Tag Archives: Pawel Wolak

Christy Martin and the decision: Is a hand worth more than an eye?

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.

Getting your motivation on.

Getting your motivation on.

Pawel Wolak v. Delvin Rodriguez, Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

I’m often the first to complain about the mamby-pamby state of so-called “elite” boxing lately especially on PPV, HBO and Showtime … but I’ll also give credit we’re it’s due and must give a huge shout-out to Pawel “Raging bull” Wolak (29-1, 19 KO’s) and Delvin Rodriguez (25-5-2, 14 KO’s) for the gutsy, end-to-end display of superlative boxing skills, motivation and heart they showed last night in their ten-round “barn-burner” as the Main Event broadcast on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.

To quote my young one, OMG!  Wolak was a mac-truck that wouldn’t stop coming and Rodriguez, having come off a self-imposed year + out of the ring, eased into the fight with poise, toughness and an agility that allowed him to fight a taller man’s tactics by gaining the distance he needed to land his very effective and repeated rights that eventuated in Wolak’s cro-magnum sized brow by the seventh round of the bout.

The fight was called a majority draw with one judge scoring it 97-93 Rodriguez and the other two 95-95. Rodriguez no doubt will feel a bit robbed as in my scoring, he had the slightest edge, but in terms of the fight itself — much as I’ve written before about the first meeting of Jackie Nava and Ana Maria Torres — the draw is also very satisfying because when both boxers put their hearts and souls into it we all win. Yes, we love the notion of titles and champions and have a gazillion belts out their to honor our winners, at the end of it, the timelessness of the sport of boxing wins when fighters are well-matched, referees smart and intelligent, judges honest and the fans 100% behind both fighters from start to finish.

Another step in the right direction for the sport of boxing — men’s and women’s — was the New Jersey Boxing Commission’s decision to suspend all three judges over the controversal scoring in last week’s Paul Williams vs. Erislandy Lara fight which had two judges scoring the win for Williams who so obviously lost the bout, and one judge scoring it a draw.  This is a tremendous win for boxing — as men’s and women’s efforts are misjudged with far too often for the good of the sport.

Tenth Round Action