Goossen Lays an Egg

By Clarence George on January 25, 2014
Goossen Lays an Egg
Jimmy Cannon didn't call boxing "the red light district of sports" because it sounded good.

I didn’t know either of these guys from Adam, but if it’s between a beanpole and a tank, I root for the tank…

“We wuz robbed!”—Joe Jacobs

A thriller of a main event on January 24th’s Friday Night Fights, with Thomas Williams Jr. winning the WBO NABO light heavyweight championship by stopping Cornelius White by first-round TKO. So unexpectedly speedy was it that ESPN had both ample time and cause to replay the bout in its entirety—all two minutes and 49 seconds of it.

But that’s not the fight that caused me to leap from my comfy chair, which I’m not much inclined to do unless it’s to fetch another Grolsch from the fridge. It was when the decision was announced on the walkout bout between young featherweights Juan Funez (4-0, 1 KO) of Reseda, California, and Marcello Gallardo (3-1) of Renton, Washington.

I didn’t know either of these guys from Adam, but if it’s between a beanpole and a tank, I root for the tank. So I was no end pleased when Gallardo knocked Funez down in the first. Moreover, he proved himself the more aggressive and effective fighter throughout the four-rounder, particularly in the second round, and should have gotten the nod. He didn’t.

The three judges scored it 38-37 for Funez. Robbery! And no less of one than when tuxedoed hoods entered New York’s luxurious Pierre Hotel in the early morning hours of January 2, 1972, making off with $11 million in guests’ goods. All right, so maybe it was less of a robbery. But that’s no excuse for commentator Teddy Atlas (as well as his colleague, Joe Tessitore) taking such a cavalier attitude toward a young fighter cheated of his win.

The card was promoted by Dan Goossen of Goossen Tutor promotions, and Funez is one of his boys. Given that alignment of stars, Atlas was quite right in thinking that Gallardo had no chance with the judges. Fine. After all, as Fritzie Zivic observed, we’re talking about boxing, not piano playing. But did Atlas have to chortle about it?

Teddy took pretty much the same attitude earlier this month when Rances Barthelemy won the IBF junior lightweight title by throwing knockout punches at a hapless Argenis Mendez after the bell had rung. The ref, Pete Podgorski, should have been in position to come between the two fighters at the sound of the bell. Given that he wasn’t, he should have allowed the fight to continue, after first penalizing Barthelemy and allowing Mendez ample time to recover. Or Podgorski could have declared the bout a no contest, or a win by disqualification for Mendez. But Atlas thought that because Barthelemy was likely to win, it really doesn’t matter a whole lot how he did it. Before the bell, after the bell…tomato, tomahto.

The funny thing is I’d be in full agreement with Atlas if…well, if the Goossen shoe was on the Gallardo foot.

What can I tell ya? Jimmy Cannon didn’t call boxing “the red light district of sports” just because he thought it sounded good. I mean, what would boxing be without a soupçon of corruption? Goulash without paprika…and that ain’t goulash.

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Juan Funez vs Marcello Gallardo full fight 24.01.2014

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  1. Clarence George 06:20am, 02/01/2014

    Atlas made a bit of a fool of himself last night, saying things like, “Barthelemy came to win, and therefore shouldn’t be stripped of his title.  That’s a fact.”  Huh?  The only fact is that Barthelemy scored his win by throwing punches after the bell.

  2. Clarence George 03:31am, 01/31/2014

    Every now and then, the stars are set right in their courses:

  3. Clarence George 03:25pm, 01/28/2014

    By the way, the names of the judges:  Alan Krebs, Tim Wood, and Joel Scobie.

  4. Ted 07:07pm, 01/27/2014

    “...and Teddy Atlas droning on like some loud drunk down the end of the bar.”

    Well said, NYIrish

  5. Clarence George 03:27pm, 01/27/2014

    I readily recognize, Nicolas, that the fight was reasonably close, but I do indeed see Gallardo as the clear winner.  Even a draw would have been an injustice, though not as egregious as Funez getting the win because, and only because, he’s in the fight promoter’s stable.

    But what most bothered me, as I hope I made clear, is Atlas’ indifference to such shenanigans.  Even that wouldn’t annoy me much, if only he didn’t wear the mantle of “Reformer” about his shoulders.

    Former New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker was right:  “A reformer is a guy who rides through a sewer in a glass-bottomed boat.”

  6. nicolas 01:58pm, 01/27/2014

    I agree that when a decision is unpopular with the fans at the fight or on TV, the judges should have to explain themselves. However, I did not see the robbery in this fight that most saw. I thought that Gallardo won the first and fourth round. I could see the second round as very close, with Gallardo coming on at the end. But being a close round in my view, I still gave it to Funez, I realize that even Atlas thought that Gallardo won, but he gave the last round to Funez, which I gave to Gallardo. Did not even the punch stat numbers after three rounds have Nunez up by some 92 to 54 landed?

  7. Clarence George 06:26pm, 01/26/2014

    I wish both fighters well, Irish, and I certainly don’t hold Funez responsible for the judges’ gift. 

    By the way, it’s not that Funez’s performance was lousy; it’s that Gallardo was the busier of the two.  That, in combination with the knockdown, should have given him the win.  But in boxing, as in life, what should be means damn all.

  8. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 01:59pm, 01/26/2014

    Clarence George-These preliminary decisions matter….of course everyone knew who the “real” prospect was…. especially the judges. Funez will more than likely do better his next time out….buttressed by the fact that he still has his “0”.....gifted or not. If Gallardo wins the second round, which he did….it’s mathematically impossible for Funez to get the nod even if and it’s a big if, he sweeps the last two….providing some idiot didn’t score the first round 10/9.

  9. NYIrish 09:43am, 01/26/2014

    CHEERS Irish !

  10. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:21am, 01/26/2014

    NYIrish-Well excuuuuse me! My old lady won’t listen to me at home….so when I come in this joint and I’m in my cups….everybody get’s to enjoy my stimulating and thought provoking conversation…which reminds me…...Barkeep!....where the fug is my boilermaker!

  11. NYIrish 06:16am, 01/26/2014

    Jimmy Cannon was a great writer who painted pictures in newsprint. I didn’t see the above event. I swore off Friday Night Fights some time ago due to poor quality fights, bad decisions and Teddy Atlas droning on like some loud drunk down the end of the bar.

  12. The Tache 04:37pm, 01/25/2014

    To be fair to Teddy Atlas, I have heard him complaining about this sort of decision many times and is always calling for judges to have to explain their cards after disparate scoring.
    Maybe he has just become frustrated with the same old, same old home cooking and his “cavalier” attitude is born out of resignation rather than anything else.
    Does suck though and happens far too often.