by David P. Greisman
We went to the scorecards knowing that Bernard Hopkins had out-boxed Beibut Shumenov en route to a clear victory, unifying their two world titles at light heavyweight. And then we heard Jimmy Lennon Jr. announce that there was a split decision.
Fortunately, the decision still went to the right man, to Hopkins, who two of the judges had winning 116-111, eight rounds to four with an additional point taken from Shumenov for the knockdown he suffered in the 11th round.
Those two judges are Dave Moretti and Jerry Roth. Their scorecards were completely identical. Both gave Shumenov rounds 1, 2, 9 and 10. Both gave Hopkins rounds 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11 and 12.
The third judge, Gustavo Padilla, somehow had Shumenov the victor, even though Shumenov could barely hit Hopkins and even though Hopkins could barely miss Shumenov.
Padilla saw the bout 114-113 for Shumenov, or seven rounds to five.
He gave Shumenov the same rounds that Moretti and Roth did: 1, 2, 9 and 10. But he was the only judge to give Shumenov rounds 3, 6 and 8. Those three rounds were the difference between the 116-111 scores for Hopkins and the 114-113 for Shumenov card that Padilla turned in.
If we were to take a score from “majority rules” — in which a fighter gets the edge from at least 2 of the 3 judges for that round — then Hopkins would’ve won 8 rounds and Shumenov would’ve won 4 rounds, and the final card would’ve been the 116-111 cards that Moretti and Roth turned in.
Some background on Padilla via a quick perusal of BoxRec.com: He is a referee and judge, and he was the lone judge to score Danny Garcia’s win over Mauricio Herrera a draw, and he was the sole judge to have Marcos Maidana the victor in Maidana’s split decision loss to Andriy Kotelnik.
You can make a case that Padilla was in the right for Garcia-Herrera and Kotelnik-Maidana. But you’d have a hard time making the case for Padilla’s scoring in Hopkins-Shumenov.
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide . Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]