Casamayor Gets A Gift

casamayorBy Taj Eubanks: -November 12, 2007 - photo by Naoki Fukuda -What was a great night of boxing was sullied by yet another inexplicable travesty for which boxing has come to be known. My own personal crusade to make boxing relevant again to friends and acquaintances suffered a huge setback last night as lineal lightweight champ Joel Casamayor received his Christmas stash a month early in an atrocious majority decision “win” over victim Jose Armando Santa Cruz.

When the scores were announced (114-113 twice for Casamayor, 113-114 for Santa Cruz), it was clear that this was not just one of the worst decisions of the year. It was one of the worst decisions ever, joining such travesties as Lennox Lewis-Evander Holyfield I and Bobby Pacquiao-Carlos Hernandez..

For twelve rounds Casamayor, who has dedicated himself in recent months to heaping ridicule upon other top fighters such as Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz, Manny Pacquiao and Julio Diaz (who Casamayor callously dismissed as “the worst champion in the division and by far the worst of the three Diazes”), hugged like a bear and ran like tap water. He even suffered an official knockdown in round one. For someone who constantly derides his potential opponents as being “bums”, Casamayor turned in a deplorable performance. The rangier, fresher Santa Cruz backed Casamayor all night, while the “champion” was content to backpedal. The fight was so one-sided in fact that one cannot even make a case for a draw, much less a Casamayor victory.

While the decision left viewers, the entire HBO staff (who spent the entire fight bantering back and forth about whether excessive holding should be outlawed and whether or not Casamayor deserved to even be considered champion given his poor showing), and an audibly upset crowd totally in shock, there has come to be a resignation that boxing will continue to bottom dwell as other sports thrive. Such (mis)decisions continue to undermine boxing’s credibility and provide casual fans yet another reason to flock in droves to the wildly popular UFC.

In closing, Emmanuel Steward made an interesting point last night. While it is true that Casamayor is the lineal champion and the Ring champion, he clearly didn’t fight like the champion and was content to survive. While Casamayor constantly touts his status as the Ring Magazine champion, the reality is that Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz is immensely more fun to watch, busier, and would have certainly have handed Casamayor a beatdown. And even if Casamayor continues to be the Ring champ, who cares? His title is tainted. He needs Juan Diaz and Manny Pacquiao but they don’t need him. And with a sham of an effort like he gave last night, neither does boxing.

Article posted on 13.11.2007

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