by Ronnie Nathanielsz
JUDGE Ruben Garcia of Texas has come under fire for his 115-112 scorecard in favor of former World Boxing Organization champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., who lost by a split decision to Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire before over 14,000 fight fans at the Alamadome in San Antonio, Texas Saturday night.
Garcia’s scorecard was a shocker, when compared to the two other judges, Levi Martinez and Donald Trella, who both had Donaire a comfortable winner by identical 117-110 margins, which was the consensus at ringside.
TV boxing commentator Col. Bob Sheridan, who was doing the international broadcast, also had Donaire winning easily, 117-110, which raised serious questions as to what fight Garcia was watching or what was going through his mind.
Donaire, his left hand believed to have been broken in two places somewhere between the second and fourth rounds, didn’t take judge Garcia to task, only telling the Manila Standard “I was surprised,” especially since
Garcia’s scorecard was read first by famed ring announcer Michael Buffer.
However, Garcia’s boo-boo was quickly erased when Buffer announced the scorecards of Martinez and Trella to the delight of a small crowd of Filipino fans, who came out in support of Donaire, now a four-division world champion.
Donaire’s manager Cameron Dunkin said that scorecards turned in by Garcia hurt the sport of boxing, adding that the WBO, which named the ring officials for the fight, should suspend Garcia for perhaps one or two years and limit his work for six or eight-round bouts when he returns.