By Derek Bonnett: So far, 2013 has provided boxing fans with myriad topics for discussion in the area of debatable decisions. Among the most talked about is the Juan Carlos Burgos-Roman Martinez draw, but this week saw two more bouts which fall into this category and will likely be talked about with some fervor between fans. The terms "controversial" and "robbery" are no strangers to boxing fans and, if anything, are used too frequently. The frequent application of these terms tends to dilute their true meanings. For both terms actually mean there is virtually no room for debate on the subject. A debatable decision could have gone either way and allows for fans to discuss their interpretation of the bout meaningfully. A robbery or a controversial call is one of those "things that make you go, hmmm?". Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler fought to a very close decision, which was debatable. However, calling it a "robbery", as many fans still tend do, is a discredit to the work put forth by the perceived losing fighter. Richard Abril and Manny Pacquiao lost due to robberies in highly controversially scored matches. Brandon Rios and Timothy Bradley did nothing to look like winners. These two bouts have nothing in common in terms of scoring or action to the Leonard-Hagler contest. Burgos-Martinez and now this week’s Sturm-Soliman and Gutknecht-Braehmer fall into this Leonard-Hagler category. All three 2013 bouts were highly competitive. One fighter may have appeared a more deserving winner over the other or vice versa. However, none of these bouts fit the label of robbery. Some of the scores may have been wider than we feel comfortable with, and that’s the real discussion the sport of boxing needs to address.
On Monday, January 28, at Bangplama School, Suphan Buri, Thailand, Suriyan Sor Rungvisai won a unanimous decision over Elmar Francisco in a six-round bantamweight bout. Rungvisai won for the fourth time since moving up to bantamweight after losing his 115-pound title to Yota Sato. He elevated his record to 24-5-1 (9). Francisco fell to 16-17-2 (4).
Rungvisai held onto his number six bantamweight ranking at SecondsOut, but is in need of improved opposition if he is to advance himself toward the number one spot.
On Wednesday, January 30, at Entertainment Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Daniel Geale avenged his lone loss to Anthony Mundine by unanimous decision in a twelve round IBF middleweight title bout. All three judges favored Geale 117-111 twice and 116-112. Geale notched the fourth defense of his title and upped his ledger to 29-1 (15). Mundine, who disputed the loss groundlessly, fell to 44-5 (26).
Geale retained his number two middleweight ranking at SecondsOut and appears to be heading toward another title defense at home.
On Friday, February 1, at ISS Dome, Dusseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, Felix Sturm dropped a controversial decision to Sam Soliman in a twelve round middleweight bout. The judges scores handed Soliman the win by counts of 116-111 and 114-113 twice. Soliman extended his unlikely run to eight wins since 2008 and secured an IBF title shot against his countryman Geale. Soliman’s dossier improved to 43-11 (17). Sturm suffered his second straight defeat and fell to 37-4-2 (16).
Sturm fell from number three to number nine after the surprise loss to the unranked Soliman. Soliman entered the rankings at eight. Matthew Macklin and Martin Murray, both who had controversial bouts with Sturm, moved to six and seven respectively along with the other previously ranked four through eight contenders each moving up one ranking. Dmitry Pirog fell to tenth, pushing Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam out of the rankings for now.
Also on this date, at UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois, USA, Carlos Molina out-scored Cory Spinks in a twelve round junior middleweight bout. Spinks was deducted one point for holding in the ninth. Molina dropped Spinks in the eleventh and forced a standing eight count in the final round. Molina won by scores of 119-106 twice and 120-105. His resume improved to 21-5-2 (6). Spinks fell to 39-8 (11).
Molina held onto his number six ranking among SecondsOut’s top 154 pounders.
On Saturday, February 2, at Max Schmeling Halle, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, Germany, Eduard Gutknecht and Juergen Braehmer produced and early Fight of the Year contender in a twelve round light heavyweight bout. Braehmer won a unanimous decision by scores of 117-110, 116-111, and 114-113. Braehmer raised his record to 39-2 (30). Gutknecht dipped to 24-2 (9).
Braehmer jumped into the SecondsOut light heavyweight rankings at number nine. Gutknecht remained at the number ten spot due to the close nature of the scoring in spite of the actual scorecards. Beibut Shumenov was dropped due to his inactivity against world class opposition.
Also on this date, at Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Juan Manuel Lopez scored a ninth round TKO of Aldimar Silva Santos in a super featherweight bout. Lopez raised his record to 32-2 (29). Silva Santos fell to 18-4 (9).
Lopez kept his number four featherweight ranking at SecondsOut by getting back in the win column after his second loss to Orlando Salido.
SecondsOut ranked fighters in action through Sunday, February 10:
On Saturday, February 9:
At Arena Itson, Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico: Julio Ceja versus Henry Maldonado in a ten round bantamweight bout
To check out Derek’s SecondsOut rankings click on the link below www.digenie.net/sorankings/p_so_world.asp
For further boxing discussion, contact Derek DBO Bonnett on Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org.