Highway Robbery in Corpus Christi
With Cloud fighting for King, and the fight being in Texas, meant that justice had as little chance of being served as matzoh at the post-fight press conference…
You’ve got to hand it to Don King. And if you don’t hand it to Don King, rest assured he’ll take what it is you’re not handing him, by hook or by crook.
IBF light heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud (24-0, 19KOs), a Don King fighter, was gifted an incomprehensible split decision victory over Gabriel Campillo (21-4-1, 8 KOs) Saturday night at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
In a fight that no one except two of the three judges had Cloud winning, the scores were 115-111 for Campillo and 114-112 and 116-110 for Cloud.
Cloud started strong by dropping Campillo twice in the first round. The first knockdown came courtesy a hard right one minute in. The second was the result of a series of punches that were supposed to knock Campillo down and out.
But Campillo not only survived the disastrous first round, he came into his own and flourished for the remainder of the fight.
Putting his superior boxing skills to work, Campillo got his act and started putting is punches together, and it was apparent early on that Cloud didn’t have an answer for Campillo’s southpaw style and dazzling fast combinations.
Campillo was landing against the champion with ease and at will and was bulling him into the ropes. Having snatched what looked like victory from the jaws of defeat seemed only to discourage Cloud even further.
Cloud’s inability to effectively counterpunch put him at a distinct disadvantage against an aggressor like Campillo.
The champ pocketed round six, but it already seemed too little too late to make much difference, even though the fight was only at the midway point.
Cloud’s power, the great equalizer, proved ineffective against a skilled boxer like Campillo. Campillo had it and Cloud did not.
After the final bell, everyone held their breath. It was like déjà vu all over again for the umpteenth time. With Cloud being a King fighter, and with the fight being in Texas, meant that justice, whatever than might mean in this day and age, had as little chance of being served as matzoh at the post-fight press conference.
“The Classy” Jimmy Lennon Jr. said it was “One of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to announce.”
David Diaz tweeted, “Campillo won!”
Peter Quillin, aka Kid Chocolate, wrote “Whoa what a f-cked up win!!!”
“I am sick of the incompetence AND CORRUPTION in boxing,” Lou DiBella tweeted. “Campillo just got robbed and it’s just f-ckin’ biz as usual. I feel sick…again.”
Paulie Malignaggi, who tweets as quickly as he talks, wrote, “Texas strikes again!!! Are they ever going to realize that they shouldn’t allow boxing in this f-cking state!!!!!”
And Bernard Hopkins, himself a light heavyweight champ, was short and sweet in his appraisal of the decision: “Cloud is a BUM!!!”
Compubox’s Bob Canobbio wrote that “CompuBox ShoStats show Campillo doubled Cloud in power shots landed and gets robbed!”
After the fight Cloud said, “I feel like I won the fight. I knocked him down a few times and was the aggressor throughout. I wanted to put him away but sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t. I wanted to stay busy and be aggressive. I did that. He was a busy fighter, and that’s what the crowd here in Corpus Christi responded to. The difference is I was landing the power shots, and that’s what the judges responded to.
“I give Campillo credit. He’s a good fighter and he hung around with me. I think he looked bad in the judges’ eyes for celebrating in the ring thinking he had it won while the fight was still going on. He forgot he was still in a fight.
“When he was throwing the left uppercut, he was catching me with the laces on his wrist, and I think that caused the cuts over my eyes. I was never hurt to the point I couldn’t keep coming forward and throwing shots. I closed the distance between us in the later rounds trying to go to the body and stop him from throwing flurries. He was another bouncy-bouncy guy.”
Don King had something to say in is own defense: “It was an electric fight, it was something that you’d do again. It was a fight where the guy was very colorful, but the devastating punches and the most power punches were from the champion (Cloud). And the referees, I have to commend them, and the judges, for doing a great job, because it could have went either way from the way it colorfully looked, but the effectiveness of the fight, it was all the champ.”
What is it about Texas that seem to bring out the worst in people? First there was the Kennedy assassination. Then there was the “compassionate conservative” George W. Bush. Two weeks ago it was the business with Chavez Jr. and the disappearing drug test. And now it’s highway robbery in Corpus Christi.