Not so Golden
Schafer’s constant carping skews truth
If the losing team or player in any other professional sport complained and called into question the honesty of the people in charge of ruling on the outcome as often as it happens in boxing, no one would be paying attention to football, baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, tennis, soccer, lacrosse or any other athletic endeavor.
Photo by AP
WHINE UNCORKED: Lamont Peterson’s title win over Amir Khan is being disputed by Golden Boy Promotions, as are most things that go against their fighters.
The latest example is Golden Boy Promotions’ contention that dethroned junior welterweight champion Amir Khan was jobbed out of the title by forces in league with challenger Lamont Peterson two weeks ago in Washington. Although Golden Boy is far from the only promotional organization to engage in endless excuse making and complaining, of late it has happened so often with them they should get into the wine business because it’s what they do best — whine.
Not so long ago it was Bernard Hopkins who supposedly was ill-treated by Chad Dawson in a light heavyweight title fight because Dawson didn’t agree to allow Hopkins, a fighter I quite admire, to get away with constantly draping over his back as has become Hopkins’ custom. When Dawson grabbed him and thrust him into the air and onto his back, Hopkins claimed an injury and Golden Boy claimed Dawson shouldn’t have been awarded a victory. Ultimately the California commission ruled it a no-contest and the WBC called it a technical draw, but not once during its rants did Golden Boy, who promotes Hopkins, address the question of what Hopkins was doing on Dawson’s back in the first place.
When Floyd Mayweather Jr. quite rightly punched Victor Ortiz in the mouth after referee Joe Cortez said “Let’s go!” following a break in the action caused by Ortiz billygoating Mayweather in the face, GBP, who promotes Ortiz, cried foul and talked of poor sportsmanship. Foul? Buy a mirror for Ortiz before you make that kind of charge.
Last week, GBP CEO Richard Schaefer, who is beginning to fall in love with the sound of his own voice in the way Bob Arum has, was at it again, charging both the Commission of the District of Columbia and the IBF with actions most foul in a conference call.
Khan-Peterson was a close fight, one I saw as a draw from ringside, meaning Khan would have won closely had two points not been deducted for what referee Joe Cooper called “pushing.” What Khan was actually guilty of was what he’s been guilty of in a number of fights — holding, pushing down on and hitting behind the head.
While pushing itself is not a foul, Khan’s repeated grasping of the back of the neck is. Khan, like most fighters adept at this, claimed Peterson came at him with his head low, forcing him to lean down on the back of his neck. How about you step back and blast him in the face with an upper cut? That would bring his head up in a hurry.
Said Schaefer, “You just look at everything from the scoring to the point deductions from Amir, to the inconsistency from the ref by not deducting any points from Peterson, even though he has warned him 14 times or so (for having his head low) and you look at all of this, I think that is why we are on this (conference) call. And I am not one who takes these lightly, because I believe going to cry foul is not really in the best interest of the sport either.”
If the latter is true, then why does Schaefer seem to do it so often?
When Donovan George showed up last weekend to face his fighter, Librado Andrade, in Cozumel, Mexico, George found a ring only 15 x 15 feet, even though the contract called for 20 x 20. George and his promoter, Warrior Boxing’s Leon Margules, rightly refused to fight and the bout, an eliminator to become the IBF’s No. 1 super middleweight contender, was cancelled.
What Margules did not do was blame Golden Boy, even though the promoter is responsible for the ring. He didn’t call a press conference claiming Schaefer was up to something nefarious. He didn’t blame Mexican fight officials or the IBF. He didn’t hint at a conspiracy or double-dealing. George accepted losing both a title chance and a $32,000 purse as a misunderstanding by the local company responsible for erecting the ring.
Schaefer keeps saying he and GBP are all about what’s good for boxing, yet repeatedly challenge close losses (and some not so close), by alleging poor officiating, nefarious deeds by various commissions and sanctioning bodies, poor sportsmanship or worse. Who can forget the threats Schaefer and Oscar De La Hoya made about launching a heavily financed “investigation” into why one decision went against De La Hoya? Yet when Shane Mosley was found to be dirty with steroids before one of the times he beat De La Hoya they looked the other way. Why? Because they were promoting Mosley, too.
Now here was Schaefer last week admitting the type of complaining he was doing was bad for the sport on the one hand, then engaging in it with the national media. Reminded me of Don King claiming Buster Douglas’ knockout of Mike Tyson didn’t count because “the first knockout totally obliterates the second knockout!” even though there was no first knockout except Douglas’ of Tyson.
To be compared with King on this should give Schaefer pause but, sadly, more and more it seems nearly everyone who gets involved with boxing becomes infected with its worst virus — The Only Thing That Counts is Me Virus.
“What is in the best interest, not just of the sport and of anything is when you have been done wrong you have to stand up,” Schaefer said. “You cannot just do nothing about it. This is what this is about.... Let me state that the purpose of this call is in no way or shape to attack or question the performance of Lamont Peterson and his team.... so this is absolutely nothing about taking anything away from Lamont Peterson.”
After which he tried to take everything away from him, claiming he was the beneficiary of one-sided and incompetent referring and nefarious and possibly criminal monkeying with the scorecards.
By Ron Borges / Boxing Notes
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