Friday, April 18, 2008
Glen Johnson: Defeat Ain't What It Used It To Was
One of the aspects of boxing I enjoy best is the way it functions within certain established paramaters. Unlike team sports in which everything from the coach to the other players to God can be blamed for one's team-failure, boxing is pretty clear cut-in its outcome, outside of a "fixed" fight, which are not as common as one might expect, especially if one believes crime fiction and motion pictures.
But the golden rule that I've come to discover, on the contemporary boxing scene, is that if one's fight goes to decision, and one happens not to be considered the "star," one would have to consider himself "fucked," as the ancients put it. This is one lesson I learned the weekend previous.
Last time I got up in this thing over boxing, it was over the Malignaggi vs. Ngoudjo (and, by and by, time hasn't healed any wounds, Malignaggi can go suck it, he lost to Ngoudjo). Then, we have Dawson vs. Johnson. Glen Johnson is thee gentleman of light heavyweight boxing, previously screwed over by the industry when it comes to decisions.
Unfortuantely, he didn't wipe the smug face Dawson wears on the canvas with a clear-cut knock out. Instead, Johnson stayed in this match, ultimately dominated, and won the majority of points, and won the W.B.C. title as a great boxer. Then, surreally, the judges come back and insult the shit out of this disntinguished light heavyweight by not only wrongly handing the fight to Dawson, but giving Dawson an undue margin of points for the win. They not only fucked Glen Johnson, but fucked him good, no asking of permission or even removal of panties. The ancients sigh.
As I said before, whether a fix of sentiment, or a fix of cold, hard cash, the fix was in (but it should be known, for betting men and women, that the odds favored Dawson 3-1, ahem). Dawson was meant to go fight Tarver, following the Tarver vs. Woods fight in the same class of the same night and the same bill. And not anything, not even Johnson fighting a fight he won remarkably unless he knocked the guy out, was going to get in the way of the industry making it happen. The judges should be ashamed. The boxing industry should be ashamed.
Showtime had some goofy text message poll upon the subject of which of the four fighter's from the night "impressed" the viewers more for the evening, Johnson or Dawson or Tarver or Woods, and, at the end of the night, Johnson won with an 80 percent winning vote from the fans.
Speaking well immediately after the decision, Glen Johnson elucidated, “I can’t believe they would do this to me when I‘m on my last leg…Something needs to be done about boxing…It’s all about politics and who you know…I told Dawson’s promoter I would give Dawson a rematch if he lost…” Alas, this from a man whom Dawson conversley said that very same evening he would NOT grant a rematch, that he was moving his career forward, which, apparently, did not equate with giving his better, Glen Johnson, another shot to prove his mettle, which, if you were paying attention, was already proven.
Johnson announced two days after the fight that he will appeal the decision to the Florida Boxing Commission, and I know I'm not the only one who is not merely glad, but that salutes him. And, I should add, I hope the Florida Boxing Commission does not choose to treat him like Florida treats Democratic Presidential candidates.
I smoked an Arturo Fuente maduro during this fight, and while it tasted mighty good, it didn't due much to supress my ire. My ire continues. But it was a gawdam good smoke...