Scorecard: Controversy clouds Forrest win

Dan Rafael recaps last week's notable boxing results from around the world.

Originally Published: August 7, 2006
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com


A roundup of last week's notable boxing results from around the world:

Saturday at New York
Junior middleweight
Vernon Forrest W10 Ike Quartey
Scores: 96-93, 95-94 (twice)
Records: Forrest, 38-2; Quartey, 37-3-1
Rafael's remark: Forrest is a good fighter -- a very good fighter -- but he got a gift. Poor Quartey was robbed. How the three judges saw it for Forrest while every single media member we could find at ringside, as well as the HBO broadcast team and the vast majority of the 3,012 in attendance at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, had it for Quartey we will never know.

We need an explanation when things like this happen. The crowd sure had its own explanation after the scores were read, launching into a sustained chant of "Bull----! Bull----! Bull----!"

Forrest and Quartey, both former welterweight champions, are in the winter of their careers at ages 35 and 36, respectively, and the fight was supposed to position the winner for a significant fight (Winky Wright, anyone?) while the loser probably was headed for the scrap heap.

However, it was a pretty darn good fight, and a close fight. And with Forrest getting the official decision but most believing that Quartey won, both men probably will wind up with a meaningful encore. But that doesn't make it right to steal the decision from the man who earned it.

Quartey, in only his third bout since a five-year retirement, was clearly the heavier hitter and the aggressor all night. Forrest, in his third bout since a two-year layoff because of injuries to his left elbow and shoulder, boxed well and hurt Quartey with a third-round uppercut, but we didn't think it was enough for him to win the fight. Making the decision even harder to swallow is the fact that referee Arthur Mercante Jr. deducted a point from Forrest in the ninth round for a low blow.

Quartey, of Ghana, thinks he just can't win a decision in the United States. He lost a split decision to Oscar De La Hoya in a fight many thought he won. He got a draw against Jose Luis Lopez in a fight nearly everyone thought he won and now he's tagged with a loss in a fight everyone but Forrest thinks he won.

Junior middleweight
Kassim Ouma W10 Sechew Powell
Scores: 100-90, 97-93, 96-94
Records: Ouma, 25-2-1; Powell, 20-1
Rafael's remark: This is the Ouma we expect to see -- a relentless fighter who never stops throwing punches. Against Powell, a top amateur and rising contender making his HBO debut in front of a hometown crowd, Ouma kept the CompuBox counters busy. He landed 380 of 1,043 punches (36 percent), and when you throw more than 100 punches per round, it's hard not to win. It's not like Powell wasn't busy, though. He landed 319 of 835 punches (38 percent). Stats like that usually equal a victory, but for as busy as Powell was, he couldn't deal with Ouma's nonstop pressure. That pressure was missing when Ouma lost his junior middleweight belt to Roman Karmazin last summer. Now, Ouma has won four bouts in a row since that upset loss and he deserves another title shot. The sooner the better. If not a title shot, we'd love to see him face Ike Quartey in a battle of Africans. For Powell, this was a big learning experience. Although Powell lost, he didn't deserve the insult of judge Dick Flaherty's incompetent 100-90 scorecard. Did he sleep through the fight?
Welterweight
Andre Berto KO1 Roberto Valenzuela
Records: Berto, 14-0, 12 KOs; Valenzuela, 37-25-2
Rafael's remark: Quite simply, Berto is one of the best prospects in the sport. He's got a terrific amateur background (including an appearance in the 2004 Olympics for Haiti), fights in an exciting, fan-friendly style and he's been a wrecking machine as a professional, albeit against inferior competition.

And did we mention he can punch? He walked right through the experienced Valenzuela, destroying him in just 2:19. Had Berto started a little quicker, he could have knocked him out even quicker as Valenzuela had absolutely no answer for Berto's two-fisted attack. We're trying not to get too excited, but with every impressive performance he has, Berto is making it more and more difficult.

Super middleweight
Jaidon Codrington W6 Carl Daniels
Scores: 60-54 (three times)
Records: Codrington, 12-1; Daniels, 49-10-1
Rafael's remark: In his third fight back since being smashed to bits in 17 seconds by Allan Green in the 2005 knockout of the year, Codrington easily dismantled former junior middleweight titlist Daniels, who is now nothing more than a stepping-stone. Codrington still makes a lot of mistakes and has a lot to learn at 22, but he won every second of every round against the washed-up Daniels, who has lost six in a row to rising prospects. At this point, beating Daniels doesn't mean much, but it was good for Codrington to get in the rounds and restore his confidence after such a wicked knockout loss last fall.

Saturday at Stateline, Nev.
Featherweight
Juan Manuel Marquez TKO7 Terdsak Jandaeng
Wins a vacant interim featherweight title.
Records: Marquez, 45-3-1; 34 KOs; Jandaeng, 24-2
Rafael's remark: Since his May 2004 draw with Manny Pacquiao, Marquez's career has been a mess because of poor business decisions, promotional problems and clueless manager Nacho Beristain. This fight, Marquez's first since a close decision loss in March to Chris John in Indonesia, is supposed to be the start of his climb back to the spotlight.

It was a good start. In a Showtime main event on the same card as kid brother Rafael Marquez, Juan Manuel brutally dominated his Thai opponent, whose only previous defeat was a decision to the excellent Joan Guzman.

Juan Manuel Marquez dropped Jandaeng in the second and the sixth rounds and was hammering him in the seventh when referee Jay Nady wisely stopped the fight before Jandaeng was seriously hurt. About the only thing Jandaeng could do was raise some swelling around Marquez's right eye.

The victory netted Marquez an interim belt, meaning he will have to face full titlist Scott Harrison before the end of the year. Harrison, however, is dealing with depression and alcohol dependency, and might not be fit to fight. If that's the case, he'll be stripped and Marquez elevated to a full title holder.

Bantamweight
Rafael Marquez TKO9 Silence Mabuza
Rematch, retains bantamweight title.
Records: Marquez, 36-3, 32 KOs; Mabuza, 19-2
Rafael's remark: Fighting on the same Showtime card as his older brother Juan Manuel, Rafael closed out his bantamweight championship campaign in style by opening four cuts and battering Mabuza until Mabuza's corner stopped the fight after the ninth round.

It was the final title defense for Rafael Marquez, who plans to vacate his belt and move up to junior featherweight. He had an impressive title run, making seven defenses, including five by knockout, since knocking out long-reigning champion Tim Austin to win the championship in February 2003.

Since then, Marquez has been by far and away the dominant bantamweight in the world. Unfortunately, poor management significantly hindered his ability to get big fights. In his previous bout, Marquez blitzed Mabuza via fourth-round TKO last November. For some reason, the dastardly IBF allowed Mabuza to immediately fight a title eliminator following the defeat. Mabuza won it, allowing this wholly unnecessary mandatory rematch to be forced down our throats. At least it turned out to be an exciting fight, and Marquez had a tougher time that he did the first time around, particularly in the middle rounds. Ultimately, however, he put a beating on the South African challenger, particularly in the ninth round.

Saturday at Panama City
Junior lightweight
Edwin Valero TKO10 Vicente Mosquera

Wins a junior lightweight title
Records: Valero, 20-0, 20 KOs; Mosquera, 24-2-1
Rafael's remark: The immensely hyped prodigy lived up to the billing as Valero won a world title 2 years after he failed an MRI exam in New York and was banned from fighting in the United States.

Undeterred, Valero took his game to Asia and Latin America and earned a mandatory shot at Mosquera. Valero entered the fight having stopped his first 18 opponents in the first round and his 19th opponent in the second round. Mosquera took him into the 10th, but Valero still got the knockout.

Valero, of Venezuela, decked Mosquera twice in the first round before Mosquera rallied to score a third-round knockdown in the action-packed fight. By the 10th, however, Valero, who was leading on all three scorecards, was landing almost at will when the referee called off the fight.

We might never see Valero fight in the U.S. because of his medical suspension, so do what we do -- find his fights on the Internet or get someone to hook you up with some DVDs. Valero's power is special.

Saturday at Cordoba, Argentina
Flyweight
Omar Narvaez W12 Rexon Flores
Retains a flyweight title.
Scores: 120-108, 119-109 (twice)
Records: Narvaez, 22-0-2; Flores, 16-3-4
Rafael's remark: Fighting at home, Narvaez made his eighth successful title defense by easily outpointing his Filipino mandatory. Flores lost points in the fourth and seven rounds for dirty tactics, including head butts and low blows. The victory sets Narvaez up for a possible Oct. 7 Showtime-televised unification fight with rugged puncher Vic Darchinyan. That's a heck of a fight, and we hope Darchinyan promoter Gary Shaw can close the deal. If he does, the fight will serve as the co-feature on a card headlined by the rubber match between lightweight champ Diego Corrales and Joel Casamayor.

Friday at Las Vegas
Super middleweight
Anthony Hanshaw W10 Esteban Camou
Scores: 100-90 (three times)
Records: Hanshaw, 20-0; Camou, 18-2
Rafael's remark: Hanshaw, the favorite to win Showtime's eight-man super middleweight "ShoBox" tournament, injured his left hand in the fourth round but still cruised to a shutout decision.

Hanshaw advanced to the Oct. 6 semifinals to face LaFarrell Bunting, who won his quarterfinal bout on the undercard. The boring, but dominant, victory was Hanshaw's second since June, when he ended a two-year layoff. Without a pair of long layoffs, Hanshaw probably would be a title contender already. He was an outstanding amateur, losing to Jermain Taylor in the 2000 U.S. Olympic trials and holding amateur victories over Sechew Powell, Kelly Pavlik and Sergio Mora.

Super middleweight
LaFarrell Bunting TKO5 Jose Luis Herrera
Records: Bunting, 16-1-1, 16 KOs; Herrera, 14-2
Rafael's remark: Bunting, a 25-year-old southpaw based in Las Vegas, made the most of an unexpected opportunity to participate in Showtime's eight-man super middleweight "ShoBox" tournament when Sakio Bika withdrew because of an elbow injury.

Bunting cancelled a fishing trip with his grandfather and took the fight on just four days' notice. Then he scored his 11th consecutive knockout victory by stopping Herrera, who took a barrage of more than 20 unanswered punches against the ropes, forcing referee Kenny Bayless to stop the bout midway through the round.

Bunting moves on to the Oct. 6 semifinals to face Anthony Hanshaw, who was victorious in the main event. Bunting and Hanshaw are former sparring partners. Jean Paul Mendy and Henry Buchanan, who advanced last week, face each other in the other semifinal.

Friday at Tijuana
Junior flyweight
Ulises "Archie" Solis D12 Omar Salado
Retains a junior flyweight title.
Scores: 114-114 (twice), 115-113 Solis
Records: Solis, 22-1-2; Salado, 14-0-2
Rafael's remark: In his second title defense, Solis went to Salado's hometown and pulled out an unpopular majority draw. Both fighters were cut from accidental head butts late in the fight. Solis could be headed toward a rematch with Will Grigsby, from whom he took the title in January.

Friday at Memphis
Lightweight
Anthony Peterson KO2 Jose Soto
Records: Peterson, 19-0, 15 KOs; Soto, 18-4-2
Rafael's remark: Six weeks after putting us all to sleep with his 12-round decision win against Adan Hernandez, Peterson cranked things up in this "Friday Night Fights" main event. Unlike the Hernandez bout, Peterson attacked Soto from the opening bell. The result was an impressive knockout for the rising star. Peterson dropped Soto in the first round courtesy of a body blow and stopped him a round later with a left to the temple. We like watching this version of Peterson far more than the cautious, technical one we saw in mid-June. The kid is on his way to a title shot.
Welterweight
Shamone Alvarez KO7 Marteze Logan
Records: Alvarez, 15-0, 10 KOs; Logan, 22-25-2
Rafael's remark: Alvarez passed a test many prospects must pass by beating journeyman Logan. But what made this special was the ferocity with which Alvarez did it. Despite all the losses Logan has suffered, he is known for his ability to survive and go the distance, but Alvarez smoked him, scoring a sensational knockout with a big left hand. It is only the second time in 25 losses that Logan was stopped. Onward and upward for Alvarez.
Super middleweight
Ann Wolfe W6 Lisa Ested
Scores: 60-54 (twice), 59-54
Records: Wolfe, 24-1; Ested, 10-5
Rafael's remark: If Laila Ali isn't the best female fighter in the world, Wolfe probably is. She took apart Ested in an exciting fight. Wolfe has been trying to get a fight with Ali for years, but Ali has been ducking her. Based on what we've seen from Wolfe in recent years, Ali has good reason to be concerned.
Junior lightweight
Freddie Norwood W8 Anthony Martinez
Scores: 80-71 (three times)
Records: Norwood, 40-1-1; Martinez, 20-22-3
Rafael's remark: After a prison stint, former featherweight champ Norwood returned in June to win a six-round decision in his first fight since his lone loss to Derrick Gainer in 2000. In the second bout of his comeback, the crafty southpaw easily outpointed Martinez as he continues his quest to shake the ring rust of such a long layoff.

Friday at San Juan, Puerto Rico
Lightweight
Jose Cotto TKO10 Ivan Hernandez
Records: Cotto, 28-1, 20 KOs; Hernandez, 23-3
Rafael's remark: Cotto, the older brother of junior welterweight titlist Miguel Cotto, rebounded from his first defeat when he lost a hard-fought challenge against lightweight titlist Juan Diaz on the April 8 Floyd Mayweather-Zab Judah undercard. Headlining Telefutura's "Solo Boxeo," Cotto knocked Hernandez down in the sixth and two more times in the 10th to get the stoppage victory and get himself back on the path to another title opportunity.

Wednesday at Yokohama, Japan
Junior flyweight
Koki Kameda W12 Juan Landaeta
Wins a vacant junior flyweight title.
Scores: 115-113, 114-113 Kameda, 115-112 Landaeta
Records: Kameda, 12-0; Landaeta, 20-4-1
Rafael's remark: Kameda, an enormously popular 19-year-old from Japan, was awarded the split decision in a fight that stinks of a hometown decision. Numerous reports out of Japan suggest that this was a horrendous decision, and even the Japanese media has criticized a decision that gave one of its most popular athletes a world title.

Landaeta, of Venezuela, knocked Kameda down in the first round and opened a cut over his right eye in the sixth round in the battle of southpaws. They were vying for the 108-pound belt that became available when titlist Roberto Vasquez relinquished it in order to move up in weight.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.

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