By Jake Donovan
Nothing was lost in the grand scheme of things in Badou Jack having to settle for a 12-round draw with former champ Lucian Bute in his super middleweight title defense Saturday evening in Washington, DC. He still retains his title status and moves on to a guaranteed unification bout with James DeGale, who won earlier in the evening.
The competitor in him, however, wanted the win he felt he deserved. Only one of the three judges – Steve Rados, the lone locally-based ringside scorer – had the Las Vegas-based Swede coming out ahead, scoring 117-111 in his favor. The tally was overruled by matching scorecards of 114-114 by judges Glen Crocker (Texas) and Omar Mintun, Jr. (Mexico).
All three judges are relatively inexperienced in major title fights, yet were approved by the World Boxing Council (WBC) as well as both camps. It’s a decision that Jack and his team – including Mayweather Promotions, his promoter – somewhat regrets, as the final call did not at all sit well with him.
“Bulls***. Bulls***,” Jack (20-1-2, 12KOs) said and repeated to Showtime’s Jim Grey when asked for his reaction to the final decision. “It is what it is. It’s not Bute’s fault; it’s the judges. The people saw that I won the fight.”
Included among the people is the WBC’s very own president.
“I am extremely disappointed with the scoring of the 2 WBC judges [a]nd will certainly address this matter,” vowed WBC head Mauricio Suliaman afterward.
Jack makes the second defense of his title, but his entire reign has been spent trying to impress the judges. His title-winning effort over Anthony Dirrell seemed clear as day, but was forced to settle for a majority decision.
He also prevailed in was believed to be a close-but-clear win over George Groves in Sept. ’14. The event took place in Las Vegas, the home base for Mayweather promotions and on a night where the company’s founder, Floyd Mayweather insisted would be the last-ever fight of his pro career, yet Jack still had to sweat out a split decision nod just to be declared winner.
Saturday’s bizarre scoring is the latest entry, but just one more matter to overcome as far as Jack is concerned.
“Maybe they just don’t like Floyd,” wondered Jack.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com. Follow him on his shiny new Twitter account: @JakeNDaBox_v2