First of all, congratulations to Paul Smith who delivered a career best performance, which he promised, on the night when it mattered the most. A monumental effort behind enemy lines, which was appreciated by every set of fully functioning eyeballs which had the joy of tuning in for what was a tremendous fight.
Isn’t it such a shame that we find ourselves on familiar ground once again, marveling at inconceivable ineptitude that points to the darker side of boxing, which has soiled its name for far too long.
We seem to have arrived to a point where these scorecards are commonplace; met with the reluctant acceptance of ‘That’s what happens in Germany’, it’s wrong and it damages the sport and must be stopped. I doubt it ever will and I don’t have the solution. When it comes down to it, boxing is the icing on the cake of a ‘great’ night out for the German public. The vast majority, couldn’t care less if the scorecards seemed errant, what matters is their man’s arm is raised, whether warranted or not, a win it seems is promised with the entrance fee.
To add balance, this happens far too often throughout the world of boxing, but in Germany this appears endemic, I mean Sven Ottke, what more do you need to say.
So, when the culmination of Saturday’s superb battle was followed with scores of 117-111 twice and the C.J. Ross looking 119-109, Fernando Laguna, hang your head in shame, the essence of the contest was lost and bitterness, confusion and disappointment reigned.
I read an article in the Boxing Monthly recently, by the excellent Steve Farhood, who he argued that scoring is a far more subjective exercise than most would have you believe. Having watched the fight 3 times since watching it live, I completely agree. However, whether you’re a fan (like myself), a fighter or an expert analyst, we can all be agreed on one thing, this was a close fight which depending on your perception, could have gone either way.
Personally, I had Abraham winning by a round on the night, having built up a healthy lead early with what I perceived to be cleaner punching. However, I accept that people will have that differently, with rounds 1, 8 and 11 particularly difficult to score. It really was a ‘pick what you like’ fight, one of those you just cannot argue with the decision either way, as long as it reflects the close nature of the action.
In this case that couldn’t be further from the truth, however, when the dust settles, Paul Smith, far more savvy in this game than I will ever be, could see this as a blessing in disguise. For, I just don’t believe if Abraham had won a close decision we would get the rematch we would all love to see. As it is, such was the scandalous nature of the scoring; there is strong backing for a rematch, a fight I’m sure Smith would be confident of winning, on neutral territory.
Whether that’s a possibility will be decided by Eddie and Kalle, but the way I see it is this; Paul Smith v Arthur Abraham 2, would sell out Anfield (Liverpool FC’s Stadium) and do some serious figures financially. Add to that, the fact that Abraham is a fighter who doesn’t have many big nights or pay days left, then you have a makeable fight, which has clear benefits to both fighters and fans alike.
I know, I know… I’m an idealist, but a logical idealist. This is a makeable fight, one that the WBO should demand. If the IBF can do it for Groves, then the WBO can do it for Smith, so get tweeting Paco Valcarcel.
Finally, what a fantastic performance by Paul Smith, who on another night could have been on Joe Gallagher’s shoulders, his dreams accomplished. It wasn’t to be, but it’s not over yet and if there’s any justice, the chance will come again on fair and even ground… With course and distance knowledge, it’s a chance I can see him taking.