What, exactly, is the responsibility of a boxing manager?
To train a fighter.
To prepare him for his opponent.
To protect him.
It is that last area where watching the Yuri Foreman-Miguel Cotto fight sickened me.
Yuri Foreman is not a power puncher. He is a boxer. He uses his legs to avoid danger and swarm around his opponent. Without his legs, he's useless.
In the seventh round in his fight against Cotto, Foreman blew out his knee. It was obvious to everyone involved that he was crippled. He couldn't move. He couldn't plant his knee to generate power.
The fight should have been stopped in the seventh by Foreman's manager. He should have seen that his fighter was crippled and stopped him from taking a needless beating.
In the eighth round, someone from Foreman's corner saw he couldn't continue and threw in the towel.
Only to inexplicably have referee Arthur Mercante disallow it.
What a joke.
What a disgrace.
Arthur Mercante was continually shouting out advise to Foreman after he was hurt.
"Walk it off."
"Suck it up."
He looked more like a zealous little league parent than a referee.
I have no idea how much damage was done to Yuri Foreman's knee by continuing for two rounds. He is having surgery on his right knee, that's all that's known for now.
He should have stopped the fight in the seventh rather than continuing to yell to Foreman to continue.
Even the HBO announcers, who usually do a professional job, were talking as if Mercante was some kind of saint. They didn't question why the fight was continuing. They exhorted that Mercante was "doing a good job."
Foreman showed he was a warrior by wanting to continue, but that's what the great fighters will do. They won't quit, they will continue until they're unconscious or dead. It's up to the referee and their management to protect them.
Nothing should be taken away from Miguel Cotto from this fight. He fought a great fight and deserved to be ahead on all the scorecards. I don't think Foreman could have won this fight, by the seventh round he was behind by 4-5 points on all scorecards, he would have needed a knockout to win and he just doesn't have knockout power.
Still, Foreman made a lot of fans with this fight. He's active and can obviously take a punch. Undoubtedly, we'll see more of him.
But, overall, it was a sad night for boxing. It seemed as if the HBO announcers and the referee were more interested in pleasing the fans at Yankee stadium than protecting a hurt fighter.