Christy Martin and the decision: Is a hand worth more than an eye?
As has been widely report, in a 5-0 decision by the California State Athletic Commission, Christy Martin lost her bid to overturn her June 4th loss to Dakota Stone.
Writing to question the Commission’s decision, Christine Lusey started off her August 16th piece by writing SAY WHAT > Did a Boxer lose a Fight to Sex Discrimination? She also quoted directly from Christy Martin’s appeal which stated, “In my 22 years of experience as a professional boxer, I have never seen a fight stopped by a referee or a fight doctor because of a broken hand or because a boxer winced.”
Over at Boxing Insider.com, Jackie Kallen took another tack in her piece entitled, Should we have instant replay in Boxing? Her take was to ask if the way around questionable calls is to add instant replay — especially since the issues in the moment may be more readily understood. She also opined that Christy’s choice of *power* attorney, Gloria Allred may have annoyed the Commission enough to turn Christy down for that reason alone. Kallen’s other point was to talk about the general issue of bad calls and how they tend to even out.
What I was wondering is whether a broken hand is worth more than say a broken eye?
So let’s talk about another fight, the Pawel “Raging bull” Wolak vs. Delvin Rodriguez back on July 15th a mere 6 weeks after Christy’s 50th fight as a pro.
Wolak v. Rodriguez was the fight that had everyone watching Friday Night Fights going wild — including the commentators. In fact, the fight was sooooo hot, FNF suspended commercials from the seventh round on.
This is what Pawel Wolak looked like in the 9th round!
That eye started getting big in the seventh round, and he kept fighting with it THROUGH THE END OF THE FIGHT! And if you watched the fight you could see that it HURT, but he told the Referee Steve Smoger and the doctors he was good to go … and they let him fight on! Not only that, but the commentators ALL agreed that the fight SHOULD CONTINUE AND THAT THE REFEREE WAS MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION IN LETTING IT GO ON!
Christy broke her hand in the fourth round and kept on fighting even rocking Dakota in the fifth. It reminded me of boxing gym tales about the guy who won fighting with nothing but lefts ’cause he broke his hand — and was the reason my old trainer Johnny Grinage used to make me do at least one round of lefts on the heavy bag every time I trained.
All I can say is that Christy was living that old saw. As she went on to fight in the sixth round she had NO intention of quitting and only winced after throwing a huge right. As she shook off her obvious discomfort Referee David Mendoza called the fight.
When it came to pain, however, it seemed as if the real pain on her face was when Mendoza stopped the fight!
Yep, she broke her hand, but stopping the fight with one minute left to go in the bout wasn’t going to do *anything* to help her hand — it was already broken. What it did do was deny Martin and Stone the opportunity for a real close to their fight.
A lot of things could have happened in that fight and the Ref owed it to Martin to let her finish it out.
Let’s face it, the Martin v. Stone fight was a war — not unlike the Wolak v. Rodriguez fight. I’m all for stopping fights when it is obvious that a fighter is being badly beaten and damaged — or is no longer able to defend themselves.
Was this the case here? In my estimation no because we’re talking Christy Martin, as brilliant a phoenix as has every graced the boxing ring. Christy, a dedicated professional deserved the benefit of the doubt, much as Pawel Wolak was given the benefit of the doubt by Steve Smoger — and Dakota Stone deserved the opportunity to win or lose unhindered by what seemed like a very unfair decision by the Referee.
I don’t know that I’d go so far as to say that the call was strictly based on gender — but it sure wasn’t boxing.
After seeing Christy Martin walk away from her heated exchange with Dakota Stone in the 6th round of their fight in June, it appears that Christy did a ‘no masse’. What is a referee suppose to do in a situation like that? The same thing a referee did when Robero Duran did the same thing in his fight with Sugar Ray Leonard years ago – stop the fight.
If Christy was so upset with the decision to stop the fight, why is she only voicing up about it now through her attorney? She should have been all over this from day after the fight until now; however, being that it looks like Christy stepped away from the engagement in the 6th, I don’t think she has an argument here and sex discrimination has nothing to do with it!
Along with Jackie Kallen’s piece, there are many interpretations to actions in the ring. I saw the same exchange and did not view it as a “no mas” moment, rather from my perspective, the fight should have gone on to its completion.
To your point, Ref’s do have a tough job of interpreting behavior’s in the ring, both large and small, and end up having to tease out intentions and desires that fighters may well be struggling with because of a greater sense of bravado — figuring that “face” will be saved if a fight is called rather than having thrown in the towel at a particular event. Again, to my thinking, given that there was 60 seconds left in the match, that was not such a moment — and do tend towards the belief that it was not gender based per se.
The SAY WHAT is Ms. Lusey’s affectation. Hawaiians say Alpha, she types… “SAY WHAT?”
Thanks for that!