by Keith Terceira
Nevada State Athletic Commissioner Keith Kizer was gracious enough to return our call this morning to inform boxing fans as to the drink that Juan Manuel Marquez was allowed to consume between rounds last Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where Manny Pacquiao retained his WBO welterweight title with a twelve round majority decision. The drink, which had an orange tint, can be clearly seen between rounds 6 and 7.
Kizer was instrumental in getting other drinks approved in Nevada, besides normal water between rounds, to assist fighters with replacing nutrients lost during the bout. When asked what Marquez got approved to use last Saturday, Kizer informed us.
“Marquez was using water and Pedialyte between rounds. They have to get the fluids approved prior to the bout and be in factory sealed containers at the arena for our inspectors. Our people check it and if it is some kind of drink they have never heard of they will look at the ingredients, if need be they will grab one of our ringside doctors. Once they check it in if the corner wants to put it in a squeeze bottle or something then the inspector will observe that.”
We confirmed that the corner can transfer the fluid between rounds, taking it from a factory container to another bottle, just as they are free to put water into a squeeze bottle after it is opened under the observance of an inspector.
“I kind of pushed for this when I was dealing with the health and safety committee. Baseball, football , basketball players , even bowlers drink Gatorade during sporting events, why are boxers treated as some kind of sub athlete. Very few fighters have taken advantage of that and we even thought it might help them with endorsement deals or something. I’ll bet that maybe three out of a hundred fighters do something other than water. Whither it’s because of many fights are shorter rounds or they are in air conditioned arenas here in Nevada and or they are just used to drinking water. Why change something that works.”
Kizer agreed to answer some questions regarding the judging of Pacquiao – Marquez III and these were his thoughts regarding the event. Asked whether he thought it was harder for a counter-puncher on an even round to win that round , because it would be natural for a judge to score the round for fighter making the fight happen Kizer responded;
“I think generally speaking yes, any second of any round can turn around a judges score, generally speaking I think that is the case. If all things are equal the person showing the aggression, the ring generalship , you know , bringing the fight, it is probable going to get a slight nod most of the time. Not all the time but that comes to play.”
Does it not play into the subjectivity of a judge and what he looks for in a fighter?
“Most judges , experienced judges, if you sat them all down and asked what their criteria was generally speaking it would be very similar. First and foremost how effective were the punches that landed, how much damage did it cause, in lieu of a better term. You and I could be watching a fight thinking wow those counter right hands are powerful and another one could say no , they are more defensive in nature, keeping the guy off him or out of range, they are not really doing much damage, and I can be saying what are you crazy he is lighting him up, and you can disagree saying they are getting partly blocked."
"I remember seeing one fight years ago where people still complain about it, and the guy was saying that the guy blocked most of the punches and I said yes, but [while] he blocked them with his arms and shoulders, they were still landing. Let some guy punch you as hard as you can in your upper arm a hundred times and see if it doesn’t take a toll you have to give some credit for that because it's still a landing blow.”
“There are different things you look at, one guy who is more defensive minded might say he blocked them and someone else more offensive minded might say yeh but do you want to get hit in the arm like that a hundred times. So that comes into play with a puncher – counterpuncher argument.”
Kizer went on to discuss how Pacquiao and Marquez appeared on fight night.
“Obviously Marquez looked impressive and Pacquiao looked great as well, they both looked great, Marquez had his counterpunching back down and he looked better than he did against Mayweather, but Pacquiao was doing well too. You have to wonder too, a lot people think that one fighter is going to walk over the other fighter, and then it’s a lot closer fight, so all of a sudden it’s oh this guy must have won because he was still standing at the end or he did just as well. As you know it’s a round by round thing as well, a lot of people look at the fight as a whole and think it was a close fight."
"Someone was complaining about the judge that had it 116-112. People in the press like Lederman had the fight 115-113, and they say 'well I can see that,' but what they fail to realize is that 116-112 and 115-113 is one close round difference. They make it sound like it’s a three round difference. There were plenty of close rounds in that fight and if you gave Marquez every close round you probably had it 8-4 Marquez, if you gave every close round to Pacquiao you had it 8-4 the other way.”
Keith, I feel that a lot of people don’t understand that judges score round at a time and they don’t go back and change the scoring to consider the fight on a whole as they can do!
“Exactly, I hear people say during fights that they don’t understand how a fight was a unanimous decision, that it was a close fight, and it doesn’t make sense to me because these are three independent judges that don’t look at the other scorecards as well so, its one of those things where I’m glad it was a close fight. I would have had no problem with a draw. I like draws, because it makes everything look go in the sense of good matchmaking. Both of these guys know each other and none of us should have been surprised it was a close fight, despite the odds being so overwhelming in favor of Pacquiao."