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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mercante on Fischer's List of Worst Refs for Foreman-Cotto

Doug Fischer of The Ring put together a list of the ten worst performances by a boxing referee in the past ten years. Arthur Mercante Jr. earned the seventh spot due to his actions in the bout between Yuri Foreman and Miguel Cotto, which took place on June 5, 2010 in Yankee Stadium.

The list was formed in the wake of last Saturday's contest between Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares to determine Showtime's bantamweight tournament championship. Referee Russell Mora allowed Mares to repeatedly his Agbeko low, offering numerous admonishments, but never taking a point away. In the eleventh round, Mares clearly hit Agbeko directly on the cup, a punch Mora was in position to view without obstruction. Abgeko collapsed to the canvass and Mora incredibly ruled it a knockdown.

Compounding the situation, Mora repeatedly warned Agbeko for phantom fouls. The scene caused veteran commentator Al Bernstein to remark in the heat of the moment that Mora's refereeing was the worst that he has witnessed in the past fifteen years. After several days of contemplation, Fischer rated it as the fifth worst in the last ten years.

Mercante made the list for, in the words of Fischer, "ignor[ing] Foreman’s corner and members of the New York commission by literally forcing the bout to continue, [and thus] had forgotten that his job is to protect a fighter’s health, not his honor."

Foreman tore his ACL in the seventh round. His corner threw in the towel in the eighth. Yet, Mercante would not stop the bout. He was soundly criticized afterwards for putting Foreman's health at risk. As Dr. Maragaret Goodman said, "Can a boxer compete with one hand? Yes, if he can mount an offense and/or move away from punches. A one-legged fighter is a disaster waiting to happen, a sitting duck, especially against a puncher like Cotto."

1 comment:

  1. The only two fights on the list I saw were Mares-Agbeko and Cotto-Foreman.I have a tough time believing anything was comparible to Mares-Agbeko.And I never thought Arthur Mercante Jr. belonged on this list.He makes a good case for himself elsewhere.