Quijano: A matter of perspective-A A +A
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
A BIT of a controversy arose from the scores turned in by the judges in last Saturday’s jam-packed Pinoy Pride 18 featuring our very own Donnie Neites vs. Mexican Moises Fuentes.
American judges Adelaide Byrd and Patrick Russell had it 114-114, while my companero, Atty. Janrex Tapdasan had it 115-113 for Donnie Neites, resulting in a majority draw.
So what’s the fuss all about? The Mexican camp is adamant that their fighter did enough to merit the nod while the ALA camp was reportedly surprised at the close scoring.
From where I was seated (at the bar, where else) I thought I had Fuentes up by a round or so. Unfortunately, I did not actually score the fight and keep a tally (I usually do) as I was hamming it up with a couple of friends who were fight virgins (first time to see a live boxing match) and drinking several cold Last Rounds.
Hence, the probative value of my assessment is quite dubious, but at least that’s how I saw it.
But let’s revisit the fight and examine how the judges scored it.
THE FIGHT. Nietes started out strong and landed several booming right hands in the first round that had the crowd roaring and got the attention of the strangely reticent Fuentes. All three judges gave this to Nietes.
This emboldened the Mexican challenger and he came out swinging in the second round.
He won this one based on his aggression and activity on two judges’ scorecards (Tapdasan and Russel) Byrd scored it for Nietes.
Nietes bounced back nicely in the third as he scored with some solid jabs and overhand rights. All three judges unanimously gave this one to Nietes.
Fuentes made his move in the 4th by banging Nietes to the body and landing hooks and crosses while Nietes seemed overwhelmed by the flurries. All three judges gave this one to Fuentes.
Nietes answered back in the 5th and stunned Fuentes with a crisp hook to the side of the head. Nietes tried to follow it up but Fuentes survived. All three judges were in agreement in giving this one to Nietes.
The tide would change in the sixth, seventh and eighth rounds with Fuentes unleashing furious combinations that had a bleeding Nietes backing up. All three judges were in agreement except for Tapdasan in the sixth who scored it for Nietes.
In the ninth, Fuentes pressed the action, with Tapdasan and Byrd giving him the round. Russell disagreed and gave this one to Nietes.
Round 10 saw Donnie gain his 2nd wind but Fuentes was still the aggressor. Tapdasan gave this one to Donnie while Byrd and Russel scored it for Fuentes.
The championship rounds were owned by Nietes as he mounted a furious comeback while Fuentes seemed to tire. All three judges gave rounds 11 and 12 to Nietes.
PERSPECTIVES. All told, the fight was close and could arguably have been scored for either fighter. Fuentes was the busier fighter who pushed the action for most of the rounds, while Nietes landed the more telling blows although he was more restrained in his output.
The controversy probably stems from the fact that the Fuentes camp specifically protested Tapdasan’s appointment being a fellow Filipino, and he was the only who scored it for Nietes.
But if you look at the scores that were turned in, Tapdasan’s tally of 115-113 is very close to the 114-114 from the other two judges.
In a close fight, a margin of two or three points either way is quite acceptable and within the realm of possibility. So I don’t’ really see what all the fuss is about.
To me, Donnie redeemed himself in the eyes of many who perceived him to be a good fighter with a tendency to run out of gas in the later rounds.
After round 10, I took nature’s call and I remember telling a friend I felt that Donnie was losing the fight.
This turned out to be a correct assessment as he needed to win the last two rounds in the cards to pull off the majority draw and avoid a loss. Thankfully, he won rounds 11 and 12 on all the scorecards.
FEEDBACK. A lot of fans at ringside were well-pleased at the action-packed battle between the two protagonists. The younger, taller Fuentes came to fight and the match lived up to its billing as a champion vs champion duke-out.
LAST ROUNDS. Are on Cristy Boylan and on two dear friends, Dr. Oliver Baclig and Edge Genosa. Happy Birthday and Cheers!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 06, 2013.