It's A Rip

Pay-per-view boxing seems more corrupt than ever

By Al Carlos Hernandez
Published on LatinoLA: September 28, 2003

It's A Rip

My family and I are boxing fans. When a big name marquee bout is scheduled to be televised on Pay Per View cable TV , we have the same discussion: Should we or should we not get the box?

Candidly, out of 10 bouts, usually three have been worth the money, but over the last few year it seems the boxing industry has become more blatantly corrupt.

There are two reasons I always argue against getting the box. It?s always too expensive -- usually around 50 bucks -- and every time I get the box, some tomato can gets knocked out in the first round or it appears the match is fixed.

The last bout between the Oscar De La Hoya, and Shane Mosley was a classic example of a bout under grave suspicion. Everyone, including Mosley?s dad, thought Shane lost by a lot. They call De La Hoya "The Golden Boy" partly because he received $17.5 million for the show; they call Mosley ?Sugar? because Vernon Forrest always reduces him to glucose.

HBO, who facilitates the broadcast, always has three commentators: Jim Lamply, George Forman, and a pompous little jerk of a sports writer name Larry Merchant. The commentators have the benefit of a compu-box computer that keeps track of how many punches land and actually count. Based on the compu-box numbers, De La Hoya was clearly ahead and should have won the fight easily, if it wasn?t for two factors.

The bout was held in Las Vegas, and I ordered the box.

Begrudgingly and irritated that I forked over the 50 bills, I told my wife that the bout looked like it was fixed as soon as they showed pictures of the judges. The three looked like lemon-sucking cast members of The Sopranos.

The good news was that the fight went the distance all 12 rounds. The bad news was De La Hoya was robbed again. The commentators gave the public every reason to believe that De La Hoya was ahead in the majority of the rounds and was confident of the outcome.

When the ?decision? was read, the ?judges? voted the exact opposite of HBO?s ?learned? opinion. Me and George Forman were livid, Lamply was diplomatic, Merchant was babbling in his inane pomposity, and De La Hoya was smiling, masking his anger and bitter disappointment. Lamply polled ringside sports writers who said that four out of five agreed with the decision.

No one knows how many cold ones they tossed back, or what kind of sports junket brought them there.

If I were a multi-millionaire prize fighter, I would exhibit my anger and bitter disappointment by knocking fools out, very much in the tradition of Curly of the Three Stooges during the Pop goes the Weasel episode.

Instead, I went into a tirade around the house, knowing that we shouldn?t have gotten the box, knowing that they would tack 50 smackers to my bill...this always happens to me! The last time, for another fight, I got a plate of food, and as I walked from the kitchen to the living room heard ?OH NO!? and before I could roll the first tortilla the bout was over.

Some canvas back and my 50 bones get dropped in the first round.

Folks are starting to have more respect for WWF wrestling now because they call what they do ?Sports Entertainment?. Vince McMahon and company don?t even try to maintain a veneer of fair fight respectability. It occurs to me that the wrestling referees could be PPV boxing judges on the side.

HBO should have a policy that all PPV fights should be scored by judges mandated to use the compu-box computer. If the fight doesn?t go the distance then you get a refund. For example, the box could cost $60 which is 5 bucks a round. If it goes one round 5 bucks, if it goes the full 12 then $60. They should use instant replay to see if punches land or if a knock down or a low blow really hit pay dirt.

Losers of the bout should be able to fight Larry Merchant for asking arrogant didactic and condescending questions, while cutting fighters off when they want to give praise to The Creator.

I have decided not to get the box again and it doesn?t matter who is fighting. I have lost all confidence in the integrity of boxing.

The best person should always win, we are hoping this holds true for the gubernatorial election as well.

Vote for Cruz.

About Al Carlos Hernandez:
Al Carlos is a national columnist and a screenwriter. Hire him at: a.c.hernandez@worldnet.att.net

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