By Adam Pollack (GUEST POST) for dmboxing.com
Olympic boxing has convinced me that this sport is the perfect confluence of corruption, incompetence, and bias. I care less and less about amateur boxing, for it is barely watchable, it has become so boring. The referees allow incessant holding, smothering and stall tactics. The judges could care less about effectiveness. They score arm punches, touches and slaps for outside boxers, don’t score the blows for inside fighters or attackers or power punchers, and don’t score body punches. If you are not a pure outside boxer they have an inherent bias against you. The most stinky, boring fighters who run, grab, are quick but have no power, are more likely to win, because Olympic boxing has nothing to do with real effectiveness. And the rules as printed regarding holding and the scoring area means nothing.
Problem is, who wants to watch this? Most American coaches don’t teach that style because they know it won’t work in the pros – those types of fighters usually get knocked out or pummeled over the long haul in a real fight, and even if it possibly would work, no one wants to watch it. And the coaches who are teaching the American Olympians are obviously not teaching the style the Americans need to use to maximize the odds of winning internationally. Olympic boxing has become pitter-pat, long-range jousting, running, and wrestling. It’s a joke, but if the coaches are not teaching that style, the U.S. has no chance to advance in the Olympics, period.
Yet, even when the Americans fight on the outside like Raushee Warren and Errol Spence, they still don’t receive anywhere near the scoring credit they deserve. I believe these judges hate the U.S., plain and simple. I don’t know if it is political, cultural, or the U.S. isn’t offering bribes like countries like Korea and Azerbaijan. Guys like Clemente Russo belong in the wrestling competition more than the boxing competition, but the judges love him. In the 3rd round of their bout, a Japanese fighter beat the living hell out of his opponent from Azerbaijan, who dropped or dove down to the ground six times in that round, and yet the judges only had the Japanese fighter winning that round by two points, and I think that was even with the +2 for a warning, so really, these judges had it an even round when the guy was darn near stopped. They later reversed it and suspended that referee, but why weren’t the judges thrown out as well? Was the referee who failed to issue warnings for holding and for spitting out the mouthpiece against Errol Spence suspended? What about the judges, who obviously were not hitting the button for Spence, who fought an excellent bout and won all three rounds, in my opinion. Those judges should be shipped off. If you are an American, or a real fighter, you pretty much need to kill the guy to win, and even then, don’t be so sure. Same thing with Queen Underwood. She landed many clean shots that simply were not scored. She should have been up by many punches after both the 1st and 2nd rounds.
And if a referee has the audacity to enforce the rules and try to stop this nonsense, like the referee from Germany who cautioned and then warned the Iranian boxer for holding, and then disqualified him after he refused to stop holding, you get disciplined or expelled. AIBA should not have suspended that referee. They should have given him a medal. The Iranian boxer refused to stop holding despite repeated cautions and two warnings. What do they want the referee to do, not follow the rules? That’s exactly what they want, unless it suits them otherwise. And after suspending him, you see other referees frightened to disqualify a boxer for holding. Hence, when a referee issued two warnings to a boxer from Azerbaijan for holding and leaning in on a boxer from Belarus, and that boxer continued to hold incessantly, rather than disqualify him, the referee simply continued to caution him, which is improper, or cautioned the other boxer for doing nothing wrong. But the fear was there after the referee saw what was done to the German referee. Or maybe it had something to do with the millions some folks from Azerbaijan gave to AIBA in return for two gold medals. So the ugly and boring grab-fests will continue, as seen in the next bout with Clemente Russo, and the boxers who try to give best-efforts yet are stifled by illegal tactics will pay the price of not advancing.