Livingston Gets Cheated Against Arias In Vegas
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Livingston Gets Cheated Against Arias In Vegas
By Jason Petock, Doghouse Boxing (May 6, 2013)

MGM Grand
(Photo © German Villasenor, Doghouse Boxing Inc.)
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Palmdale, California rising Middleweight boxer Donyil Livingston (8-3-1/4 KOs) squared off against Luis “Cuba” Arias (5-0/3 KOs) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in an obviously contestable 6 round affair at the MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on the under card of the sensational and highly entertaining Showtime PPV super event between Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. (44-0/26 KOs) and Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (31-2-1/18 KOs) on Saturday. Showtime commentators Steve Farhood and Barry Tompkins wasted no time from the get-go in deceivingly emphasizing the immediate fact that Livingston had just come off significant losses in his last two bouts and that with his coming into this fight there would be no way that he could win, regardless of whatever effort he may put forth in the ring. Livingston boxed beautifully during the 6 round scrap, winning literally all of his exchanges with Arias and only getting caught once with a substantial shot, a thudding uppercut that caught him at what appeared to be right under his chin closer to his neck. Donyil threw crisp combinations that sapped the strength and energy of Luis Arias in every round and even snapped back the head of Luis with a jab. The fight was not as one-sided as either Farhood or Tompkins would have you believe. Shame on both men for turning a blind eye to what really happened in the squared circle between Livingston and Arias, opting instead to think more about who pays their salaries and less about maintaining the integrity of boxing by accurately calling the fight as it played out.

Coming into the bout, Donyil Livingston had a very solid amateur pedigree to begin with prior to turning pro back in 2010. He held an amateur record of 178-23 which is nothing to sneeze at. Luis Arias was also an accomplished amateur, capturing the 2008 and 2010 U.S. Amateur Championships at Middleweight. So on paper it looked like a fairly even match-up, former amateur Champion against rising Middleweight professional prospect in an exciting contest on a largely anticipated and extremely visible PPV card, the pinnacle of many a fighters dreams and hopes of reaching the top and being successful, or at least the first step of many. But something went terribly wrong, as Livingston not only outworked but outlasted the house favorite fighter in Arias, who is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, but looked better while doing it as Arias looked outgunned and exhausted by the time the final bell was rung and the bout was over. Livingston displayed more technical proficiency in the ring and boxed soundly off the ropes, even when Arias tried to press him offensively. And neither man’s corner managed to tell a lie, they saved that for the announcers of the evening. Between rounds, noted trainer and former WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Eddie “Flame” Mustafa Muhammad (50-8-1/39 KOs) told his young charge Luis Arias to “suck it up”. Hardly the choice words for a fighter who was winning by a landslide according to Tompkins and Farhood with their biased commentary.

Donyil Livingston’s corner told him in-between rounds that, “This is his hometown”. Basically meaning that he would probably need the knockout to win, although anyone who had even corrective surgery on their eyes to fix their vision could have told you on Saturday that Livingston, not Arias, won the fight. Hometown cooking is the name of the game sometimes in boxing, but it should sicken and dishearten fans when seasoned commentators who have decades of experience, such as Tompkins and Farhood, turn around and pull a stunt that is typically reserved for the broadcast team over at HBO. Their predisposed analysis of the match-up didn’t give Livingston a chance from the beginning, and if you watched the fight at all, you would think that the two men were only covering Mayweather’s fighter, Luis Arias. Being undefeated you could see how 22 year old Arias couldn’t have lost that fight regardless of what the 28 year old Donyil did in the ring, and he did do enough to beat the younger boxer. Livingston was a step up in class for Arias, as the Mayweather camp seems to like to put their fighters in tough and really test them. That’s a good thing for his fighters and for boxing as a whole. Yet when judges, blindly, yes blindly give a fight to someone that did not win their fight, in this case Luis Arias, then once again a foul odor rises to the surface and starts to stink up the arena once more. Judges Robert Bennett saw it 58-56 for Arias, Al Lefkowitz 58-55, and Lisa Giampa, the only one who seemed to be paying attention at all, called it a draw for both boxers at 57-57.

What makes such a decision resonate so negatively with writers and fans in general is how obviously wrong it is. Prior to the end of the fight, with time still on the clock even, Farhood, in looking at Livingston and his performance, chimed in with, “Too little, too late”. Tompkins said in disagreement after the contest, and following the judge’s scorecards being read that in viewing and judging the fight it would depend on, “What side of the ring people were watching the fight from”. Clearly both Farhood and Tompkins were watching a different fight, as they called the fight more like as if they were looking at Luis Arias shadowboxing in the gym against his own shadow with no opponent other than the lights and darks of the gym itself. Donyil Livingston put on not only a valiant effort but did enough to give Arias his first “L” in the process. He showcased his boxing ability and what training in Austin “No Doubt” Trout’s (26-1/14 KOs) camp did for him as far as an up-and-coming Middleweight. Fair shakes are something that can be hard to come by in boxing, especially when you have a stacked card of house fighters and you are the obvious challenger. What makes it worse is when you perform as well as Livingston did against Arias and you still don’t get the nod unfairly.

As before, when this writer called out Dan Rafael and his hypocrisies surrounding boxing and his coverage, it is to be expected that not everyone will be in agreement with what has been written here. Yet once again the importance must and will be stressed on the raw deal that Donyil Livingston got against Luis Arias, and not about what a few “fan-boys” care about. You see, Livingston is the real deal in boxing and is the next big thing in the Middleweight division. He has solid fundamentals, maintains a strict adherence to the principles and virtues of the “Sweet Science” and holds a deep regard and love for the sport. Farhood and Tompkins may be masters of boxing in their own minds and among the boxing media hierarchy, but you can’t expect anyone to respect the commentary or opinions of two men who completely go against what is right and true and fall short of their esteemed and over-regarded positions. Respect goes out to Luis Arias as the controversy over his recent victory does not reflect upon him as either a person or a boxer. Arias did not judge his own bout of course, and he showed up prepared to win against Livingston at all costs but received a gift decision 7 months early instead. The only thing missing from the scrap between Arias and Livingston was wrapping paper. Be on the lookout for Donyil Livingston in the future, however, as he will continue to impress and inspire even when the odds are stacked that high against him. Because they definitely were Saturday night in Mayweather country. Believe it.
Jason Petock responds to all his emails. Please send all questions and comments to Jason at:

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