Lampley: “Time Has Come For Fans To Occupy Boxing”

Fight Game round4 whtThe second installment of Jim Lampley’s “The Fight Game” ran Saturday, after the Chavez Jr.-Lee fight, and the timing could not have been much better, coming so soon after the decision that blew up Twitter, and will force us to hear stale Duane Ford jokes into 2013.

Lampley called the Pacquiao-Bradley decision “the biggest boxing news story in years,” and termed the show “Anatomy of a Scoring Disaster.”

Lampley cited the Twitter blowup, and boycott petitions, and Bob Arum’s request to get the Nevada AG to look at the decision. He said Harold Lederman got it right when on June 9 he said that Duane Ford was solid, CJ Ross was “questionable,” and “mediocre,” and Jerry Roth was coming off a rough call on Abril-Rios, and maybe shouldn’t be in another big fight. “In my opinion, they should have brought in a judge or two,” Lederman said, presciently.

Lampley noted rounds in which Pacquiao had a large edge in punches landed were awarded to Bradley, and wondered how Bradley won if he didn’t land more or harder punches. Ford, to Lampley, said it was a very close fight. He noted the experience of the three judges in question, a questionable call, since even experienced people get it wrong, but I see his point. Ford said he saw the first six rounds Manny won, but that he let Bradley off the hook, and he tired in later rounds. Bradley was scoring later, particularly to the body, he said. Is he bothered that the public doesn’t see it his way? No, it doesn’t surprise or dis-hearten him? No..he said, chalking that up to Pacquiao’s stardom, not the acumen of fight fans. Hmm..another Ford misstep.

Ford said that judges see things that we don’t off of TV or what Lampley might be saying during the action. Ford was asked if judges are well trained, if the system is good in Nevada. He said the commission allows input from the promoters and the fighters, and he supports that. Because the state allows gambling, he said, the commission is stringent in choosing officials.

Cameron Dunkin, Bradley’s manager, appeared. He said Bradley won because he fought the whole of every round. He said Ford was right, that Pacquiao is a “world hero” and that’s why everyone leaned his way. Dunkin said some of the joy of winning was diminished, but now he and Bradley are extremely happy. A rematch? Dunkin said a rematch “has to happen” but isn’t sure if it will happen in November.

Top Rank’s Todd DuBoef appeared. Lampley asked about the request for the AG to look at the decision. He said he wants some trust restored, and that the commission should have made like the NBA, and had a leader come forward and deal with the furor. DuBoef said he thinks the judge pool should be made larger, and education should be improved. The consumers, he said, need to be told how rounds are judged. What about the rematch clause? Shady? No; they are common, he said. He said as of right now, the rematch is not proceeding for November, that his crew will wait to hear from Pacquiao before deciding anything, and that public needs to have their confidence restored.

Lampley then showed round seven, with no sound. After the three minutes, the host said that all three judges scored it for Bradley. “Smoking gun?” Lampley asked. Max Kellerman then came on. He said he had it 8-4 on fight night, and re-watched it, closer. He had it 7-1 and 4 swing rounds, much like I did upon re-watching, Pacquiao 5-2 with 5 even or swing rounds. Did Max think conspiracy or administrative failure? Usually he thinks conspiracy…but this whopper left him stumped. He couldn’t see reasons for conspiracy. “This was a statistically unlikely event,” he said. “Unlikely things happen all the time…It’s the best I got.”

Lampley then cited the scores offered by ringside watchers to back the case for robbery.

The host mentioned many recent robberies. He said the sport could do more to safeguard integrity. He said the big promoters and programmers need to fix the broken system. But it comes down to the promoters, he said. He mentioned the Boxing Promoters Association move to fix the judging problem. Lampley said the judges in many cases “demonstrably suck,” and are touched by cronyism. “You have to take control as fans. You see something you don’t like and don’t trust, boycott. A time has come for you fans to Occupy boxing. Be more discerning, learn more, educate yourselves, and trust only that which you believe you see with your own eyes. “

He ended with the Gatti List. He mentioned Jorge Arce, Mike Alvarado, Abner Mares, Cris Arreola, Orlando Salido, Canelo Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao, Leo Santa Cruz, Mikkel Kessler, Carl Froch and Paul Williams.

Readers, what say you? What do you make about this call to arms, and this reference to the fall movement, the minor uprising, which forced the mainstream media, oh so grudgingly, to discuss the income inequlaity gap which has been growing for the last four decades in our nation? Courageous move on Lampley's part, no? Calling for a boycott is consummate “biting the hand that feeds” move, since quite likely, his bosses would be the ones to lose dough, as the carriers of most notable PPVs.  You have to respect that “fight the power,” that “speak truth to power” gesture, in my opinion. In a big way. So many of us recede when we should speak up, for fear of being fired, of being silenced. Lampley spoke his truth, spoke his mind, spoke his heart…and should be congratulated, mightily. This is a rarity in a dangerous age, where the power of the corporation is, it can be argued, as great as it's ever been. (Not going to go into a Citizen's United or SuperPac digression, but do a little Wikipedia research if you're so inclined; this issue ties in with that, I think, a little bit.) Us peons, the workers, the 99% have had their power diminished steadily, as the top tier in the last 30 years plus has skillfully set us against each other, and demonized the collectives that exist so we can negotiate (or fight, if it comes to that) with the elites who enjoy a massive leverage gap, because they control the overwhelming bulk of the cash. I can't emphasize this enough…Jim Lampley's call to arms on Saturday's “The Fight Game” was tremendously bold, and is to be applauded. My three cents…

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