Praising Tony Weeks

By Ted Sares on March 10, 2014
Praising Tony Weeks
As the Dog took an uppercut, Weeks stepped in and stopped the fight without hesitation.

We are fast to criticize—and rightly so—Laurence Cole for his abysmal performance in the Lomachenko-Salido affair, and we do not hesitate to go after those involved in the Magomed tragedy, but what about when a referee does the right thing?

In the Canelo slaughter of Alfredo Angulo, Tony Weeks took a quick step in at the 2:38 mark of the tenth round and looked as if he might stop the beatdown but then backed off looking for a better spot. Then, as the Dog took an uppercut, Weeks stepped in and stopped the blood sport without hesitation.

This was the same Tony Weeks who took a hard look at Mike Alvarado after he put his body on the line and got badly clubbed by a Siberian monster named Ruslan Provodnikov.

‘I asked Mike two to three times, ‘Do you want to continue?’” said Weeks. “And Mike said each time, ‘No.’” Weeks promptly stopped the Mile High mugging for a TKO on the chair before the start of the eleventh round. The fact is, Alvarado has been in too many damaging bouts and, for that matter, so has Angulo. More importantly, referees know these things as part of their preparation for a fight.

Sometimes a third man will look for a spot in which to stop a fight. This happened when Pacquiao dismantled Miguel Cotto and Kenny Bayless finally found the right point at the 0:55 mark of Round 12.

This same scenario presented itself to Tony Weeks in the tenth round and he took advantage of it when Perro ate the uppercut. It also appeared that Weeks might have conferred with the ringside doctor between rounds nine and ten but I could not corroborate this. At any rate, Tony was concerned because that’s the type of referee he is—one who shows concern for the welfare of the fighter.

Now we see articles and posts criticizing the stoppage as “premature.” Yet when a Steve Smoger allows a James Kirkland to beat on a defenseless Glen Tapia, the outrage is somewhat more muzzled.

The outcome of this fight was written in stone and the only issue remaining was whether Hunter or Weeks would save Angulo from himself, with the possibility of irreversible damage being suffered. Once again, the age-old adage emerges to wit: It is always better to stop a fight too soon than too late. Manifestly, in this instance Tony Weeks did the right thing and anyone who disagrees with this has a short memory.

You can’t have it both ways.

Ted Sares is a private investor who enjoys writing about boxing. A member of the Elite Powerlifting Federation, Ted is one of the oldest active competitors in the world and holds several state records.

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  1. IRISH MIKE Flannigan 08:41pm, 05/26/2014

    Gentlemen, no one sees the fight in the ring like the “Ref” he sees the figher’s up close and their physical condition better than the judges and certainly better than any of us arm chair quarterbacks on fight night.

    I praise all those who step inside the squared circle to officiate boxing matches period. I must say that those people who are given that authority are at least 98% right on their decisions and that folks is better than most any other occupation, including being a doctor.

  2. IRISH MIKE FLANNIGAN 56-4-1 Bare Knuckle 10:09pm, 03/20/2014

    Gentlemen, I must say that in the 65 years I have been watching the sport of boxing, I have never known anyone to come up with a referee inside the squared circle, that was perfect ever single time, that he was the 3rd man in that ring doing the officiating.

    However, I can recall several very good professional fighters, that went to their grave early because the 3rd man in the ring, did NOT STOP that fight soon enough. Benny Kid Paret is one I will never forget fight fans. He took a beating in his last fight, (he was a great fighter too) prior to fighting Emile Griffith. The fighter’s corner man is also very responsible for his fighter when in the ring. Hunter should have thrown the towel in much sooner, just for the sake of not getting his fighter seriously hurt. Angulo took far to much punishment in that fight. Mr. Weeks did his job, however Mr. Hunter failed terribly that night in protecting his fighter.

  3. leslie 01:29pm, 03/19/2014

    Tony Weeks is the kind of referee that we need, he cares about the boxers and their families.

  4. IRISH MIKE FLANNIGAN 56-4-1 Bare Knuckle 04:26pm, 03/16/2014

    The fight should have been stopped 2 rounds prior!!! Yeah, but the corner man just didn’t have the guts to pull the trigger on his fighter.
    This man took a real beating in his last fight, could have caused brain damage no doubt about that fact.

    If you watch this fighter he slows down after getting hit several times. Now gentlemen, I am no brain doctor but I do know that in my 70 plus years, it sure is a tell tail sign of brain damage.

    Weeks did the proper thing buy stopping this fight….Amen! If it would have gone on in the ring, I am afraid this man would never know his wife or his children. He would end up like many fighters have over the years, PUNCH DRUNK period or just plan DEAD.

  5. mig 06:08pm, 03/15/2014

    Just watch Weeks carefully when he does his job. He is inattentive and not very responsive.  His reaction time has diminished perhaps due to excess alcohol consumption.  He messed up or was paid off during the Matthysse vs Garcia fight and failed to warn Garcia for over 32 low blows, hugging , pushing and even failed to intervene during a push into the ropes which was ruled a knockdown.  Although he stopped Canelo and Angulo and many think it was proper, I disagree with this guy being a ref anymore.  He and Cole are perhaps the biggest shame to the profession of refs.

  6. Leigh 11:32pm, 03/14/2014

    I think he was spot on,and if you take into account previous fights,I must admit I love a tear up of a fight as well as two slicksters performing the noble art.but it was one of those fights where I was shaking my head most of the time,paulie said the right thing after the fight that Anglo would be able to say goodnight to his little girl tonight . It was the reaction of mr hunter post fight that surprised me he comes across knowledgable at times but then other times plain sugar ray once said “you couldn’t fill a room with people to watch Van Gogh paint a picture but you would fill a football stadium to watch him cut his ear off” ! Boxing fans are a fickle bunch

  7. Tex Hassler 10:01am, 03/13/2014

    The referee’s job is not an easy job by any stretch of the imagination. Some times 2 or 3 extra punches landed can make the difference between life and death. I had rather see a fight stopped too early than see a fighter on a stretcher headed for the hospital or grave. YES Weeks is a good referee, excellent in fact.

  8. Ted 09:36am, 03/12/2014

    This was another great stoppage where the corner and the ref came together on it after GGG used Stevens as a big bag,

  9. Ted 09:32am, 03/12/2014

    Thanks Springs.

  10. Springs Toledo 08:50am, 03/12/2014

    Thank you, Ted. This was an important article. Tony Weeks distinguished himself with that stoppage. Angulo got nailed with uppercuts and his head snapped back and kind of drifted back down a few times. That’s not an encouraging reaction. One more like that and this could have been a whole different article. Angulo needs to retire; he was shuddering repeatedly in the Kirkland fight and that was telling too. Let’s be honest -he’s been finished since then. I won’t watch him face another puncher and am not big on watching him against anyone else either.

  11. Eric 02:44pm, 03/11/2014

    You would think there would be more serious or fatal injuries in MMA than in boxing but the opposite is true. Of course MMA fighters don’t hit with the accuracy or power of a professional boxer, nor do they pound each other in the head for 10-12 rounds. Then again, how many times does a boxer take an elbow or knee or get punched repeatedly while on the ground? I’ve seen Matt Hughes and Quinton Jackson pick up and viciously slam fighters to the ground, I believe both fighters knocked out opponents this way. The amount of fatalities in the same amount of years isn’t even close. MMA is seen as the more barbaric sport but unfortunately boxing yields more serious injuries and deaths. Just a rough sport, if you won’t to guarantee your son’s or even daughter’s safety in the ring, the only way is to not let them box. Even former football players have stated they wouldn’t let their children play football. No guarantees in life.

  12. John 01:49pm, 03/11/2014

    Ted: “Bottom line: You have a kid boxing. What referee do you want in there?” FYI: I’ve had a kid in there. I want a referee that will err on the side of caution.

  13. John 01:43pm, 03/11/2014

    Nicholas: You’re correct with the split decision win for Taylor. Assuming the fight would have went the distance and Chavez was given a 10-8 round in the 12th, the final scorecards would have read as follows: Dave Moretti 115-112 (Taylor), Jerry Roth 116-111 (Taylor), and Chuck Giampa 115-112 (Chavez). FYI: I found the info on BoxRec. Not to beat a dead horse, but I still don’t believe Richard Steele knew exactly how much time was on the clock. That’s the job of the timekeeper and not the ref. Steele was looking directly into the eyes of Taylor when he stopped the fight and had the best view. For the record, I was watching on a TV set 325 miles away from Vegas in Oxnard, CA.

  14. Ted 11:34am, 03/11/2014

    “So…Quien es mas macho–  the brooding beast who fights sloppily and with virtually no game plan or the fighter who carefully and meticulously learns the sport’s true craft over the course of a lifetime spent toiling away in anonymous gyms?” PM

  15. Ted 11:32am, 03/11/2014

    Bottom line: You have a kid boxing. What referee do you want in there?

  16. nicolas 11:31am, 03/11/2014

    In Richard Steele’s case, there was no way that Chavez was even going to be able to land another punch on Taylor,  unless after the bell. Though in truth, even a victory for Taylor would have been a costly won, as he was never the same after. Don’t forget, he would have most likely won a split decision, unless the judge who would have otherwise had had it 114-113, would have given Chavez a two point round, which was highly unlikely. I wonder if the criticism of Weeks is somewhat due to where the fight is being held, and the fact that there are gamblers who are angry because maybe the fight has not gone on longer, and they have lost money. that Angulo wanted to continue is understandable, he is a proud warrior, but when I here his corner did not want the fight stopped, that is pure sadism, and Mr. Angulo, in hindsight should wonder if he wants to be associated with such people. As mentioned by Eric regarding Little League Baseball, Canelo after nine rounds would have been ahead on all the score cards by such a margin that even if Angulo had won the last three rounds, he would not have won the fight, or lost it my either a majority or split decision. As for these so called boxing fans who saw this fight in Vegas, are they so oblivious to the recent deaths in Mexico of boxers, or around the world? Do they want someday in the future to meet Mr. Angulo, and and say what a great fighter he was, and he mumbles back to them incoherently?

  17. Ted 10:44am, 03/11/2014

    Big Walter, great post!

  18. John 09:00am, 03/11/2014

  19. John 08:55am, 03/11/2014

    Re: Richard Steele. As spectators, we all knew the Chavez/Taylor fight had two seconds to go, but did Steele? There’s a light in the corner to indicate 10 seconds are left in the fight, but does Steele see/know that light is even on? Fact: Taylor went down in a heap and it’s his responsibility to convince Steele he’s okay and able to continue. Personally, I don’t think he did that.

  20. Ted 07:13am, 03/11/2014

    Duva has never been much of a corner man and is totally non-compassionate.

  21. Eric 06:24am, 03/11/2014

    Unless Julio Cesar Chavez was secretly The Flash back in his prime, how in the hell was he even going to have time to run from the neutral corner and get to Taylor in two seconds. Secondly, Taylor was up at the count of 5 or 6 and was coherent enough to immediately start protesting Steele’s call. Given the ridiculous amount of time left in this fight, this was a bad call by the Richard Steele. Taylor was certainly capable of defending himself for two seconds, that is IF Chavez could even get to him in those mere two seconds. The call cost Taylor a monumental victory. Add two losses to Chavez’s ledger, this fight and the one against Whitaker.

  22. john coiley 04:53am, 03/11/2014

    YES!, THANK YOU for correcting my typo…ANGEL is the word/purpose of my comment…

  23. Clarence George 04:46am, 03/11/2014

    John Coiley:  I don’t know if you meant to write “Angle” instead of “Angel,” but “Angle of Mercy” is about the best title I can think of for an article on a referee.  Consider it appropriated.  Which reminds me:  When Lincoln died, did Edwin M. Stanton say, “Now he belongs to the ages”...or “angels”?

    Pete:  Excellent points about Duva.

  24. Pete The Sneak 04:37am, 03/11/2014

    Well documented Toro…When you see Weeks work a fight, all you can think of is professionalism and a man who carefully, consistently and compassionately works his craft… If my son were a boxer, I’d want Tony working his fights…By the by, Steele was wrong for stopping that taylor/chavez fight with 2 seconds left. However with that being said, I also blame Lou Duva for two things…One, for getting up in the corner during Steele’s count, totally distracting Taylor while Steele was asking him if he was OK…and second, his instructions to Taylor before that final round, telling Taylor he needs to go all out (which he definitely did not need to do)...Duva denies he instructed Taylor as such, but the tapes/audio of that scene do not lie…Peace.

  25. john coiley 03:31am, 03/11/2014

    The referee is more than the “middle man” on many occasions, an “Angle of Mercy” is more like it at time…

  26. Clarence George 02:28am, 03/11/2014

    Bikermike:  With two seconds to go, one has to wonder if Chavez would have had the time to get to Taylor, let alone throw a punch.  And Steele would have been right there to interpose himself if necessary and certainly at the ringing of the bell.  Again, given Taylor’s condition, I’d agree with Steele’s decision if there’d been five to 10 seconds left in the bout, but not at 2:58.

  27. Big Walter 01:30am, 03/11/2014

    I read about this one and then caught it on Facebook thanks to Meinhard Schmidt. What I witnessed was a one-sided beating perpetrated by the Red Head against a sluggish and shot fighter who could not let his hands go.  I watched the referee watch this Perro and his stoppage was perfect if not a bit too late. One thing I did learn was that Virgil Hunter is a one-trick pony who is a bad person to have in your corner if you are a warrior. This thing happened to Berto as well. Hunter should stick to Ward.

  28. kid vegas 09:48pm, 03/10/2014

    Timely. ESB is full of articles criticizing Weeks and that totally mystifies me. The guy does great work in there and is a class act with none of that bullshit like saluting, winking, or sayings “Let’s get Popping” like fat Eddie Claudio does.

  29. bikermike 09:33pm, 03/10/2014

    seems like Taylor had a brave manager..corner..and fanbase…He gave them all what they wanted

  30. bikermike 09:22pm, 03/10/2014

    my heart went out to Taylor that day…..but look at his face when Steele saved him…..he looked like he’d been trying to defeat a buzz saw with his face…The man gave his best ...and he lost. 

    Imagine how it would have felt..and yes…it would haunt him.

  31. bikermike 09:13pm, 03/10/2014

    Taylor put his heart and soul into his Chavez match…tried to shrug off the blows and kept coming in and scoring…despite the punishment he took to get close enough to land his whirlwind like combinations.

    I was as stunned as anyone as to how the fight was decided…but the call was right…I believed it then..and I believe it now

    I lost all my first fights..due to lack of skills….and I kept coming.  I’m glad there were good referees

  32. bikermike 09:08pm, 03/10/2014

    When Ted and I played football….there was a term used….‘HE GOT HIS BELL RUNG’...

    nowadays…they’d call that a concussion.

    Boxing has one of it’s goals…to ‘stop ’ his opponent…or ...knock him out.

    A good referee is essential in Boxing…Weeks is the kind of guy you want to protect the fighters ...AND THE SPORT….

    ..there can always be a rematch….instead of a funeral

  33. bikermike 08:59pm, 03/10/2014

    Taylor was helpless..and the fight had to be stopped..
    Gladiator is a movie…and not a recognized event in modern times..

    Two seconds….or what ??  put the belt on top of his casket ??

  34. Clarence George 07:40pm, 03/10/2014

    Exactly right, Ted—never the same.  But not only because of the physical punishment, but also because of the corrosive knowledge that he lost both bout and championship by two seconds—one Mississippi, two Mississippi.

  35. Dan Adams 07:32pm, 03/10/2014

    Right on, Ted.

  36. dollarbond 07:22pm, 03/10/2014

    Spot on, Bull.

  37. bikermike 07:18pm, 03/10/2014

    you step into a ring without headgear… know this is not a bridge tournement…OK????!

    Everybody knows that…same as other dangerous events…say…rodeo..race car drivers…or .....anything short of testing motorcycle helmets ffs

    Boxing is a very high contact sport…fitness and skill is the only thing to protect the fighter…AND THE REFEREE

  38. bikermike 07:12pm, 03/10/2014

    Meldric Taylor me….reminds me of that song JOHN HENRY WAS A STEEL DRIVING MAN

    John Henry was the legendary steel driver who could out pound a steam machine put steel rails in place by driving spikes to brace them. 

    after he beat the machine…..he laid down his hammer and he died….Taylor was not the first nor the last fighter to leave it all ...and I MEAN ALL in the ring

  39. bikermike 07:05pm, 03/10/2014

    Chavez….not my favourite fighter…took his share of blows as well….Taylor went out ...because his heart was bigger than his fight that night.

    He was as good as he could be..but it cost him….

    if it was a rocky movie ...he’d have been given the time…...I know he was ahead on some of the score cards…but… a referee….none of that is a factor for his main function…..PROTECT THE FIGHTERS

    Meldric Taylor was another fighter who took too much punishment in his career.

  40. bikermike 06:59pm, 03/10/2014

    I’m gonna say this ..because it has to be said.

    Richard Steele was right to stop the fight ...regardless of the time left on the clock…as Taylor was defenseless..and could not even respond to the referee’s questions.

    That the fight was so hard fought was not the issue…so far as the referee is concerned.

    ‘nuff said….other than to venture a guess that Clarence George has never strapped ‘m up and took the blows…....respectfully

  41. Ted 06:47pm, 03/10/2014

    Actually, I heard Alvarado say “NO.” He later denied that but it was pure crap as he would have been the victim of second degree murder at the heavy hands of the Siberian

  42. Ted 06:45pm, 03/10/2014

    CG, In that one the damage had already been done I think. Not sure two more seconds would have made any difference. But I’ll stay out of that argument except to say that Meldrick was totally shot after that fight.

  43. Clarence George 06:38pm, 03/10/2014

    While I don’t take issue with Tony Weeks stopping Alvarez-Angulo, I’ve always disagreed with Richard Steele stopping Chavez-Taylor with only two seconds left in that championship match, thus depriving Meldrick of his stunningly hard-fought victory.  Steele would have been right if there’d been 10 seconds left, maybe even five—but not two.  A good man and a good referee, who made the wrong decision, however well-intentioned.

  44. bikermike 06:34pm, 03/10/2014

    As ever Ted…a great read.  Thought provoking.
    I’ve read your books…and ‘pugilistic dementia ’ is always an underlying theme…..

    Good Referees can prevent a lot of this…...if the medical community continues to allow fighters who have damage…to continue to fight
    Referees are the last line these guys have

  45. Ted 06:32pm, 03/10/2014

    Yes he did. Good ref

  46. bikermike 06:24pm, 03/10/2014

    I remember that Holmes Snipes affair
    Rudy Ortega stopped the fight…when Holmes was in the process of taking Snipe’s head off…with repeated power punches ..lefts and rights…

    Snipes had knocked the Easton Assasin down…but Larry came back…Snipes should have given half his purse to the referee…cuz Rudy saved his life that night

  47. Ted 06:19pm, 03/10/2014

    The good boxer learns nothing…the ‘punching bag’ leaves the sport

  48. bikermike 06:16pm, 03/10/2014

    Can’t say I’ve ever seen Weeks ‘make the difference’ in a match he refereed.  The guy that won the fight ...won the fight….with Weeks being the third man

    I’d put Weeks in the top echelon of referees…...fair..firm and in charge .without making the difference

    I refereed lots of matches…and judged them as well (amateur of course’)
    ..I don’t care who won….but the guy that scored the most blows is the guy I scored for…and I never let a fight go longer than it should

    ......especially in amateur…..chopping wood ...when a boxer is overmatched….and the referee lets it go on that the local kid can be showcased at the expense of a lesser opponent…

    The good boxer learns nothing…the ‘punching bag’ leaves the sport

  49. bikermike 06:05pm, 03/10/2014

    There is only one guy that is paid to protect professional Boxers….THE REFEREE..
    Corners want to exhort their charge to conquer the opponent…..and only the guys like Eddie Futch(Frazier) and Victor Vale(Cooney) ..and perhaps a few others….would keep their guy on the stool ....

    Referees are paid to protect the fighters….Weeks is a good referee….RIchard Steele stopped Meldric Taylor from almost certain permanent damage….with seconds left in the fight….and had to take shit and abuse for the rest of his career

    I go along with cussing out bad referees….but Ted wrote…..we should give respect and praise for the many ...many good referees

  50. Ted 05:23pm, 03/10/2014

    Eric, bingo.

  51. Ted 05:18pm, 03/10/2014

    Irish, I think he is the best.

  52. Eric 04:06pm, 03/10/2014

    This was like the Ten Run Rule in Little League, a merciful stoppage and good call by the referee. You would have better odds at hitting the Powerball Jackpot than Angulo scoring a miracle knockout over Canelo at that point.

  53. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 03:57pm, 03/10/2014

    Ted Sares-Timely and on the mark article as always…’s a good question…if Tony Weeks is not the best then who is?  I’m thinking that if he had been in the ring that fateful night, he would have been in control of the situation as he always is and that he would have intervened on Mago’s behalf well before the tenth round.

  54. andrew 03:37pm, 03/10/2014

    I think it would be a good idea to draw attention to the corner men who fail to protect their fighters. We need to encourage trainers to make difficult decisions for their long term health, like Eddie Futch did for Joe Frazier in Manila. Imagine what might have happened if the battered and blinded Frazier had been told “He’s got nothing left” and sent out for another round.

  55. peter 02:48pm, 03/10/2014

    I agree. Weeks was in perfect position to notice the effects of that last punch.

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