September 24, 2015
September 24, 2015
Referee Steve Gray disqualifies Bradley Saunders

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IT’S the start of the new boxing season and it’s warming up nicely with a few highs and lows already.

A personal high for me was Mayweather retiring, then we had a low with George Groves on a hat-trick of losses and there seems to be some disquiet behind the scenes there. We have also had Jamie McDonnell returning to the Lion’s Den and keeping his title intact. And another high with future world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua securing his hold on the Commonwealth title with a 97-second destruction of Gary Cornish. Then last weekend we had another plus with an awesome display of body punching from Stephen Smith – yet another of the Smith clan on his way to a world title shot – who proved that you don’t have to poleaxe them with head shots all the time; go downstairs and take the wind out of their sails.

Then when all was looking rosy, we had a downer with Bradley Saunders, 11-0, doing the unthinkable and losing his composure. Referee Steve Gray showed his star status by disqualifying Bradley for an intentional head butt, no warnings just Goodnight Vienna. On the plus side for Bradley he held his hands up for the offence no excuses.

I am all for disqualifying a fighter for an intentional foul. This is how it used to be years ago in Britain but we now have all the world boxing bodies with different rulings that indicate we should protect the fouling fighter to a degree, by taking two points off him and, whether the fouled boxer is injured or not, telling the combatants to fight on. If the fouled fighter is injured or cut, and can carry on, and the fight is stopped at a later stage because of that injury, the fighter that caused the injury can’t win – but if it is from another injury or cut, and the rule-breaker is ahead on the cards, they win the fight. This is wrong and I’ll tell you why: The initial injury was caused by a foul and would immediately cause a fighter to alter their plan to safeguard that injury from further damage – as a consequence they’re not being allowed to fight to the best of their abilities.

It’s the same as a foul blow to the southern regions; you are allowed up to five minutes to recover otherwise you will lose by abandonment. It is quite easy to let one go south of the border and apologise and if he recovers within the five minutes the next time there is a clinch let him know there is another one on its way south. Full marks to the referee and let’s get back to cheats never prospering. An intentional foul and it should be an immediate disqualification.

This weekend we have Frank Buglioni to look forward to who is attempting to wrest the WBA super-middleweight title from Feidor Chudinov the holder; I’m not sure if that will be another upside for us, but we will know on Saturday night.