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This reporter served here in Japan as a TV commentator of the heavyweight unification bout between IBF/IBO champ Wladimir Klitschko and WBO ruler Sultan Ibragimov by receiving a signal from New York. Against our high expectations, all our TV staff was greatly disappointed in the lack of exchanges in the fight.

Had the Klitschko-Ibragimov unification bout been held in Japan, Klitschko’s safety-first strategy and Ibragimov’s exclusively counterpunching policy would have never been tolerated. A Japanese referee would have frequently ordered the fighters to fight harder and throw more punches. Sultan, in particular, would have received many warnings from the third man for waiting too long and throwing too few punches, and would eventually have been penalized, or disqualified.

What referee Wayne Kelly should have done in New York was to issue warnings. You might say, “That’s Ibragimov’s style,” but the referee should take a key role to strongly suggest that the fighters exchange punches and make it a good fight.

The late Nat Fleischer, the founder and editor of The Ring Magazine, who was this reporter’s mentor that guided me to report fights from Japan for more than four decades, used to be a referee. It was a famous story that Fleischer, in serving as a referee in the ring, once temporarily stopped a bout of very negative performers, and asked for a microphone to explain to the crowd that he would disqualify both contestants or declare a No Contest should they continue such a dull fight. The audience supported his strong attitude and resolution as the third man. From then and there, it turned a hot affair as the fighters desperately started fireworks, because they were really afraid of their purses being confiscated by the commission.

This reporter recommends that referees in future “big” fights take an active role to make sure these events are as entertaining as possible for international TV watchers

I just wonder what everyone has to say about this.
Do you agree or disagree???
 

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interesting facts... That would have helped but only if Ibragimov's purses were at stake.. I mean, He knew he was losing the fight but still didnt want to risk anything, so losing some points or being penalized witha loss wouldnt scare him so much.
 

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Do you really blame Sultan for not going for it? He is a natural counter puncher, and had he gone to Wlad he would have been KTFO.
 

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Do you really blame Sultan for not going for it? He is a natural counter puncher, and had he gone to Wlad he would have been KTFO.
Yes thats true... I actually blame both of them, Kltischko didnt let his hands go against the smaller man, and Ibragimov constantly moving and getting outboxed unable to land good punches didnt want to change a thing even though he was clearly losing. None of them did a good job, what a horrible fight
 

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That wouldn't work. Its sports. Some basketball games suck. Some Superbowls suck. Some boxing fights suck. That's how it is. Referee intervention when neither fighter is (by the book) doing anything wrong isn't right. I disagree with this idea.
 

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Hell NO. Referee has no right to tell a professional boxer how to box. If a fighter is deemed boring then he shall feel the rath of the fans.
 

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Hell NO. Referee has no right to tell a professional boxer how to box. If a fighter is deemed boring then he shall feel the rath of the fans.
yeah.. by not engaging in a fight the guy already blews himfelf.. like Joan Guzman he blew any possibility of fighting Pacquiao after his last performance
 

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I laugh at somebody blaming Sultan for that fight sucking. He was at a huge physical disadvantage, he was the HUGE underdog, but even though Wlad was coming forword the whole fight, Sultan was the only one throwing punches. Wlads Right was thrown less times then i have fingers, all he did was Jab so Sultan couldn't get in, but wouldn't do anything but jab.

Ref's should encourage if its a REALLY slow fight. But not really do anything more i think. I mean, they should encourage the fighters to fight, if they are doing more "hot doggin" then fighting. But if they are just slow start, and slow pace fighters, then let them fight how they want to fight. Imagine a ref disqualifying Ali for the "Rope A dope". hahah, that would have changed history. Plus it can be a strategy to fight at a slow pace, and low "action" I mean.. forcing Mayweather to exchange with DLH would clearly be a bad idea for Mayweather, being the naturally much smaller man. So, he did what he could win at. Pop shotting.

If your going to see a fighter that you know is a slow boring fighter.. then you know what your getting into. So boring fighters (corey!) will suffer by not having any following to offer for big money fights.

-Melty
 

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I laugh at somebody blaming Sultan for that fight sucking. He was at a huge physical disadvantage, he was the HUGE underdog, but even though Wlad was coming forword the whole fight, Sultan was the only one throwing punches. Wlads Right was thrown less times then i have fingers, all he did was Jab so Sultan couldn't get in, but wouldn't do anything but jab.

Ref's should encourage if its a REALLY slow fight. But not really do anything more i think. I mean, they should encourage the fighters to fight, if they are doing more "hot doggin" then fighting. But if they are just slow start, and slow pace fighters, then let them fight how they want to fight. Imagine a ref disqualifying Ali for the "Rope A dope". hahah, that would have changed history. Plus it can be a strategy to fight at a slow pace, and low "action" I mean.. forcing Mayweather to exchange with DLH would clearly be a bad idea for Mayweather, being the naturally much smaller man. So, he did what he could win at. Pop shotting.

If your going to see a fighter that you know is a slow boring fighter.. then you know what your getting into. So boring fighters (corey!) will suffer by not having any following to offer for big money fights.

-Melty
Ali was fighting back though. It takes 2 fighters to make a boring fight so people shouldn't blame just one guy.
 

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I was just trying to illustrate a point. thing is YOu thought he was fighting back. But it doesn't matter if he was fighting back or not. The instant you give the REF the control over it, it doesn't matter if you and i think its a good fight. The ref gets bored and stops it.

I mean, how many ridiculous stoppages have you seen? Calz v. manfredo comes to mind. Less things you have in the hands of judges and refs the better. The more things you have the Fighters control the better, the whole idea is to have it be between 2 men, the fighters.

-melty
 

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I was just trying to illustrate a point. thing is YOu thought he was fighting back. But it doesn't matter if he was fighting back or not. The instant you give the REF the control over it, it doesn't matter if you and i think its a good fight. The ref gets bored and stops it.

I mean, how many ridiculous stoppages have you seen? Calz v. manfredo comes to mind. Less things you have in the hands of judges and refs the better. The more things you have the Fighters control the better, the whole idea is to have it be between 2 men, the fighters.

-melty
I agree 100%. I've seen too many BS stoppages. But I guess it's better than seeing too many fighters getting seriously (or fatally) hurt.
 

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I think too many ref's stop a fighter from getting hurt. I think fighters are in there and should expect to get hurt, i mean ****... they are fighters, if they get up, if they want to continue then let them. Ref's shouldn't decide if the fighter has had enough, if the fighter is saying that he hasn't. Unless it is really clear that the fighter will be seriously hurt if it continues (zertuche v. pavlik) meaning that he is either Ko'ed but stuck in a corner or on the ropes stopping him from falling, or if he isn't responsive AT ALL while getting the 8 count (doesnt answer questions you KNOW he hears, after repeated MULTIPLE TIMES, just stands there while his eyes point 2 different directions) then its obvious the fighter is so hurt his body is there, but his mind is not.

other then that... let it continue. Mayweather hatton was stopped early (i know the towel was about to be thrown in, but still) marquez vasquez 2. I mean, a TKO on a record can ruin a fighter, or potential great fight. Imagine Pavlik v taylor 1 if smoger had stopped it in the 2nd round?

-melty
 

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These 2 stoppages are not the worst though. Hatton's legs were gone and he fell on his back right after Cortez stopped it. Marquez was starting to bend forward like he was out on his feet.
 

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Oh i know those arnt the worst, i what im trying to point out is that you would hear most commentators agree with these stoppages. If they dont agree then they HARDLY disagree with them. I choose ones that were by todays standards "rightfully" stopped. Im saying that i dont think they should have been stopped, and more i dont think stopping it should have been on the minds of the ref's. i think they should have been acting like normal, but ready to jump in if something REALLY terrible happened to the fighter. Both the Hatton and marquez stoppages, they didnt even take a large significant punch to warrent the stoppage. hatton just ate 2 left hooks after the knock down, but nether were devastating, then he just sort of wobbled back and forth reaching out trying to hold Money May and the ref jumped in acting like he saved his life. And marquez was definitely hurt, but he was firing back. Marquez wasn't even getting really badly beaten at the stoppage either, most of Vasquez's punches missed, or were 6inch punches. He didnt eat a huge left hook or right hand after the knockdown.

Personally in both cases i think the fighters that lost were going to lose anyway. BUT i thought Pavlik was going to lose in the 2nd. Early stoppages really just deny us the ability for truly amazing fights.

-melty
 
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