Still talking about that bad decision

November, 16, 2007
11/16/07
11:50
AM ET
Your weekly random thoughts ...

• Maybe I'm beating a dead horse here, but the decision in Saturday night's Joel Casamayor-Jose Armando Santa Cruz lightweight championship fight was the single worst decision I have ever witnessed from ringside. I had it 119-108, a score that was in the same ballpark with every single other person I could find. I could not find anyone who gave Casamayor more than three rounds. It was just disgusting. Bad decisions -- a horrific one in this case -- really hurt boxing. Casamayor has been an excellent champion during his career, but now he's totally shot at age 36. Poor Santa Cruz manhandled him and got robbed in front of the world. He deserved better. So did all of us. Now, the WBC, which recognizes Casamayor as an interim champion (that's a ridiculous story for another day) has ordered an immediate rematch. That's all well and good, but the fight was awful because of Casamayor's clutching, running, stinking style. Who would pay to watch a rematch? And what TV network would be dumb enough to buy it? And, by the way, this horrible decision in Casamayor's favor more than makes up for the decisions he has (wrongly) complained about losing to Acelino "Popo" Freitas, Diego "Chico" Corrales (the second fight) and Jose Luis Castillo and a draw with "Kid Diamond" Almazbek Raiymkulov. I thought Casamayor lost every one of them and I thought Santa Cruz whipped him.

• I've seen some amusing things at press conferences and some downright bizarre things (how about Mike Tyson biting Lennox Lewis' leg at a press conference in New York?). But last week I saw something I had never seen and I couldn't help but chuckle. Don King, the huckster of all hucksters, conducted a press conference to announce the Jan. 19 fight between Felix "Tito" Trinidad and Roy Jones Jr. dressed in a Santa Claus outfit. Ho, ho, ho! Only in America. I don't make these things up. It was quite a sight. And, to tell you the truth, DK looked like he was having fun.

• I don't know about you, but I am really psyched for Sunday night's premier of HBO's "Mayweather/Hatton 24/7" reality series. I loved the four-part series when it previewed Floyd Mayweather's May 5 fight with Oscar De La Hoya and I think Ricky Hatton's appealing personality is going to make the sequel another hit.

• For all the misguided folks out there who believe that Shane Mosley beat Miguel Cotto in their excellent fight last Saturday night, take a hint from Mosley himself. Even he said that Cotto won. It was close, but Cotto won it. End of debate. Mosley might not have won, but his postfight demeanor and his ability to give Cotto credit showed what I have always known about Mosley since the day I first met him in 2000: He is a class act and a credit to boxing. Boxing would better off if we had 100 Mosleys. And how classy is Cotto? As he left the ring after the bout to do a television interview with one of the international broadcasters, he stopped by the front row of press row where he saw many of the reporters who have been covering him for his whole career and took time to shake everyone's hand, smile and thank us for covering the fight. HBO Sports public relations chief Ray Stallone saw the scene unfold and put Cotto's act in perspective: "How often do you think Alex Rodriguez thanks reporters for coming after he hits a home run?" Great line and so true.

• Golden Boy Promotions has quickly emerged as one of the biggest forces in boxing. The company has been involved in a number of major fights over the past few years and there is no end in site. However, the four fighters who are pillars of the company, big boss man De La Hoya, minority partners Bernard Hopkins and Mosley, and Marco Antonio Barrera, went just 2-4 in 2007. All but Hopkins, who defeated Winky Wright in July, lost their last fight.

• It's been quite a fall run for Bob Arum's Top Rank, hasn't it? The company has been involved in three major fights this fall: Kelly Pavlik-Jermain Taylor II on Sept. 29, Manny Pacquiao-Barrera II on Oct. 6 and Cotto-Mosley on Nov. 10. Top Rank's fighters, Pavlik, Pacquiao and Cotto, went 3-0. Not bad.

• Was anyone really all that surprised when the news broke that trainer Emanuel Steward will no longer train Taylor?

• In the wake of a sluggish start and eventual decision loss to Paul Williams, apparently Antonio Margarito learned his lesson about starting slowly. In decimating Golden Johnson in less than one round, Margarito got off 117 punches and landed 60. He was obviously there to do damage. Of his connect total, 59 were power shots with just one measly jab.

• As much as I like Saturday night's matchup between junior lightweight titlist Joan Guzman and Humberto Soto, I am also interested in seeing a pair of top amateurs make their pro debuts on the untelevised undercard, Philadelphia junior welterweights Karl Dargan and Danny Garcia. Dargan won gold at the Pan-American Games over the summer. Garcia made it to the finals of the U.S. Olympic trials in late August. It's great to see an influx of talent into the pro ranks, which typically happens the year before an Olympics when many of the top amateurs don't make the team.

• Who's watching the Fernando Vargas-Ricardo Mayorga fight on Showtime PPV next week? Should be a good fight even if both guys are well past their prime. If you're into it, just remember, the fight is on Friday night at 10 p.m. ET, not your typical Saturday night at 9 p.m. You've been reminded.

• DVD pick of the week: It's a no-brainer this week. How could I not watch one of my all-time favorite fights? It's the classic showdown between junior welterweight champion Aaron Pryor and Alexis Arguello. They battled in a breathtaking fight on Nov. 12, 1982, at Miami's Orange Bowl, 25 years ago this week. Pryor, of course, stopped Arguello in the 14th round in one of the best fights ever. For good measure, I threw in the episode of the outstanding HBO documentary series "Legendary Nights" about the fight.

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