Weighing in on keeping boxing
honest in eyes of bettors

Oct 17, 2006 6:22 AM

Nothing in the sweet science coming up is worth our attention or our money, but I wish to take note of a few things. One is serious, especially in the wake of so many failed weigh-ins.

The WBC, a bunch of incompetent (or worse) clowns comprising the biggest alphabet of all, every now and then tries to put on a concerned face. They act like it’s trying to help the poor saps who pay the outrageously enormous sanction fees, which Jose Sulaiman and friends need to live the humble life.

The WBC erroneously led the charge to shorten championship bouts from a scheduled 15 rounds to 12, in the name of "safety" of course. And now, it acts as a "monitor" to make sure competitors will not lose too much weight in a very short time. Naturally, we have every right to think about foxes guarding the hen house.

Following the shameful failure of Diego Corrales to make weight earlier this month for his rubber match with Joel Casamayor, the WBC revealed it had checked Chico on the scales 10 days before the scheduled fight. They discovered he was 144 pounds — nine over the limit.

This revelation was not made until after Corrales came in five pounds over at the weigh-in, though he was able to trim off a half-pound. In fact, it was not made as far as I know until after Casamayor outboxed Corrales to win the title Chico had to vacate on the scales.

The odds, mostly about -200 favoring Corrales, had slipped to around -170 before the fight. I’m thinking that if the betting public, which has the right to know, was aware of the difficulties Corrales was having there might have been an even more drastic dip. This leads to the natural suspicion (anything the WBC or any of the alphabets do is automatically suspicious) that maybe Sulaiman and his compadres were plotting a betting coup.

By keeping the Corrales weight secret, they could assure getting a better price on Casamayor.

Of course I am not suggesting this is what happened. Most probably not. But, that it "could" have been the reason for not disclosing the 10-day weigh-in strikes me as the kind of thing boxing and betting do not want or need.

The suspicion of any hanky-panky.

I believe advance weigh-ins could help fighter safety and should not be governed by the sanctioning bodies. These groups, who carry too much baggage, need to be checked. Weigh-ins should be done by the governing commission.

In this case, Nevada.

Though Corrales lives in Las Vegas, he was training in Phoenix. In my perfect world, Nevada could and should have asked Arizona to handle the task. This would be reciprocated around the world. The results should be announced as soon as the fighters step off the provisionary scales.

The one thing boxing does not need is any hint of a betting coup.

Looking back, I can see where Corrales’s weight problems greatly affected the fight. I saw him on the Wednesday in Las Vegas and asked him if he were having problems with the weight. That would have been very ironic in the light of the problems Jose Luis Castillo had for the second and third meetings.

Corrales said he didn’t want to talk about it. After he failed miserably to come close, he and his trainer Joe Goossen spread the word that no food had been eaten since a small can of tuna and a side salad on Monday.

He certainly did not look like a hungry fighter in the ring. Obviously, he was drained. If Corrales decides to continue boxing, he must move up probably all the way to 147 pounds. Yes, he will be facing guys with much greater punching power. However, I have the impression Chico is already looking wistfully at retirement.

I believe there is a "natural" fight to be made — Corrales vs. Arturo ”˜Thunder’ Gatti. Two of the greatest warriors ever since Matthew Saad Muhammad, both having moved up after winning titles at 130 pounds.

The winner should receive an automatic inclusion into the Hall of Fame (not unimaginable to see the loser getting in, also).

The loser could promise to retire. This means it probably will end in a draw and touch off a three-fight series.

Just a modest proposal worth considering.