The royal wedding wasn’t the only thing that featured a couple in England last weekend.
Local boy Josh Warrington challenged Lee Selby for his IBF World Featherweight title in Leeds, Yorkshire.
Warrington took control from the first bell.
An accidental clash of heads at the top of Round 2 opened a gash over Selby’s left eye. They knocked noggins again in the 6th, which left a cut over his right eye. It desanguinated rapidly, and had to be assessed by the ringside physician before the violence was allowed to continue.
With Warrington and Selby being the same weight, about the same height, having the same haircut, and both wearing white trunks, shoes and gloves…the cuts helped distinguish one from the other.
Selby had his moments but Warrington dominated the fight.
After completion of the scheduled 12 rounds, the scorecards were tallied.
What should have been a unanimous decision (UD) win for Warrington was an ugly example of poor adjudicating.
One judge scored it 112-116 for Warrington, which was within reason.
Another scored it 113-114 for Warrington. That’s too close and insupportable.
The last judge saw it 115-113, in favor of Selby.
That brings to mind the words of storied trainer and boxing commentator Teddy Atlas who said, “It can only be one of two things: incompetence or corruption…and nobody can be that incompetent.”
That judge has no grasp of the techniques and tactics of boxing. Nor does he understand the “10-point must system” or the four precepts used to adjudicate a match: clean punches, effective aggressiveness, ring generalship and defense.
Fortunately, the split decision went in favor of hometown hero Josh Warrington who advances his campaign to 27-wins against no defeats, with 6-victories coming by way of knockout.
In the fourth defense of his WBC World Featherweight title Gary Russell Jr. laced them up against undefeated Joseph Diaz Jr. in Oxen Hill, Maryland.
Coming back from a year-long layoff, Russell showed absolutely no signs of ring-rust and made a statement at the start by pressing the action, doubling and tripling his jabs, and relentlessly moving forward.
He buffed Diaz with extended combinations at the top of the second frame but they both seemed to settle in by mid-round. They remained in close and bombed to the body with both hands.
With that type of torture to the torso the pace usually begins to slow.
Not with these two southpaws.
They went toe-to-toe and let their fists fly for all 12 rounds, and although Diaz remained dangerous till the final bell, the judges correctly gave a UD victory to Gary Russell Jr. (29-1, 17 KO’s).
In the main event from Toronto, Canada Adonis Stevenson defended his WBC World Light Heavyweight belt for the ninth time.
Stevenson has been criticized for not fighting top-ranked challengers; and with the exception of Tony Bellew (30-2-1, 20 KO’s) that case has legs.
But that knock cannot be made of Badou Jack (22-1-3, KO’s 13). He is top-notch competition…and he proved it.
Jack is 6’1” with a reach of 73” —- exactly as it should be.
Standing with your arms out perpendicular to your body, the measurement from fingertip to fingertip should be equal to your height.
Adonis (standing 5’11”) is a freak of nature with a wingspan of 77” a full half-foot more than natural.
He held the edge as they plodded through the early frames; and it took until Round 6 for a fight to actually break out. But it was sloppy.
There was a lot of clenching as Stevenson faded in the later rounds. Jack took control of the tempo and pace to supply some excitement in the home stretch.
The bout went the distance, and the scorecards were no surprise.
One judge gave it to Jack, 113-115 but the other two judges scored it 114-114 for a majority decision draw (MD).
They both stated they want a rematch.
God Bless and double up on your jabs
Mark Felicetti possesses the title of “Royal Pain.” Reach him at email@example.com.