Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Toney to get rematch with Peter

By JE Grant

Despite a pre-fight notice that the winner of the Samuel Peter – James Toney fight Sept. 2 would get a shot at the WBC “world” title, the WBC issued a press release Sept. 26 announcing a requirement that Peter must meet Toney in a rematch despite capturing a split decision victory in their first match.

Although it was clear to this observer that Toney should have captured the decision, two of the three paid judges at ringside scored the bout for Peter.

The purpose of the rematch, according to a poorly written news release from the WBC, is that it “will clear the air and we will have official undisputable challenger to our new champion Oleg Maskaev.”

The organization has taken it upon itself to renege on the promise that the winner of the bout would challenge Maskaev. Is it the position of the organization that there was an illegal action that led to the decision? If so, there’s nothing in this new edict that points to that conclusion.

Another listed reason is that “the WBC believes that at this moment there can not be a more interesting heavyweight fight than this rematch, and it will be very good for boxing.” Really? How about Wladimir Klitschko vs. Oleg Maskaev? Maybe Klitschko vs. Serguei Liakhovich?

More importantly, it is insufficient to say that because a bout would be “interesting” is it acceptable to negate a decision gained in the ring – however controversial it may be.

Further amusing is the WBC’s contention that because Toney was number one going in, “he had no need to fight anyone to gain the right to contend for the title. By choosing Samuel Peter, the highest rated boxer adopted a top-level sports decision and the WBC wishes that the official challenger be the winner of this rematch so nobody has doubts about it.”

Again, poor English aside, is the WBC really satisfied with saying that a number one contender need not win fights when he is waiting for a title contest? Consider the possible implications of that statement. Are number one contenders now exempt from the need to continue winning?

Disputed decisions are a part of boxing and always have been. Decisions about who should and should not contend for a title are always debatable in the best of circumstances.

In this circumstance, the organization ruled that the winner would face Maskaev. There was a clear line drawn. The two met with judges selected by the California commission and a judgment was made at the end of 12 rounds with Peter named the winner. To date no one has been accused of anything illegal or immoral in the process.

As such, Sam Peter met the standards set by the organization and should now move on to face Maskaev.

Of course some will laud this decision simply because they disagree with the decision in the ring.

James Toney has been the undeserving beneficiary of every decision with respect to his stay in the division.

He has gained a number one ranking despite never having beaten a legitimately rated top 10 heavyweight.

Losing what at first appeared to be a victory for another belt by being found to have used illegal, performance-enhancing drugs disgraced him.

He was extremely lucky to gain a draw with then-titlist Hasim Rahman. For some reason, despite the very controversial nature of that decision the WBC is in no mood to order a Rahman vs. Toney rematch.

Yet he continues to gain bouts that will lead to title shots.

In a final and laughable closing to the news release, the organization issued this plea:

“The WBC invites all parties to kindly restrain from using a hard language in their public statements, since boxing is a sport for gentlemen and we all would like to keep it that way.”

Disrespectfully, I decline the invitation.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say JE. On the one hand, your arguments are logically sound and I cannot add (or take) anything meaningful to them. On the another, however, I really don't mind seeing another scrap between the two (if nothing, there is a small chance Peter learns smth from Toney!). What a heck, as long as top contenders, and these two are top contenders, fight each other I am happy. Yeah, that's how badly we boxing fans have been treating... so badly that even this is some kind of progress!
Meke

9:19 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Of course the fallout of this is that the WBC title is now clogged up for the next year. Maskaev will face his opponent in Russia then will need to fight the winner of Toney-Peter II perhaps next summer. No possibility of Maskaev facing Liakhovich or Klitschko or Brock or any of the deserving possible opponents.

5:10 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

T.O. / B.B. Where have you gone????

8:38 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

Oh, were still here big guy. Spot-on read here, despite my 'mixed-feelings' about the fight and decision (really just the WIDE margins on two of the cards.)

More to come...

(P.S- Wer'e gearing up for the Oct. Hvy Top-25...*Puffs on Pipe*...)

10:05 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (Bizzy) said...

"Judges, Juries, and an Executioner named Bizzy..."

I couldn't have said it better J.E. I really don't even know quite what to add or say. You did it for me. There is also part of me that kind of goes along with what Meke says, but...It's still really not right. It should not be the WBC's position to play "Judge and Jury" here. It is - however - Bizzy's position to play (Alphabet) "Executioner".

"Hey Mr.Jose Sillyman! Say hello to my little friend! *BULLETS FLYING!*

*The Alphabet Soup Assassins*

5:21 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

(The only thing I wouldn't mind seeing here, would be to have the two judges explain to you and I - in a room with the fight playing on a screen - how they could have POSSIBLY have scored it 8-4 or 9-3 for Peter. That's all. The margin(s) were really the only thing I had a MAJOR problem with.)

* I do know that scoring a fight live can be different sometimes, and am a proponent of perhaps looking into monitors or elavated seating for major fights. As well as competent and ethical judges, of course...

5:26 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

As you know I thought Toney won. For me that isn't the issue at all. For the WBC to set itself up as an organization interested in "fairness" is too wide a stretch for any of us to believe.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

My thoughts exactly. It smells worse than a lingering sulfur fart, to put it bluntly.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

Add onto that the fact that JT tested positive for roids, and continues to come in a good 10-20.lbs too heavy for these repeated opportunities he's recieved...And it smells even worse.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight (bizzy) said...

At the risk of sounding redundant J.E...The almighty top-25 is once again off the main screen. This list is of paramount importance Mr.Grant. It must be present at all times.

;-(

5:52 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

The new one will be out very soon.

5:09 PM  

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