By Keith Idec
Gary Shaw was as disgusted as anyone when Michael Buffer made that stunning announcement late Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Timothy Bradley’s former promoter believes boxing’s judging problem has reached epidemic proportions in the aftermath of Manny Pacquiao’s dubious loss. If it isn’t addressed, specifically by affording promoters more input in the assignment of judges, Shaw suspects the issue will continue to taint the sport’s reputation.
Shaw is not worried, however, about bringing Chad Dawson to Oakland, Calif., for a Sept. 8 showdown with Andre Ward, of nearby Hayward, Calif. The hometown fight for Ward will draw a larger crowd to Oakland’s Oracle Arena, home of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, than it would’ve assembled anywhere else, which was why it made business sense to bring it there.
Shaw, whose Totowa, N.J.-based company promotes Dawson, is confident his fighter will be treated fairly by the judges.
“I’m very, very comfortable and happy with the fight being in California,” Shaw said. “I do a lot of fights there. I’ve done a lot of fights there over the years, so I have no problem going to California at all. I know the commission there and I have confidence in the commission.”
Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs, 1 NC), of New Haven, Conn., will move down from light heavyweight to challenge the undefeated Ward (25-0, 13 KOs) for his WBA and WBC super middleweight titles in an HBO main event. The co-featured fight will match Mexico’s Antonio DeMarco (27-2-1, 20 KOs) against John Molina (23-1, 19 KOs), of Covina, Calif., in another 12-rounder for DeMarco’s WBC lightweight title.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.