Let judges be first to atone
for sins before big October

Sep 19, 2006 4:29 AM

Used to be that there were seldom big fights in October.

I figured it was because of Yom Kippur, the solemn Day of Atonement, a kind of yearly judgment day. But it was more bottom line: Promoters, already wary of going up against football, shied away from major league baseball playoffs and World Series.

Next month, however, promises all kinds of action in the ring, from heavyweights to the rubber match between lightweights Diego (Chico) Corrales and Joel Casamayor (on the same night, yet).

So maybe it’s just as well September is going out with barely a whimper. Our pockets probably need refreshing anyway. The judges need some, too.

The schedule for next week is sparse. On Sept. 23 in Germany, there is the makeup date of the Arthur Abraham-Edison (Pantera) Miranda middleweight scrap. The bout was originally scheduled for Aug. 26, but postponed when the Armenian-born titlist Abraham caught a bug.

We looked at this fight last month and the only change is that offshore odds on Abraham have lowered from -275 to -260. Pantera, the Panther, is now +200 instead of +215. Not a large movement to the Colombian puncher, but the smack talk has heightened.

We liked Abraham a bit last month and still do. Miranda has a puncher’s chance against a guy rattled a bit by Howard Eastman, who could punch.

HBO also has a show Sept. 23, but it’s not one you can bet unless you past-post some ”˜out in space’ friends, who missed the result of the Sept. 16 pay-per-view card featuring Marco Antonio Barrera and Rocky Juarez.

A tape of that fight will be played on HBO’s Boxing After Dark to go along with live showing of some flyweight drivel. Jorge Arce will be much too strong for the faded South African Hawk Makepula, as indicated by the absence of any line.

In any case, the night will be good for celebrating the Jewish New Year of Rosh ha’Shannah, which precludes betting in my sewing circles anyway.

The following weekend will be Yom Kippur and I’m hoping a lot of boxing judges will be confessing their sins. If ring officials are somehow involved, Judgment Day might be rather clouded.

So, in the spirit of atoning my own sins, but blaming them on others, I hereby apologize somewhat for touting everyone on James Toney against Samuel Peter. Through my jaundiced eyes, Lights Out did enough to cry, "We wuz robbed."

I couldn’t pick a winner between Ike Quartey and Vernon Forrest, and apparently, neither could the judges. It looked to most that Quartey had slipped by with a narrow decision. Of course, the verdict went to Vernon.

I thought Hasim Rahman should have handled Oleg Maskaev rather handily. Maybe he would have if he had trained properly. He was puffing for air in the second round and gasping by the seventh. At least, a good guy got the victory.

Haven’t seen it, but there was talk that Glencoffe Johnson got robbed in England again against Clinton Woods.

This brings up my theory to do away with all judges and let the boxers fight to the finish. This may be a bit crude for some tastes, but it may not be a bad time to revive the concept of hanging judges. Back when, these were guys who went around the Old West, weeding out outlaws by saying, "Hang him, then give him a fair trial."

Maybe we should consider hanging the judges themselves, especially when they see Peter beating Toney by five points, despite the Nigerian being docked one for double-cuffing Toney’s ears.

Promoters might even discover they can increase sales if promising public hangings directly after the show when warranted. Let the crowd rate the judges’ performance, decide, thumbs up or down and make it part of a Roman feast. Feed them to the lions. It’ll do big numbers on pay-per-view, I bet.

If we give them enough rope, it may not be enough. Fighters who were robbed might be willing to tie the knots. Possibly the American Medical Association can recommend more humane methods.

You don’t think I’m kidding about all this, do you?