enough and the rest would fall into place. I won’t scream robbery, as I believe there were mistakes the fighter I was cheering for, Karmazin, made as well, but really they were more indirect rather then tactical..

For one, lets congratulate the “winner” on training hard, staying focused, and being very fast and boxing well for the initial half of the fight. The key for Spinks was to move and he did exactly that in the 20+ ft ring. I can’t really blame the guy for using the environment around him, promoter or not, but as a fan of Karmazin, it does leave a sour taste in my mouth with the ring being that big. In terms of scoring the bout, I thought Spinks was clearly dominant in the first half of the fight, even though he did not win all the rounds, as some would believe. The second and sixth round saw hard, staggering punches landing on Cory Spinks face, making him grab on for dear life.

With the second half of the fight obviously being the track meet everybody expected 2 +6 (or rather 5, as I had it) makes it 7-5 in favor of the supposed “loser” Roman Karmazin. I won’t say much more in this regard, seeing as fans perceive it as bias but that is how I scored it. Curiously enough, when Carlos Baldomir beat Judah, it was much the same way and had Judah been more popular, he might not have lost that title, too.

Now the big issue in the bout was the constant and repetitive holding by Spinks which went completely unchecked. I know people will point to the supposed warnings referee Mark Nelson gave but those were really customary and not authoritarian as should have been the case. Were we to have Jay Nady in there, it would be a totally different ballgame. When the referee was telling Cory, “come on, don’t hold,” I was yelling at the TV because I am sure Spinks was laughing at Nelson, and so was the entire Spinks corner.

That, by the way, is where Karmazin can be blamed as well, in retrospect. The one time he hit Spinks on the break, he went into to apologize, rather than doing it over and over again. He repeatedly complained about the holding rather then DOING something about it the way other fighters like Samuel Peter or Kostya Tsyzu have. Even though, I was cheering for Klitschko, when Peter nailed him in the back of the head and he went down, unjustly being called for the knockdown, it wasn’t so much unfair, as much as punishment for breaking the rules. That was not a matter of a competent referee but sheer luck and that is what Karmazin might have benefited from had he smacked Spinks, on the break, or on the back of the head more often. Let the cornermen of the other guy complain to the referee seeing as they were the only ones who could get his attention during the bout.

Same exact thing goes for Kostya Tsyzu vs. Sharmba Mitchell I. Mitchell tried to pull a Ruiz, when Tsyzu just pushed him down, or wrestled his way out, and let the referee sort out the fouls. Sure, he lost a point or two but who ended up winning? If Roman Karmazin told me, “victory” is the only thing, then as much as I understand, he has a fighter’s honor, and respect him for it, he should have went for broke losing those points. Push him down, hit him, fight on the break, or do something that will make the referee see you are not initiating the clinches. Nikolai Valuev tossed Gerald Nobles to the ground in the first for grabbing onto him too much, and Nobles was the one who had to foul out because he knew more was coming if he would try the same. Karmazin tried to be too respectful. Mitchell and Tsyzu were friends after the second fight even though Kostya roughed the hell out of him in the first.

The same could be said of Hatton vs, Collazo, where it was a matter of both fighters knowing fighting dirty was the key to coming out on top. I know, we as fans will get on any fighter’s case for fighting dirty, and were it Karmazin winning via tko on a rabbit punch, maybe we would be upset with him for that, but at least he would win.

Furthermore, the absence of Freddie Roach, or an experienced American substitute was very visible. When I say experienced, I don’t mean in the sense of being a great trainer, or even well versed in English, but just someone who knows these referees informally. Many times the trainers of some of the top fighters, due to the amount of time spent in the ring, are extremely familiar with all the refs working championship bouts. That does not mean there is bias but that sort of networking is imperative for getting the referee’s attention.

In any case, Cory Spinks got his belt by winning the boxing match much the way most fans predicted. Roman Karmazin’s mistake was not going all out, rules or no, to win. If you look at the top fighters pound for pound, like Hopkins, Mayweather, Morales and Barrera, you see that they can, and will fight dirty, if the occasion calls for it. It most definitely did here and sadly, Roman Karmazin had too much honor to rise to that occasion. Cory Spinks did, and by running and clinching, he did become the champion, as sad as that is for me to admit.

Article posted on 09.07.2006

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