Williams-Lara 'decision' investigation intensifies
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (July 18, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
Erislandy Lara
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing: One week later the “great ring robbery” in Atlantic City, New Jersey continues to smell.

Informed sources have told this writer that the investigation into the Paul Williams-Erislandy Lara fight is hardly over. After reviewing a tape of the bout, the sitting board members of the New Jersey State boxing Commission, ordered Commissioner Aaron M. Davis to suspend judges Al Bennett, Hilton Whitaker and Don Givens indefinitely. Davis also stated on Wednesday that he was, “unsatisfied with the scoring of the contest”.

Lara, who many figured was a tune-up for a potential Williams rematch with Sergio Martinez, entered the fight as a big underdog. He controlled Williams from the onset, beating him to the punch and staggering him. The decision seemed clear to all at ringside. HBO’s Harold Lederman had Lara winning easily 117-111. Commentating for HBO, former champion Roy Jones was outraged, comparing the decision to his own Olympic debacle in Seoul, South Korea in 1988.

Commissioner Davis also wrote that before returning the three judges would undergo more "training".

New York Post writer George Willis lambasted Davis’s decision to suspend the judges.
Willis wrote, “Nowhere in the statement did the NJSACB accept any blame in the matter. Instead, it made the three judges the scapegoats, branding them incompetent and scarring them for the remainder of their careers”. Willis also said there was no evidence of "bias, fraud, corruption or incapacity on the part of any of the judges."

Not so fast Mr.Willis.

International agent and matchmaker Rick Glaser was outraged by the Williams victory. Decisions can be subjective as everyone in boxing knows. The Williams/Lara decision, in Glaser’s estimation, is the worse one he has ever witnessed.

"This was not three blind mice, but three corrupt rats“, he said. "One week later I've seen nothing that changes my opinion. I've not heard anybody say that Williams won that fight. Even the judge who scored the fight a draw was suspended. This was not a bad decision this was a robbery", he added.

Glaser explained how Lara won the fight, "Lara was landing heavy bombs even though he's not a knockout puncher. He'd step out seven to eight feet, and slide away, so Williams couldn't hit him. Williams would throw three punches and hit air. He did this all night long. This fight did not take three professional boxing judges to determine a winner. A person with reasonable common sense could have told you won that fight."

Promoter Dan Goosen came to the defense of his fighter but even he was in no mood to debate the decision.

Discussing the fight with Yahoo boxing writer Kevin Iole Goosen said, "My only comment, which I’ve said before and I’ll say again, is that I’ve got no problem with anyone who felt Lara won that fight". Some have suggested bizarrely that Goosen was somehow involved in the shenanigans in Atlantic City.

Glaser finds this suggestion (as does this writer) ridiculous, "I do not believe that Dan Goosen was involved in any wrong doing . I've known Dan Goosen a long time, and he's a great salesmen, but he's not dishonest. Dan Goosen is a good man", he said.

As for Paul Williams, is his career winding down? Glaser, not known for pulling his punches had this cryptic remark, "He's on the back nine for sure. He's heading towards the clubhouse".

The way things are unfolding many could be on there way to that particular clubhouse.

The investigation continues…

-- Questions/comments johnboxing1@hotmail.com

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