In 2003, I can still remember almost throwing a jab-straight combination at our neighbor's television set. I did not just do it once but twice for two very good reasons.
First, Manny Pacquiao clearly slipped accidentally in the first round against Marco Antonio Barrera but then the referee called it a knockdown. Then later on in round six, Pacquiao clearly knocked Barrera down but again the referee made a mistake and called it a slip.
Although I can console myself with the fact that my countryman Pacquiao won, I can never forget how erratic and possibly biased the referee was.
Who was the referee in that bout anyway?
If my memory serves me right, his name is Laurence Cole— the very same Laurence Cole who will be the third man in the ring in the upcoming Pacquiao-Clottey encounter.
Noteworthy here is that three years after Pacquiao vs Barrera, Cole was again in hot water for his bad decisions. That time it was during the Juan Manuel Marquez vs Jimrex Jaca fight.
What happened was that in the middle of round eight Marquez suffered a nasty cut and had to be checked by the ring physician. While his cut was examined, Cole told Marquez that he is already ahead on the scorecards.
Although Cole did not explicitly say it, it was an implication that Marquez had the option to stop the fight anyway he would still win on points.
Thank the heaven's though that Marquez did not buy Cole's advise and decided to fight on. He eventually knocked Jaca out in the next round. Nevertheless, Cole already committed a mortal boxing sin.
Since when was the referee authorized to tell a boxer that he is ahead on points anyway?
Having witnessed what just transpired, I was enraged. That was definitely the most terrible and unethical action I have witnessed a referee do in a boxing match. Out of anger, I swore at that point I would have loved to throw even the kitchen sink at our television set.
With that being said, I certainly hope the organizers of Pacquiao-Clottey would reconsider their choice for the referee in this highly anticipated match up. There are better referees out there anyway. Just to name a few, there's Tony Weeks, Kenny Bayless or even Joe "firm but fair" Cortez.
As sure as the sun will rise, I am sure that thousands, if not millions, of boxing fans out there echo my sentiments on this matter.