Thursday, September 10, 2015

A "No Contest / No Decision" Will Also Ruin a Perfect Record, Like a Loss or a Draw #mayweather #boxing

A boxer can win a fight in one of about four ways: Knocking out an opponent for a 10-count, the referee stopping the fight to protect a defenseless opponent for a technical knock out, the referee disqualifying the opponent, and the judges handing a decision at the end of the fight. The judges can also hand a decision against a fighter, giving him a loss, or the judges' scores might render a match a draw -- no one wins.

What is out of the hands of the fighters and the judges is a fight that ends in a no decision, or no contest. This usually happens when the referee stops the fight in the early rounds, due to an accident between the fighters, with no one to penalize. There isn't much in the score card to bring it to the judges, so the fight is neither a win/loss nor a draw.

It is a no decision, and for all intents and purposes, the fight never really happened, except that it happened. Therefore, it is on the record books as a no contest, usually in parentheses, after a fighter's wins, losses, and draws: W-L-D-(ND/NC). There's probably a legal difference between no contests and no decisions, but from what I've seen, they both end up in the same column in the online record books. I'm going to use both terms, treating them as synonyms, which might be a bit confusing.

I have written this long introduction because the actual "meat" of this topic is in a lengthy investigative report on SB Nation, regarding drug testing and Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s possible illegal action before his fight against Manny Pacquiao last May. Basically, the allegation is that Mayweather rehydrated himself with an IV, to suspicious levels, which might imply that the IV was hiding something banned (or not) in the process. The drug testing agency for the fight, the United States Anti-Doping Agency, knew about this, gave it a pass, and didn't inform the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Before that very same fight, Pacquiao was denied the use of a legal anti-inflammatory drug, which implies that there was a sort of double-standard between fighters for this fight.

Like a no-decision conclusion to a fight, this controversy is pretty much in the hands of certain boxing gods (i.e., the influential humans who wheel and deal behind the scenes). There has been talk that the Pacquiao camp, including promoter Bob Arum, would contest the judges' unanimous decision for Mayweather, given these new and potentially condemning circumstances. The Nevada State Athletic Commission, presumably, could overturn the fight's decision, rendering the match as a no decision. This would change Mayweather's perfect 48-0-0-(0) into a slightly imperfect 47-0-0-(1).

I don't know if this controversy will pan out any more than the current talk. I highly doubt that the Nevada State Athletic Commission or any regulatory body will overturn the outcome of last May's fight. It's possible, but not very probable. This entire episode is an interesting "jab," if not a "power punch," against Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s assertion that he is "The Best Ever."

In any case, if certain other boxing gods (i.e., not influential humans but divine forces of fate) were to stop smiling on Mayweather, they would affect this Saturdays' fight against Andre Berto. For example, there would be an accidental headbutt in the early rounds, perhaps the second round. The referee would stop the fight. Unable to use the judges' scorecards, the contest would conclude with no decision.

A record of 48-0-0-(1) is an awesome way to "end" a career; it just isn't "The Best Ever." But in all likelihood, at the end of the night, Mayweather's record will improve to 49-0-0-(0), like Rocky Marciano before him, ...

... unless Berto wins.

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