Don Ackerman. Wynn Kintz. Tom Schreck. Are they incompetent, corrupt, or merely the three blind mice masquerading as boxing judges? One thing is for certain, none of them should ever be allowed near a boxing ring, ever again.
In a sport like boxing, where judging is subjective and often difficult, disagreements over the outcome are inevitable. And boxing history is rife with corruption. Shocking, unjust decisions are as old as the sport.
Regardless, I can say with no ambiguity: The draw rendered on Saturday night at the Turning Stone Casino between Nicholas Walters and Jason Sosa is the worst boxing decision I have ever seen. It was as bad as a boxing decision can get.
I was in the front row of the press section for this fight, 15 feet or so away from the ring, and had Nicholas Walters winning every single round. Both reporters on my immediate left had the same score. The reporter seated immediately to my right had it 8-2, adding “I’m being very generous to Sosa to give him two rounds.” A bewildered Harold Lederman walked over to the press section and declared “That was a fraud. A definite fraud.”
The punch stats for the fight underscored what a complete and utter travesty this was. Walters out-landed Sosa in every round. He landed over a hundred more total punches than Sosa, 281 to 168. He connection rate was 45 percent to 19. In power punches, the disparity was even more significant. Nicholas Walters landed 225, 104 more than Sosa. Walter’s connection rate was 32 points higher than Sosa’s, 52 to 20.
Punch stats don’t always tell you who won a fight. But when one fighter has a 32 point advantage in power shots and 100 more total punches landed, there’s simply no way that the other fight can be viewed as the winner, short of scoring multiple knockdowns.
Sitting ringside, I had a pretty good vantage point for assessing the quality of the punches. In this area, too, Sosa was thoroughly outclassed. Walters consistently pounded his body with thudding shots. I’d be very surprised if Sosa did not have blood in his urine the next morning. Walters landed the far better shots upstairs. Sosa landed only two or three truly significant punches throughout the entire fight.
Sosa deserves credit for showing up to win. He kept coming forward while absorbing some tough punishment. He’s an entertaining fighter. As the fight was winding down, I heard one writer comment that it was an entertaining one-sided fight and that Sosa was a guy who you’d want to watch again.
But a miscarriage of justice is a miscarriage, even if it benefits a game fighter. This decision was far worse than Timothy Bradley’s split-decision over Manny Pacquiao. It was worse than Julio Cesar Chavez’s draw with Pernell Whitaker. It was worse than Vitor Antuofermo’s draw with Marvelous Marvin Hagler or Paul William’s majority-decision victory over Erislandy Lara.
Those fights were all travesties. But none were as thoroughly one-sided as Walters-Sosa.
The one fight I can think of that was close to this bad was Courtney Burton’s split-decision win over Emanuel Augustus in July 2004. In that robbery, even referee Dan Kelly got in on the crime, giving Burton five minutes to recover from a clean body shot in Round 4 and deducting a point from Augustus in Round 8, for no good reason, and immediately after Burton had thrown three straight rabbit punches.
I hate to accuse judges of corruption. Scoring a fight is not easy and good judges can easily disagree with each other. But in this case, Ackerman, Schreck and Kintz are all either grossly inept or disgracefully corrupt. There’s no room for any other interpretation.