Gentleman till the end - Juan Carlos Burgos didn’t go ranting and raving after he was clearly robbed in the latest boxing fiasco and it’s good to see that his promoter, Thompson Promotions, is still making an effort to keep the pressure on the World Boxing Organization regarding the controversial draw decision in the Burgos versus Roman "Rocky" Martinez Super Featherweight title fight of January 19, 2013. Both Banner Promotions and Thompson Boxing filed petitions for an immediate rematch.
“Everything was filed with the committees that the WBO has and we spoke to the president (Paco Valcarcel), so we're just waiting and hoping there will be some answer from that side sometime this week," said Alex Camponovo, the General Manager of Thompson Boxing, one of the Co-promoters of the fight, along with Banner Promotions. “With this much discord, the boxing world deserves redemption for this injustice.”
If you watched the bout, it’s plain to see Tijuana’s Burgos controlled the match and at times battered his opponent for the majority of the 12 rounds. Even with his domination only judge Waleska Roldan had the fight scored in favor of Burgos 117-111. Somehow judges Tony Paolillo saw the fight for Martinez 116-112 and John Signorile had the fight even at 114-114.
Even before the scores were announced, the HBO broadcast team called into question the judges’ credentials as they had only 9 combined title assignments and Signorile was working his first title bout ever. Analyst Max Kellerman went so far to say, “Keep your eye on Paolillo” even before the scores were announced. Kellerman later said, “He should have never gotten an assignment on this level.”
The official punch stats showed a 286-193 advantage for Burgos plus a 234-164 edge on the power punches.
HBO also ran a poll where fans sent in their thoughts on who won the fight. An overwhelming 84% of those who responded believed Burgos had won.
Media opinions on the fight:
Kevin Iole of Yahoo.com/Sports 115-113 Burgos
Steve Kim of Maxboxing.com: 116-112 Burgos
Harold Lederman, HBO Judge: 117-111 Burgos. On the broadcast, Lederman was quoted as saying, “Burgos carried this fight. I don’t know how you miss it.”
Dan Rafael of Espn.com: 116-112 Burgos. “The 24-year-old Burgos (30-1-1, 20 KOs), however, seemed to carry the better of it. He used a hard, sustained body attack throughout. Of the 234 power shots Burgos landed, 118 were to the body, according to CompuBox statistics. Burgos out-landed Martinez in 10 of the 12 rounds”
Mike Rosenthal of Ring Magazine: “This is what bothers me: Juan Carlos Burgos dreams his entire life of winning a major world championship, which so far has eluded him, and then earns that title by dominating the current champion. Then a bungling judge steals what should’ve been the greatest night of his career. That’s what happened on Saturday, when Burgos clearly outboxed WBO lightweight titleholder Rocky Martinez but had to settle for a draw because of a horrible split decision. The rogue judge was Tony Paolillo, who somehow scored the fight 116-112 (eight rounds to four) for Martinez. The 114-114 score of John Signorile is also baffling. The biggest punches of the fight were the dozens of punishing body shots landed by Burgos. And, according to punch stats, Burgos landed 93 more overall punches and 70 more power punches than Martinez. That Paolillo and Signorile somehow failed to see that left Burgos on the wrong end of yet another injustice in boxing. Shame.”
Lem Satterfield and Doug Fischer of Ring Magazine: 115-113 for Burgos.
Note well: Prior to the match, Ring Magazine had Martinez ranked the #3 junior lightweight in the world and Burgos was ranked #7 by the same publication. Up to Saturday's match, they had clearly been favoring Martinez but then this match changed their minds.
In March of 2007, Burgos' uncle, Jose Victor Burgos, was in an IBF flyweight title fight against Vic Darchinyan. The elder Burgos was stopped in the 12th round after taking several brutal blows from Darchinyan. After that bout, Burgos was taken on a stretcher to a local hospital. He remained in critical condition and had a blood clot removed from his swollen brain. According to reports, he awoke from his coma and was able to recognize his kids. The younger Burgos, Juan Carlos, vowed to fight for the family name and what better way to make a statement than for him to capture the junior lightweight title from Rocky Martinez.
On January 30, 2013, the slow moving WBO let their thoughts be known:
"We did the same process for the fight between (Manny) Pacquiao (against Timothy Bradley). We send a video of the fight to five judges, whose identities will remain anonymous, and they will watch it and score," said WBO President Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel.
Then we will compare the scores of the three official judges, for analysis. By (this week) we will have an idea (for possible discrepancies). Then we send the report to the Championship Committee to take into consideration."
In the Pacquiao-Bradley case, all five anonymous judges scored it in Pacquiao's favor, yet two ringside judges saw Bradley as the winner, and he took Pacquiao's belt. No rematch was ordered.
On February 8, 2013, word finally came from the almighty WBO: “NOW THEREFORE IT IS RESOLVED by the WBO World Championship Committee that it believes that the decision in the WBO Junior Lightweight Division contested in Madison Square Garden in New York, New York on January 19th, 2013 was not substantially irregular or a clear misapplication of the rules of boxing resulting in a manifest unfairness; and
IT THEREFORE RESOLVES that this Committee does not recommend the WBO Executive Committee determine per SECTION 18 of the WBO World Championship Rules that there be a direct return fight."
February 8, 2013 pronouncement came from the WBO World Championship Committee's
Luis Batista-Salas, Chairman
So much for the scruples of the World Boxing Organization.