Random thoughts: Here's what ref shoulda done before Love-Spark DQ
Hatton-Barrera and Mayweather-Deji exhibitions way different; Janibek no boogeyman; should Canelo seek Bivol rematch?; best fights WBC ordered; awful 4th quarter; MUCH more
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Tons of boxing random thoughts…
Let’s talk a little about referee David Fields disqualifying junior welterweight Montana Love in the sixth round of his DAZN main event with Stevie Spark on Saturday night in Love’s hometown of Cleveland for pushing Spark over the top rope and out of the ring and onto the arena floor as Fields tried to break them apart along the ropes. Fields, who I have long regarded as one of boxing’s top referees, was 100 percent within his right to make the DQ call.
Love blatantly broke the rules and it felt like he was looking for a way out of a fight he was losing after having been knocked down and the bout being on the verge of being stopped and sent to the scorecards for a technical decision due to his being badly cut from an accidental head butt.
Just before the DQ the ringside doctor examined the cut and told Fields to let the fight continue, but to watch the cut for the next minute. The cut wasn’t going to get any better and when the fight resumed, Love immediately pushed Spark to the ropes and began the rough stuff, which ended with Spark being shoved over the top rope WWE style.
Fortunately, Spark showed tremendous athleticism to land on his feet on the arena floor and was uninjured. By that time, Field had already waved off the fight. I get the DQ. I can’t argue too strongly against it. That said, in an ideal situation, Fields would have taken a moment before calling the DQ to asses things.
He could have seen that Spark was fine, had climbed back in the ring and wanted to go on. He could have taken two points from Love for the flagrant foul. Think back to when legendary referee Mills Lane was in a much tougher spot after the first time Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear in their heavyweight championship rematch. Remember, Lane wanted to call an immediate DQ and told then-Nevada commission executive director Marc Ratner at ringside. Ratner asked Lane if he was sure he wanted to call a DQ. Lane thought for a minute and instead called a two-point deduction. Only when Tyson bit Holyfield again did he have no choice but to disqualify him.
So, while I get what Fields did and am not overly upset by it, I just think a referee has to consider the situation, the fans and the fouled fighter’s fitness and desire to continue. I believe the best course of action would have been to just take a minute to assess the situation more thoroughly before pulling the plug.
Former champions Ricky Hatton and Marco Antonio Barrera, a decade since they retired, put on a decent show in an eight-round exhibition on Saturday. They came in shape and by no means did they embarrass themselves while providing the fans a bit of nostalgia on a card that was not pay-per-view. This kind of exhibition I am fine with since they are about the same age with the same championship experience. That’s a big difference than the kinds of exhibitions Floyd Mayweather has been doing, like the one he had on pay-per-view on Sunday, when he messed around with YouTuber Deji Olantunji for five-plus rounds and then decided he’d had enough, stepped it up for a few seconds and stopped an opponent who had no business being in the ring with him. If someone is willing to pay Mayweather a nice chunk of cash to participate in that kind of bout (which wasn’t even very entertaining), good for him. Who could blame him for taking it? But that doesn’t mean I have to be interested.
Speaking of the Mayweather exhibition, shame on no class promoter Global Titans for its terrible treatment of light heavyweight Paul Bamba, who did everything he was