Friday, June 21, 2013

Spotlight on a robbery: Lance Whitaker VS Andrey Fedosov

Recently, I had the chance to catch up on a past fight of interest. Last week, I watched NBC Sports' live presentation with hot, American prospect Bryant "By-By" Jennings taking on cool but rugged prospect from Russia, Andrey Fedosov.  Two good, young heavyweights, duking it out on a good card that I didn't have to pay extra to watch. Good stuff. After a couple close rounds, Bryant laid down the very long arm of the law (big reach on Bryant) with his right uppercut/left hook combination and did enough damage to Fedosov's eye to cause a surprise stoppage by retirement in the corner. A good performance for Mr. Jennings, yet again. But I read many boxing forums and have been seeing a gross underrating of a tough, inside-fighting puncher in Mr. Fedosov, whose career as a prospect really cooled off after a "loss" to an aged Lance Whitaker. Now, no disrespect to Mr. Whitaker, but when people see that a prospect drops one to an older Whitaker, one whose career had really been on the decline, people tend to dismiss the fighter on the losing end with good reason, if they've not seen the action involved.

I've been reading about how Fedosov wasn't much because, hey, he lost to an old Lance Whitaker! I've read that Jennings did not have an impressive showing, considering that his opponent had this "hiccup" in his career. Did Fedosov lose by the famed "one punch can change everything" method? No, it was by decision! Fedosov is just not that good, I read. Well, ladies and gentlemen, Fedosov may not be a "world beater". That's fine to say that. I don't think so either. But I found a nice, perfectly clear copy of this Whitaker match, which I hadn't seen before. And I watched it thoroughly, much to my chagrin. I watched it with baffled disgust, round after round, as I tried to reconcile what I was seeing, the reality of it, with the scorecards I'd read on What a nightmare for Mr. Fedosov. What an abuse of honest, hardworking fighters, what actually happened that night, on June 12, almost three years exactly before clashing with Jennings, 2010, in Hollywood, California.

I've seen a lot of robberies in boxing - decades' worth, in fact. This fight ended in one of the worst I've ever seen. I've always been hesitant to call a fight a robbery. I don't call close fights robberies. A lot of fans make that mistake. This, however, was an unmistakable robbery to any person who understands the action they're watching. I had this fight scored 11 rounds to 1 for Andrey Fedosov. Let me repeat that. I scored ELEVEN of TWELVE rounds for Andrey Fedosov. Furthermore, the one round I scored for Whitaker, that was a close round. And though it doesn't say so, currently, on Boxrec, Fedosov scored a knockdown in the fifth round, via big left hook.

So, the first five rounds included a knockdown and were all very, very clear for Fedosov. By the first round you could give Whitaker, the sixth, which I gave him, there's already the equivalent of a half-a-fight lead in scoring for Fedosov. I don't think the crowd is always right, but I will say that the crowd began to audibly shout "Bull-shit! Bull-shit! Bull-shit!" after the cards were read. Make no mistake. This fight was not competitive. The commentators seem to think "pushing out a jab" with consistency when it's not hitting anything but air or gloves is ample reason to call it competitive, but I have eyes. So, I will not. Whitaker lightly pushed his glove out to touch Fedosov's gloves (or just air in front of Fedosov) all through the fight, and seemed to actually get credit for throwing a punch and scoring with it when he did so. Many of these weren't even thrown punches, let alone landed ones. Lightly pushing out your glove is not punching. Touching a glove that way is certainly not a scoring blow either. Any judge who was even slightly competent would see that. This was an insane decision. If this had been two big names, with two big fan bases, you could see a riot from these cards at the billed "Pandemonium at the Palladium".

I'm sick to my stomach after watching this match. Fedosov's career was derailed by this, a brazen robbery. There was no way this was a Whitaker victory. There was no way this was a draw. There is no card of any quality whatsoever that can come up with anything other than a wide Fedosov victory. Yet, Judges Marty Denkin and Raul Caiz Junior somehow came up with a win for Whitaker. Judge Tom Taylor seemingly didn't elect to drink from the same trough leading up to the match, bless him, with his 115-112 card for Fedosov. Not by any stretch should it have been close. This was an easy fight to score, ladies and gentlemen. I haven't seen every Andrey Fedosov fight. I don't know what his record should be. But I do know he didn't lose to Lance Whitaker.

If you get a chance to watch this match and you think I'm exaggerating, please watch that fight. It's out there to find, if you're interested. Fedosov dominated Whitaker and Jennings just beat a very solid man in the tough Russian. Credit to Fedosov for his poise against the giant Whitaker and continuing his career without letting it dishearten him into retirement that he was blatantly cheated and credit to Bryant Jennings for getting the 'W' this last weekend. Jennings is a genuinely class professional and I would love to see Fedosov in there on American television once more against someone like Vyacheslav Glazkov. NBC Sports, please have these men back on the air. Or ESPN, Friday Night Fights, Magomed Abdusalamov and Andrey Fedosov, a killer clash for the fans is there for the taking.

Work that bag,
Basement Gym Boxing

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