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FNF: These Judges Were Not Crooked Or Blind

BY Michael Woods ON July 31, 2008
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Committ the names Benoit Roussel and Pasquale Procopio to memory. Send them your good vibes, telepathically. Because these two Canadians judged the Sebastien Demers/Dionisio Miranda feature bout on ESPN's Friday Night Fights from Windsor Station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and gave the decision to the Colombian Miranda, instead of the Canadian Demers.

Mon dieu! And they say all boxing judges are crooked or blind!

The 28-year-old Demers (entering at 25-1, with 9 KOs) weighed 159, while the 26-year-old Colombian Miranda (18-2-2, with 17 KOs coming in) also weighed 159. The vacant NABA middleweight title was up for grabs, and the judges thought Miranda, who scored a key knockdown in the ninth, landed the more telling blows, though he landed fewer of them.

Miranda was coming off a loss to New York's Peter Quillin in June, and this was only his second time fighting in North America as a pro. Demers had hopes of securing a big-time title shot; he'd been unsuccessful in his previous crack, against Arthur Abraham last May (KO by, 3).

In the first, Seb got his jab untracked quickly. Dio played stalker, and landed a couple rights to the body. In round two, both men showed respect you'd expect to see in the first. Dio finally unloaded with 10 seconds to go. In the third, some hugging started up. Seb's corner told him to get to it after two, so he upped his output.

In the fourth, Dio caught Seb on the ropes, but Seb's slipping is slick. Dio started getting frustrated maybe, and started loading up. He clipped Seb with a left hook. To this point, I have to say, Demers doesn't do it for me, at all. In round five, Seb's movement was too quick for the Colombian. His lead rights were also too quick. In the sixth, Dio stalked but without closing the distance via an introductory jab, he often wasted his time. When he did jab, Seb's so quick, he slips almost everything.

In round seven, we saw Demers had a 61-41 edge in landed punches. Teddy Atlas had Demers up 58-56 to this point. In round eight, there were three clinches in the first minute of action. Dio had to know he was down, but he still wasn't going full throttle; he looked worried that he'd get countered if he overcommitted. He did land a sharp right, though, that startled Seb. In round nine, Dio scored a knockdown with a long right. Seb took an eight count, and looked clear-eyed. He was forced to battle, and we got some solid action. Seb went offensive, smartly, as the Colombian looked winded. In the tenth, Seb pressed as Dio pumped a snappy jab. Where was that the whole time?

All in all, an OK bout. The Colombian is a looping hitter, without as much power as his record suggested. Demers should maybe be hard pressed to land mega fights. He's too slick, not overly busy, not too fan friendly.  Seb out-landed Dio, 153-102, and tossed more, 542-419. Not enough punches thrown for this weight class, IMO. Atlas saw it 95-94, Demers. The judges spoke: 95-94, Demers; 95-94, Miranda; 95-94, Miranda. The American judge gave it to Demers, the two Canadians gave it to Miranda. Holy smokes, give these guys medals.

Minnesotan Anthony Bonsante (31-9-3 coming in) took on Quebec's Adonis Stevenson (11-0 coming in) in the TV opener. The super middleweight tiff was scheduled for 12 rounds. Stevenson, a lefty, knocked Bonsante to the mat with a left. He looked out of it, as his eyes were closed, and the referee Gerry Bolen didn't even bother finishing counting. He just waved the fight off, figuring the fighter wasn't even conscious. Bonsante hopped up and screamed at him that he was fit to continue. The ref wouldn't hear of it. Tough call.

 Could the ref have switched his call, once he determined that Bonsante was simply resting his eyes, and was obviously fit to fight? Or did he have to stick with his initial call? Bottom line, fighters--if you are fit to fight, do not approximate an unconscious person, or the ref might pull the plug on your effort. The end came at 36 seconds elapsed in the first.

David Lemieux (9-0 entering, with 9 KOs) met Ulises Duarte (16-16-1, with 15 KOs) in a junior middleweight bout scheduled for four round. Coming into the ring, in  all but two of his bouts, Duarte has been kayoed, or done the kayo-ing. That has to be a record, right?

Duarte, it turns out, should not be getting licensed anywhere, based on his showing in Canada. He "went down" three times, and the fight was halted in the first. There was 1:19 left in the round when the feast or famine inclined Duarte folded up the tent.

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