Posts Tagged ‘Steve Smoger

30
Sep
12

Back in the ring with Sonya

Back in the ring with Sonya

Girlboxing friend Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis won a tough hard-fought battle last night against Tanzee Daniels at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut.  This brings her record to 7-0-2. Two judges scored the bout 59-55 with the third scoring it 57-57.

Steve Smoger was the referee and as Sonya put it he told her “it’s an honor to work your fight.”  Sonya of course was thinking the opposite, feeling all the more humbled because Smoger was set to ref the Edwin Rodriguez-Jason Escalera main event.

Sonya Lamonakis and Tanzee Daniels, March 2011, Photo: Claudia Bocanegra

Humble is par for the course with Sonya who busts her butt all day teaching kids she loves up in Harlem before humping it to the gym to put in all the hours she needs to work out the stuff from the day and keep herself on the path towards her goal: a women’s heavyweight title, and hey why not, an actual chance to show her stuff on HBO on something other than an undercard bout that doesn’t get aired.

Last night was tougher though. Sonya has been through two bouts in the ring that were both ruled a draw by the judges. This past June she fought Tiffany Woodard with the scores 56-58, 58-56 & 57-57 and in January she fought Carlette Ewell with the same spread.

In the midst of it all, Sonya has been fighting through issues in her corner that led her to rethink her training style and to take on perhaps the toughest fight of all — seeing her way clear to the changes she needed to make to get herself back on track with a win.

Well, if she had any doubts they were dispelled last night. More than anything though, stepping back into the ring meant that she was going to fight through it all no matter what the outcome. That kind of courage is was makes boxing the sport that it is. A sport where each fighter truly puts herself or himself on the line.

For the moment, Sonya is slated for a WBF heavyweight title fight this coming December in Australia against Lisa Marie Vizaniari (5-0, 2 KOs). Knowing Sonya, she’ll work like crazy and then work some more to get into the kind of shape she’ll need for the win and the title. Along the way, she’ll throw us all lot of inspiration as we watch her suck back the tough things in life to bring it all into the ring, but then again, that’s Sonya.

19
Aug
11

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.




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