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Fight fallout shows boxing’s faults

By Seamus Boyer

Boxing can be a magnificent sport, beautiful even.

There’s nothing more simple and compelling than two men or women battling it out inside a ring, with nothing to turn to except their fists, their fitness and their guile.

It can be primal, pure – a fantastic spectacle.

But more often it’s a joke, as the circus outside the ring quickly dirties all of the good done inside of it.

Yesterday we saw all of that, as trainers, experts, commentators and journalists all threw in their two cents in the wash-up of Saturday night’s world title fight between Kiwi Joseph Parker and Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr.

Parker won the fight on the night – just – but by yesterday you’d think he’d somehow robbed it off Ruiz, or that there was some sort of conspiracy at play.

Ruiz’s trainer Abel Sanchez made it clear he felt his man deserved the title.

“I thought we won. I thought we were a couple of rounds up,” he told reporters.

Lance Revill, President of the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association, went further.

“I scored it 118-111 in favour of Ruiz,” the New Zealand Herald reported.

“Parker had no game-plan.

“It was a lopsided fight and I feel sorry for Andy Ruiz.

“Something stinks about this fight, something stinks about the whole set-up.”

So nothing new, same old story.

After nearly every fight the loser rubbishes the result, and someone – generally a member of his set-up – will question how the judges came up with the scores on their cards.

The boxers themselves are often in on it as well.

A well-beaten fighter will jump around the ring following the final bell, crudely and cynically claiming victory.

Sometimes they’re even awarded the fight.

Even when you know that a lot of the rubbish said afterwards is just to create hype for a rematch – and that rematches are just about making more money for everyone involved – it still rankles.

It casts doubt on the result, no matter how well deserved.

So yes, Mr Revill is right on one point, something does stink.

But it wasn’t the way the judges scored the fight – most experts agree it was very close and could have gone either way.

What stinks is the predictable drivel that emerges after every big fight, fuelled by tiresome egos, sore losers, and the lure of a future payday.

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