Saturday’s co-main event in Atlantic City, New Jersey between Gabriel Rosado and Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin will go down in history for the fan anger over the stoppage and/or the judge’s lopsided scores. What if I were to tell you the biggest damage of that fight was not what happened in the ring, but what happened outside of it. It was the damage done by the lingering thoughts of fight fans about the outcome reached.
For me, a diehard boxing fan who watches his fair share of bullshit boxing cards, I am fine with this. Being a fan of boxing means you will take loses, but I do feel a letdown when the event comes to an abrupt stop. I had a unique perspective on the evening’s fights as I watched them at a friend’s house, helping decorate the house for the following weekend’s house party. The knockdown sold my peers on the fight, Rosado’s heart had them engaged and the outcome made them say “…well that’s just boxing.”
It is hard to tell them otherwise as much as I want to point to great matches or moments where injustice did not occur, it is hard to shake the fact that the mob was heavily involved with boxing in the early days. The images of a sleek mobster entering a boxing gym in “Fat City” seem to overtake the subconscious of those who don’t watch boxing week in and week out and expect bad decisions to be a part of the sport. I stood bewildered, how can the sport grow if people just don’t take it seriously? How can I legitimately defend the ridiculous allegations of corruption when I was just as shocked by the outcome?
For those who have yet to see the fight between Rosado and Quillin, it was essentially a dead even fight heading into the tenth round. Rosado rebounded after being sent to the canvas in the second round to hurt Quillin in the fourth round. As the fight went on, Quillin appeared frustrated and having trouble fighting off his back foot, yet was still winning rounds. The question remained: Was Rosado doing enough to take the belt? Yet, we never made it to that point as a cut was opened above Rosado’s eye and even after Rosado screamed at the ref to continue the fight was stopped.
It is like drinking a sour beer or bag of lemons, the feeling of disgusted has lasted. Nothing about the stoppage felt right, it felt far too soon and the fact that Rosado was so voiceless made it even worse. “Bullshit” rang out near the couch I was sitting on as seven soon to be boxing fans went outside to work on the PA system and the projector that was being set up for the following week. It is special moments in life that develop interests, I felt like this may have been one moment where I could have shared with some of my friends why I enjoy boxing so much and then this occurred.
This is not to say that they won’t remember this fight, but watching a fight with a skewed outcome can make it harder to care. Though boxing does not directly affect my friends’ lives it is a leisure sport that in its nature is based around sportsmanship. When the majority of viewers and commentators see a fight so differently than the three people scoring it, we are confused.
Hardcore fight fan might blame Al Haymon and say that he has a special line to Showtime execs offices, like Batman to Commissioner Gordon. A casual fan just views it as business as usual and this fight confirmed their underlying belief that the reason they don’t follow the sport in the first place is corruption. In such a great year for boxing, one of the best I can remember, it’s a shame that good fights can get consumed in controversy.