Judge Gale Van Hoy: Indicted By His Own Words

BY Frank Lotierzo ON August 26, 2009
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As most know by now Gale Van Hoy is the judge who submitted a 118-110 (10-2 in rounds) scorecard for this past weekends Juan Diaz versus Paulie Malignaggi junior welterweight bout. Van Hoy's scoring of the fight has created a stir among boxing fans and writers. The conversations regarding the fight have been about absurd scorecards rendered by judges that goes against the grain as to how most competent observers saw the fight.

Well, I still don't completely trust his competence when it comes to scoring a professional fight, in spite of what he said to Examiner.com this past Monday. My first inclination was to laud him for agreeing to answer questions after the terrible and incorrect scorecard he submitted while working the Diaz-Malignaggi bout on HBO's Boxing After Dark. However, when I thought about what Oscar De La Hoya said and how he admonished him after the fight, it dawned on me that both Van Hoy and Oscar are applying a little misdirection here.

In reality Van Hoy had no choice but to address someone in the media once De La Hoya said he did a lousy job of scoring the fight. It's not like he could say my boss pressured me, explicitly or subtly, to score the fight for Diaz. Does anyone believe he would contradict De La Hoya and make a case for his indefensible 118-110 score favoring Juan Diaz?

After the fight Van Hoy said to De La Hoya, whose company Golden Boy Productions picked the referee and judges for the fight, "I could've messed up."

Again, what else can he say once De La Hoya threw him under the bus? Van Hoy by admitting he messed up is clearly opening the window to the fact that he scored the fight wrong and knowingly did so.

All fighters ask is for the judges to be honest and watch the fight with their eyes and mind open. Juan Diaz's mother and father watched the fight from ringside. It's not a reach to assume they've been watching boxing for many years. When the fight concluded, did they look like they thought their son won 10 of the 12 rounds he just fought? No. They looked as shocked as Lou DiBella did the night his fighter, Jermain Taylor, was awarded a split decision over Bernard Hopkins in their first fight enabling Taylor to end Hopkins' ten year title tenure as middleweight champ.

"I am not infallible but this is how I saw it," Van Hoy said. "Maybe in retrospect, I was wide in my score, maybe I was off by a round or two. Paulie's got a good jab but it kept hitting Juan's gloves. There was not enough power in those jabs."

Judge Van Hoy's own words indict him. He's open to the fact that he was wide in his score by a round or two? So in other words he should've scored eight rounds for Diaz instead of the 10 he gave him. Maybe? Although there hasn't been one report of a single person who watched the Diaz-Malignaggi bout who gave Diaz eight rounds or scored it 116-112, other than judge David Sutherland who just happens to be a Texas judge (also hired by the promoter.) And the bit about Juan parrying and blocking Paulie's jab with his gloves tells you something. That is Diaz isn't landing much if he's blocking and parrying punches.

If Malignaggi's jab had no power, why did Diaz's face looked like he was mugged when the fight was over? And if Paulie's jab didn't keep Diaz from getting inside, what did? It's not like Malignaggi reminded anybody of Muhammad Ali or Hector Camacho the way he moved around the ring and used his legs. Basically, Malignaggi is pretty predictable and always moves to the left and seldom if ever changes direction.

It's mind boggling how Van Hoy can criticize and penalize Malignaggi for his lack of punch, yet Diaz who is supposed to be the attacker and banger in the fight never had Malignaggi close to being in real trouble or going down. In fact it was somewhat disheartening watching Diaz land his best hooks and overhand rights on Malignaggi's chin and seeing nothing happen. The argument that a mover/boxer can't win rounds because he can't put any hurt on the other guy is a joke. All Malignaggi or any other "boxer" has to do is hit hard enough to keep his swarming opponent off of him and keep from being worn down by him. Although he's no puncher, Malignaggi punched hard enough to win.

“I never claimed to be perfect but I’m not a hometown judge. I’ve done 65 or so world title fights. I’ve done fights involving Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather and Kostya Tszyu. I did a Paulie fight in Little Rock, an eight rounder and I gave Paulie six or seven rounds. He doesn’t remember or mention that.”

So what? This isn't the first time Van Hoy's scorecard has been off. The fact that he's done 65 world title fights means nothing in this particular bout. The only thing that matters is his atrocious work during Diaz-Malignaggi. Boxing is subjective. That said, a close fight can still be a robbery. The first, sixth, tenth and eleventh rounds were no doubt Malignaggi's. That's four right there for the fighter Van Hoy only saw winning two?

Oscar De La Hoya and Gale Van Hoy can say all they want. The boss reprimanding the fight judge and the judge accepting he could've been wide in his scoring is all the proof needed to know that somebody has a little more explaining to do. And De La Hoya and Van Hoy are too cozy here. Van Hoy knows the deal. It's like Larry Merchant going on a rightious diatribe about what a bad fight HBO is about to air. But the fight still airs doesn't it?

Gale Van Hoy, if he really believes Juan Diaz won 10 of 12 rounds versus Paulie Malignaggi this past weekend, either has no boxing intuition and boxing aptitude, or he scored the fight according to what the agenda was.

Personally, I don't believe a seeing eye-dog could score the fight so horribly. All due apologies to any and all dogs I've insulted. Therefore the only answer is he purposely took one for the team. It's nothing new and by this time next week, it'll be forgotten. Not to mention it's not the worst decision we've seen in boxing over the last few years.

Everybody knows what happened in the Diaz-Malignaggi bout, and all will be forgotten until it happens again. Also, Malignaggi is better known now as a result of the controversy than if he was awarded the 115-113 decision he earned. His career isn't over and if he backs off playing the victim card, we'll see him again in a high profile fight.

Lastly, I applaud Malignaggi for having the guts to speak the truth before the fact. He could've been a good soldier and kept his mouth closed and hoped the guys in control didn't put it to him for not exposing them. However, he spoke up. He knows they wanted to beat him, but it wasn't personal. It's just a matter of business and the only reason they wanted to beat him is because he's not part of them.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

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