The CBZ Newswire

From the CBZ Message Board: Ron Lipton on Khan-Peterson

by on Dec.13, 2011, under Boxing News

By Ron Lipton

The perennial disagreements with what we actually see in boxing goes on and on between commentators, author-researchers, fans, aficionados of the sport, former fighters, officials, salesman, Internet kids, et al.

What is on film is etched in stone. Peterson was the effective aggressor, made the fight and scored damaging body shots. Khan showed great heart but did in fact use the old Ali tactic of pushing the opponent’s head down and the old Foreman tactic of pushing the opponent off with an open glove or a forearm. Peterson deserved to win.
These tactics are tolerated by some referees as “part of boxing,” as is yelling instructions or administering water spray from the corner to revive your charge when instructed to refrain from doing so during a time out, yet the pushing the opponent off with an open glove or forcing his head down continuously gravitates toward the land of point deductions.

In the world of pro boxing overly officious refereeing ruins a bout as the amateur referees have done to Olympic boxing and all other forms of amateur boxing. The amateur referees still carry those traits into the pros as seen in bouts like Cotto vs. Yuri Foreman.

Others like to slap the back hard yelling just the word “Break” and demanding obedience from the amateur participants making them bow in apology as if to a father. It becomes sickening to me personally. It does not work in pro boxing. You have to be fluid, decisive, in shape, have boxing knowledge, and despite drawing much fire for my views, I still maintain an out of shape ref, or one who walks slowly around the ring with their pants up around their neck or below their belly is simply a political choice who no one questions and worse is rewarded with big fights despite recent and horrible mistakes.

The pros are different and pro officiating is different and should be done by officials who give a refined and professional appearance physically, devoid of theatrical mid ring instructions which border on the theater of the absurd. In the Peterson vs. Khan bout, the referee was breaking them at the wrong times and at one moment when he stepped in to take a point, it was not done in decisive fashion and because of that Peterson took a shot to the mouth. The timing of the breaks was continually AWKWARD, and the manner of taking the points was AWKWARD, not wrong but awkward and resulted in the tsunami of controversy and post fight angst. No matter how you cut the cake it is not blaming the referee, he did his best, it is blaming the officials who appointed him. If that is their best then stay out of DC.

If the referee had said to Khan after several warnings for pushing, “I WILL TAKE A POINT FROM YOU IF YOU CONTINUE TO DO THAT.” It might have helped things a bit. Furthermore this is not the NFL, or basketball where penalties can be retrieved by other team mates. The referee could not get out of their way and it resulted in controversy as to the knockdowns. His timing was off so Peterson got him in the mouth when the ref stepped in to admonish Khan. Yes he had to do what he had to do, but how he did it is the problem.

As to fighting style, strategy in that ring we all have a right to our opinion, it does help to have been in that ring as a fighter. As the years go by it becomes more and more clear to me that a fan who has never taken sustained punches on a regular basis in sparring or in combat has no conception of the pain and damage it does to you in there as the bout progresses.

A boxer has to wear a poker face to hide it. When we tell them he should have done this or that or your defense is lacking in this area etc, that fighter may very well be totally unable to do that because his arms, or shoulder blade, or liver may be screaming in pain he cannot show you on his face.

I think people misunderstand the law and court procedures as opposed to an attorney and Judge who understand everything from the exclusionary rule to case law cited and how it affects the outcome of the game played with the Prosecutor, defense attorney, and the judge, while others balk at the hypocrisy of it all, especially the victims, defendants, and in civil mattes respondents. Lawyers most of the time know best it is their bailiwick. Yet they make horrible mistakes as to the police and judges and they should be blamed when necessary.

I remember Adam Pollack came to my defense with a comment on another site one time which I am still most grateful for regarding a fight I did on HBO. It is true that sometimes only the referee can see what others cannot even at ringside. In doing the Jones vs. Brannon bout, it was emphatically demanded by the Brannon team at the rules meeting that the fight not be stopped prematurely as in the Jones v Sosa bout He was told he would be given every possible chance in this title fight.

I have the slow motion films of the punches Roy Jones was throwing at Brannon seconds before he asked me to stop it. Those punches were missing by inches and if I had stopped the fight exactly at that juncture despite the fact that Brannon had been previously dropped and was shaky, it would have been Sosa vs. Jones melee time once again. So Adam posted, “Thought Ron did a good job in that fight, etc.” I am very grateful for that because I know I saw those punches missing and no one else did.

As to this fight, sometimes the police (I am a retired police officer) can be wrong, as in the beating death of that defenseless homeless youth in California, in which the cop was indicted for manslaughter for beating a person to death while he screamed for his father to save him, who also had been a police officer.

Taking the points for pushing in the 12th round was something most pro referees would not do. It is being done at the 11th hour, it is not a major foul, although “Disobeying the referees instructions on minor fouls,” then becomes a major foul. Hitting low and hurtfully while disobeying the ref’s instructions is a horse of a different color.

Was he within the parameters of the rules in doing so? Yes. Was it kosher to do in a major close title fight where the referee’s intervention effects the outcome of a spirited fight, you be the judge.

To view other opinions on this topic, go to the Modern Section of the CBZ Discussion Board and click on “The Wrath of Khan” string.

Ron Lipton also holds court regularly in the Old-Tmers section of the CBZ Discussion Board under “Ron Lipton: Q&A Thread.”  Drop in and pay him a visit!

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