Wednesday, December 31, 2008

WBA Reviews Holyfield vs. Valuev Decision

I first saw this on the crawl during SportsCenter last night:
FightNews has learned that the WBA Championship Committee has ordered a panel of judges to review the contest between WBA heavyweight champion Nicolay Valuev and Evander Holyfield, for the WBA Heavyweight title, held December 20th in Switzerland. The source stated that the WBA is taking this action “Due to the respect for the opinion of the fans and the media.”
Since the fight was in Switzerland, it aired live in the afternoon two Saturdays ago. Partially out of boredom and partially out of morbid curiosity, I went on and watched the fight from the third round on and read along with Brain Armen Graham's live blog.

The fight was wildly boring, with Valuev basically sitting in the middle of the ring, not throwing any punches and Evander not doing a whole lot more, but significantly out-landing the giant. Graham (118-110) and every single other account of the fight I read agreed it was an obvious win for Holyfield, who came out of retirement because "God told him to unify the heavyweight belts". (Sidenote: watch Religulous)

Shockingly, the judges awarded the fight to the 7 foot ogre from Russia 114-114, 116-112, 115-114. Holyfield took the "defeat" graciously, probably more so than I would have. I don't know how often these things get reversed, but it would be nice to see Holyfield rewarded for getting into great shape at age 46 and getting the job done. And hopefully he never fights again.

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