California Boxing Refs Need to Relax
By Chris Strait, SocalFightFan (Dec 15, 2008)  
From Marty Denkin's finger-waving stoppage of the first Forrest-Mayorga fight, to Jose Cobain's 3 ludicrously early calls on the Tarver-Johnson 1 undercard, I have been watching California referees stop fights too early my whole life. Now, there is a positive side effect to this... other than Burgos against Darchinyan, there do not seem to be many injuries in California.

But you know what else there is not much of? Comebacks! Championship level guys are afforded more leeway
(Vasquez vs. Marquez, etc.), and favorites are often given more of a chance to get up and fight. However, it is known... if you come to California, especially if you are not the favorite, you better not get hurt at all, or it will be waved off.

Julio Gonzalez should be glad his 2001 fight with Julian Letterlough took place in Ohio, because it would have most certainly been stopped, had it been held in his home state. Same with Diego Corrales against Castillo. I wonder how many fighters have been robbed of impressive come-from-behind victories, simply because they were wobbled early on in the fight.

Jerry Cantu, Lou Moret, James Jen-Kin, Jack Reiss, the Denkins, etc. All are qualified refs, who handle business well. However, this is one flaw they have all shared at one point. The logic is often, "they can fight another day"... but they trained to fight on THIS DAY, and they may not get another chance at that level if they keep dropping losses on quick stoppages.

This is certianly not a problem indigenous to California exclusively, but it takes place with alarming frequency here. Andre Ward was likely to bust up and stop Esteban Camou last Saturday, but Ward has a questionable chin, and Camou is a big puncher, who was not badly hurt at all. He should have been allowed to have the chance at a lucky punch.

The men/women in that ring know the risks, and do not need to be rescued from themselves. They are adults. Please, for the sake of the fans, and the fighters' business, let them fight!

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