Nicholas Walters and 3 of the worst draws in boxing history
Nicholas Walters, and 3 of the worst draws in boxing history.
By: Hector Franco
Last night at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York the boxing world witnessed another controversial decision. Undefeated Jamaican star Nicholas Walters (26-0-1) faced off against Jason Sosa (18-1-3) in a 130-pound match up. Walters controlled the contest landing the cleaner and harder punches throughout. The bout was competitive and there were some rounds that you could have gone to either fighter perhaps, but when the scorecards were read one of the judges had Sosa ahead 96-94 while the other two judges scored the bout even with scores of 95-95.
Almost all observers were in disbelief as it was hard to see what the judges saw as it did not appear to be a close bout in terms of scoring. Sosa gave a good account of himself, but in every round Walters made his imprint with superior skill and a clear advantage in terms of experience, winning the rounds clearly.Walters was able to land right hands and body shots at will and outclassed Sosa on the inside.
Walters will undoubtedly move on from this decision, as most will view this as a victory for him. Walters loses nothing from this experience except that he has an unnecessary draw on his record. Bouts of this nature where there seems to be a clear winner yet a draw is scored is not new to the sport of boxing and always leaves an uncomfortable feeling for everyone involved including the fans. This scoring may have been worse than some in the past as Walters arguably won all ten rounds however, there have been bouts in the past declared a draw on a much bigger stage.
Here are some of the worse scored draws in boxing history.
Pernell Whitaker vs. Julio Cesar Chavez
Possibly the most famous draw scored in the history of the sport. On September 10,1993 these two future hall of famers faced at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. It was a highly anticipated bout featuring the two best fighters of the era. The bout took place at a 145-catch weight for Whitaker’s WBC welterweight title. What many expected to be a very close back and forth bout turned into a virtuoso performance by Whitaker who at the end of the bout seemed to have run away with the bout and clearly deserve a decision victory. The bout being held in San Antonio, Texas may have swayed the judges in giving Chavez a draw with scorecards of 115-113 for Whitaker and 115-115 twice. Looking back at the bout 22 years later there are some who feel that the bout was closer than it first appeared. Even with the bout being closer than many remember there is no doubt that Whitaker deserved the decision and was the clear winner. To show how disputed this decision was at the time, Sports Illustrated put Whitaker on it’s cover with the word Robbed on the front.
Lennox Lewis – Evander Holyfield I
In March of 1999 at Madison Square Garden in New York for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world, Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield faced off. Lewis at the time was the WBC champion and favored to win the match up. Lewis was able to most observers defeat Holyfield quite clearly who looked every bit past his prime back in 1999. Once again the judges confounded boxing fans by scoring the bout a draw. Judge Eugenia Williams was especially criticized as she scored the bout 115-113 for Holyfield. ESPN got on the action of criticizing Williams judging as well by blasting her in an interview live on the network. Williams would only again score one more big fight, which was the Yonnhy Perez-Abner Mares bout back in 2010 for the IBF bantamweight title. Williams has not scored a bout since 2012. Lewis would get his just due in a rematch with Holyfield in November of 1999 where he was rewarded a unanimous decision.
Sergio Martinez – Kermit Cintron
The may be the absolute worst draw that has been scored. This bout that took place in February of 2009. Martinez at the time was making his name known in the United States after he debuted on HBO against Alex Bunema. Cintron was seen as a test for Martinez. The bout was a relatively slow bout with not much action. The bout changed in the seventh round after Martinez scored a knockdown with a straight left that sent Cintron to the canvass. The shot was so devastating that Cintron thought it was a head-butt and complained to the referee after he was counted out. Cintron convinced the referee that the punch that landed was a head-butt and the bout was set to continue. After twelve rounds it seemed obvious that Martinez had clearly won the bout against Cintron, not just once but twice. Martinez was robbed of a knockout in the seventh round and the decision against Cintron. After the bout Cintron seemed content to escape with a draw as he danced along the ropes. The judges somehow saw the contest 113-113 twice with one judge scoring the bout for Martinez with a 116-110 scorecard.