WITH reference to the excellent piece in the November 7 issue, I agree that unbeaten records are rated far too highly these days. If the best really did fight the best, unbeaten records would be largely non-existent. When you examine unbeaten records of 40 fights or more, there is usually some obvious padding. Floyd Mayweather, the most talented boxer of his generation, marketed the ‘0’ as if it was the golden fleece. He desperately wanted to surpass Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record and the fact that he fought a debutant in his 50th fight proved that. I’d argue that some boxers actually improve after a defeat or two – Dereck Chisora and Anthony Crolla to name but two relatively recent examples. The fabled ‘0’ is merely a marketing gimmick that most true fans don’t believe in.
BLOODY NOSE FOR BOXING
THE sport of boxing received a bloody nose with the verdict in the Callum Smith-John Ryder fight. Most boxing aficionados are not naive – decisions that stink out arenas can unfortunately be common at lower levels as the up-and-coming boxer gets the nod over the away fighter to keep the unbeaten record intact and maintain the upward trajectory of the prospect. That’s bad enough, but in a world title fight it brings home to a wider public the rottenness that sometimes infects the sport at elite level. The powers that be need to put their heads above the parapet and regulate the sport in a way that ensures there’s no repetition of this and the right boxer has his arm raised at the conclusion of the fight.
THE unanimous decision for Callum Smith over John Ryder was a total disgrace. If the judges really thought that Smith was the winner then they should have their licences revoked. How on earth could Terry O’Connor score it 117-111 to Smith? Ryder’s team really thought their man had won – you could see the reaction in the corner. The wrong man got the verdict. There should be an immediate return bout, as this result has deprived Ryder of a deserved world title and, of course, the bigger paydays that go with it.
Raymond Lee (Essex EBA Secretary)
CALLUM SMITH showed against John Ryder that he’s a class act. The calls from some quarters of a robbery are ridiculous. Smith picked Ryder off with great timing and distance for the majority of the fight. Ryder’s success came when he rushed Smith and worked on the inside, which was fleeting. Ryder’s style is more eye-catching and stays in the viewer’s mind, but the more efficient, subtle work came from Smith. If he ever does fight Canelo Alvarez, he’ll give him all the trouble he can handle.