Twin Vegas shame and scandal
There was the hideous partisanship of the judges that dealt the sharp and strong Russian boxer Sergei Kovalev his first defeat. Kovalev, who scored a knockdown and was dominant, also got robbed of his world light heavyweight crown in Las Vegas.
Kovalev did not take it lightly after he got dethroned by Andrei Ward of the USA. He hit at the judging with complete dignity, reminding everybody it was sports and therefore should not be judged politically.
All the three judges were Americans. What a shame.
Next came the much-anticipated world super featherweight championship between Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine and the fearsome Nicholas Walters of Jamaica at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
The world stood on its feet for the first bell; Walters quit on his stool in the seventh.
He has neither seen nor heard of a Filipino boxer quitting in the middle of a world championship, so this veteran Filipino newsman, an avid fight enthusiast, continued to wonder if the Jamaican axeman Nicholas Walters took a dive last weekend.
A wholesale scandal.
“I honestly believe Walters sold out, benta,” cried Bert de Guzman, a chum from the old UST days who continues to do a sparkling column for the widely read Balita.
No way, he was told. Walters just got lost; he was humbled and surrendered, no mas, without knowing he has totally ruined his career with that unforgivable flop.
Walters must’ve thought he was invincible, after crushing the frail, lazy and smaller Nonito Donaire, but Lomachenko was a splendidly different animal. He was a speedy, solid, sharp and noiseless assassin.
If Walters indeed took a dive, as you had initially suspected, it was down hard into the bottom of boxing’s garbage bin. No self-respecting outfit or manager would dare promote him again.
Said Lomachenko: “He said he would do this and that. In the end he just quit.”
HBO Sports EVP Peter Nelson: “If you aspire to greatness you take chances and be the fighter willing to take the game-winning shot every round. Otherwise you are not the right fighter for us.”
Meanwhile, the whole of Jamaica was left dumbfounded. World sprint god Usain Bolt, together with the immortal calypso king Harry Belafonte, must’ve been terrified by their top warrior’s shameful surrender.
Here at home, there’s no reason to fear.
We’ve had boxers dying inside the ring; others would stay on only to end up blind, cold, hungry, homeless. But a Filipino boxer never quits.
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