Danny Garcia's controversial majority decision win over Mauricio Herrera last Saturday night on Showtime (highlights) opened up several cans of worms, including questions about boxing's general politics, the performance of judges, favoritism shown to "champions" and bigger name fighters, and the WBC's reviled open scoring practices.
Garcia (28-0, 16 KO) was without question the bigger name, the "house fighter," the A-side of the event, and it was also billed as his "homecoming" fight in Puerto Rico, where both of his parents were born. It was Danny Garcia's event. Keep in mind, too, that pretty much everybody expected this to be something of a walkover win for Garcia. Herrera (20-4, 7 KO) is a credible fighter worthy of plenty of respect, but should he have gotten the shot against the world's top 140 pound fighter? Probably not.
That said, he got it, and he did everything he could to win the fight. As Bobby Hunter noted after the bout, 70% of media scored the fight in Herrera's favor. 12.5% scored for Garcia, and 17.5% had it a draw. The draw was the best Herrera got, as he received one 114-114 card, two going Garcia's way by a score of 116-112.
This is certainly not to say that media are always correct -- I've had some crap scores, so has everyone else -- but it's a much larger pool than three ringside judges, and when that overwhelming a majority see the fight differently than the judges, it stops being a matter of things "looking different" at ringside.
Was it a robbery? Was it something more sinister than judges disagreeing with the majority of the audience or the majority of the media? I have no idea on the latter, and given that I scored the fight a draw, I have a hard time using the word "robbery" in this case, either.
Herrera tells RingTV.com that he wants a rematch, saying that he's watched the fight repeatedly, and every time he does, he's more sure that he deserved the victory. In the moment, live on Showtime, Herrera handled the loss with grace, and he still is. It's just that he believes he won.
Garcia is considering a move up to 147 for bigger money fights, given that he's done just about as much as he can at 140, and he may be in the running sooner than later for the ultimate, a fight with Floyd Mayweather. His father and trainer, Angel Garcia, believes Danny can still easily make 140 pounds, and has hinted that he'd prefer they stay there for the time being.
If Garcia stays at 140, should he give Herrera a rematch and settle whatever lingering doubts may be there? Did Herrera's performance warrant a second shot at the title?