I THOUGHT I would watch Juergen Braehmer versus Robin Krasniqi for the WBA light-heavyweight championship at the weekend.
Braehmer is 36 years old, had great footwork, use of the ring, and he mainly counter-punched but when Krasniqi hit him with a good shot he went on the offensive and replied in kind. Juergen takes a shot well but does have a tendency to drop his left hand when jabbing with his southpaw right hand which invites a left hook over the top.
Up to the stoppage at the interval before the 10th round I could only give Krasniqi the fourth and the seventh round. Commentator Jim Watt said the champion was looking uncomfortable in the eighth, when Krasniqi put the pressure on, but I thought he was totally unfazed and when the challenger decided to be more attack-minded, Braehmer punished him even more. Jim said he couldn’t understand why Jurgen didn’t go on the attack more, well the man’s 36 years old he wants some rounds under his belt and why fix something that’s not broken? Then in the ninth Jim couldn’t understand why referee Tony Weeks administered a mandatory eight count when Krasneqi fell back into the ropes from some more thunderous lefts just because he wasn’t hanging over them. Well, the rule says if the ropes save you from going down a mandatory eight count is administered. In this case, the ropes not only stopped him from going down they stopped him from landing in the eighth row.
I felt there was a reason to call a halt there and then but it wasn’t necessarily a bad call, because he was pulled out at the end of the round with Watt still saying he shouldn’t have been counted which goes to show the viewers should not take a commentator’s word as gospel, although many of them do, and we end up with everyone having a go at the referee as they are not fully conversant with the rules of boxing and how to apply them.
Talking of referees and also judges I am unable to comprehend the reason why US officials, mostly referees have to be used in the many of the big fights this side of the Atlantic. It gives the impression that the officials from Great Britain and Europe are inferior to those from America. It is a drain on our finances also especially for the smaller promoter. If this is the case – that British officials are not of the same standard – then the commissioners around the world should get together and pursue a course of action so that all top officials have a level playing field.
I personally have had a true shake of the dice as a referee over the years and appreciate that the experience of officiating the big fights abroad was essential to my progress, but it does seem that we no longer have these opportunities this side of the water. Last week one of our referees was afforded that opportunity to be a judge for the WBO in Montréal but the British commission informed the organisation that Richie Davies was no longer licensed, despite him holding a licence with another commission. Perhaps this attitude does not help our top officials obtain that international recognition.