Is it acceptable if, in a fight, the right man wins even if the scorecards handed in at the end of the bout are decidedly suspect? This is the question some people are asking in light of the three 114-112 cards that were handed in at the end of the 12 excellent rounds of boxing Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez put on on Saturday night in Las Vegas. It’s been pointed out by more than a few people – none more vocal than Taylor himself – that the fight would have been scored a draw had Taylor not scored the two knockdowns he did.
Taylor dropped Ramirez in round six and again in round seven. If he hadn’t have done so, we would all be looking ahead to an immediate return fight between these two 140 pounders. Of course, because the right man won the fight, nothing will be done, no investigation will be launched, and this story will very soon go away (if it hasn’t already).
But it’s quite disgraceful to think Ramirez, as game as he was, as well as he fought, would have retained his two belts had Taylor not decked him those two times. Taylor was a clear winner, even without the two knockdowns. But this is boxing, and odd score cards are nothing new, to the contrary – they’ve been around forever.
Taylor is now looking ahead to some massive fights, maybe a move up to the welterweight division. But it cannot be overstated – if he had not scored those two knockdowns against Ramirez, he would be heading into another long and hard training camp, time away from his family, and another testing fight with a guy he had in reality already beaten quite clearly.
We’ve said it before and we will no doubt say it again, but something really does have to be done about this ongoing problem with weird, odd, or just plain crazy scoring in boxing. Ahead of Saturday’s fight, Taylor was far from happy with the three judges that had been assigned to the biggest fight of his career, yet he said he did not want to make too much of a fuss and of course he went ahead with the fight. Fighters put their lives on the line and they have no choice but to trust, or to hope, that the judges do the right thing when they are putting everything on the line in the ring.
Again, the right man won on Saturday, so in the long run no harm was done. But this does not make strange scoring from the assigned officials any more palatable. How many rounds do YOU think Ramirez won during Saturday’s fight?