Burgos: Is Anyone Listening?

By Robert Ecksel on January 22, 2013
Burgos: Is Anyone Listening?
Boxing demands can and will be interpreted as acts of rebellion. (Chris Farina/Top Rank)


There are prayers. There are dreams, hopes and wishes. And last but not least there are demands. Boxing prayers, like boxing dreams, hopes and wishes, are often acts of futility. Boxing demands, on the others hand, can and will be interpreted as acts of rebellion. Because boxing is a power sport where power relations hold sway, those without power, most losing fighters for example, are pretty much helpless when it comes to controlling their destiny.

Case in point is Juan Carlos Burgos.

Burgos was on the losing end of a super featherweight title fight Saturday night, having allegedly fought to a draw against the current WBO titleholder Roman Martinez. That two of the three judges got it wrong is nothing new. What is new is that people in and out of the sport have lost patience with boxing as it repeatedly, and blatantly, continues to shoot itself in the foot.

For a sport with a credibility problem, dubious scores don’t help a bit.

In order to right a wrong, Team Burgos issued a press release, one of dozens received each week, with nothing to separate the wheat from the chaff, ostensibly to draw attention to that about which everyone knows.

To bolster their argument that Burgos deserves a rematch, an argument that needs no bolstering, Team Burgos recalled the questionable scorecards, the HBO broadcast team’s remarks regarding the judges’ inexperience in title fights, CompuBox punch stats, and the results of a post-fight fan poll HBO conducted.

All that is well and good, assuming anyone is listening.

Just in case no one is listening, Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions said, in hope that they might, “Juan Carlos won that fight hands down and this week we will file for an immediate rematch. The kid worked hard and should be a world champion…We just hope the WBO agrees with what the whole world saw and does the right thing by granting us this rematch.”

Or as Spike Lee might suggest, “Do the right thing.”

General Manager of Thompson Boxing, Alex Camponovo, is as unhappy as Pelullo, and like Pelullo is willing to express it.

“The draw left Juan Carlos Burgos completely dejected and angry,” he said. “We all felt the same way as his dream of becoming a champion turned into a New York nightmare. We hope the WBO does not punish a young man who has given everything to his craft since the age of 10 and joined the pros when he was 16 years old. An immediate rematch should be the only solution to a poor ending and I think Martinez’s people and the champion himself know deep down that he did not do enough to retain the belt.”

New York nightmares are nothing new. At the very least Burgos deserves a rematch. But in order for him to get a rematch, the WBO, no less than others at the top of the boxing pyramid, needs to decide if what went down in the Big Apple Saturday night was kosher.

Chances are they are looking ahead at what’s to come and not behind at what already transpired.

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  1. jb 09:11am, 01/23/2013

    I agree with Robert that people are losing patience with boxing.  Lately, the sport suffers from more bad publicity than good.  I am convinced that the subjectivity and blatant inconsistency in how fights are scored is the root of this problem.  I also agree with Bob.  A ranking system for judges would really be beneficial.  It looks like someone is already working on developing this system…..check out the POD INDEX

  2. Bob Arum 02:21pm, 01/22/2013

    Perhaps someone should invent a system to somehow rank boxing judges on their performance.  Not sure how to do it, but it needs to be done.

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