For the second week in a row, ESPN’s Friday Night Fights series ended in a draw. While last week’s battle between Juan Carlos Burgos and Yakubu Amidu featured action heated to 133 degrees (on the canvas) this week featured a boring main and a brutal co-feature. Featherweights Javier Fortuna 22-0-1, (16) and Cuban Olympian Luis Franco 11-2-1, (7) out on a show devoid of much action save for a few moments here and there. Fortune, a southpaw, used his right hook here and there. Franco used his left jab to keep him at bay at times. But overall, the fight had the personality of a potato who is terrible at telling stories.
What was interesting about the fight, held at the Buffalo Run Casino in sunny Miami, Oklahoma was the official scorecard.
Judge Chris Ritter scored it 91-99 for Luis Franco. Judge Jerry Griffin saw through the monotony a 96-94 score for Fortuna and judge David Sutherland had the deciding 95-95 for the split draw. One of these scores is not like the other. As ugly as the fight was at times, there is no way on this planet that Luis Franco won 9 rounds to Fortuna’s 1. That needs to be investigated.
In last week’s Thunder Valley Casino Resort affair in lovely Lincoln, California, the draw scored seemed much more plausible.
With judge: Marshall Walker 116-112 scoring it for Burgos, Michael Tate 112-116 for Amidu and Bruce Rasmussen deciding at 114-114. While I felt that Amidu won, I could understand the reasoning for such a tight score. Not so in Fortuna-Franco which appeared to be a Fortuna win. Mr. Ritter’s card suggests either an impending eye doctor appointment or something else. Keep an eye on him.
In a fight made for the twitter crowd, Kermit Cintron, 34-5-2, (28), continued on with a unanimous decision win over Jonathon Batista, 14-2, (7) in a ten round affair that came off like Hagler-Hearns compared to the main event. Cintron boxed smart but cautious. Batista did a less aggressive version of that. Judge Chris Ritter had it 99-88, David Sutherland 98-89 and Jerry Griffin agreed at 98-89 all for Cintron.
At the end of the eighth, Cintron landed a left hook as Batista leaped in. A follow up right by Cintron as Batista’s momentum pitched him forward sent him to the canvas. He did not appear hurt as he rose before the count of ten and gathered himself. On the broadcast, commentator Teddy Atlas didn’t award the customary 10-8 to Cintron, feeling Batista had won the round despite the knockdown. Batista would also lose two points in the tenth, one for rabbit punching (hitting behind the head) and the other for hitting on the break.
After the broadcast, Teddy Atlas called for serious reform in the sport unless boxing wanted to be discarded by the masses. It needs better fights, too.