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Stealing Iole: Episode 4

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

This is a blockbuster.

Francisco Lorenzo’s actions at the end of his fight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center with Humberto Soto on Saturday were cowardly, revolting and disgusting.

That means little, though, because he did the one thing he was required to do to claim the interim WBC super featherweight title:

He won.

And, because he won, he should have been presented with the green WBC belt as its champion.

He won by shamefully and terribly wrong disqualification that came at the whim of an increasingly poor referee hitting rock bottom. He did not win this fight in any meaningful way.

The WBC, though, opted to ignore the official verdict, however tainted it may be, and declared the title vacant.

Good. It's one of the few reasonable decisions the WBC has made in years.

Now, it’s easy to understand why the WBC wouldn’t want Lorenzo as its titleholder. The last four men to hold the belt – Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez, Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales, are all headed to the Hall of Fame. Previous WBC super featherweight champions like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Julio Cesar Chavez are locks for the Hall, too. Champions such as Alexis Arguello and Azumah Nelson are already enshrined.

No. Absolutely no a thousand times every single day of the week and two thousand times on Sunday. The reason that Francisco Lorenzo doesn't deserve to hold a title belt owned by the WBC has nothing in the world to do with Pacquiao, Marquez, Barrera, Morales, Mayweather, Chavez, Arguello or Nelson. It has every single thing to do with an obvious acting job by Lorenzo and a terrible call by Cortez. This is a really, really stupid way to fill space in an article. There is nothing of value in this entire paragraph.

"Watch the tape," Soto said repeatedly. "The punch was already gone (when the referee jumped in)."


Unfortunately for Soto, that is not even close to being true. For whatever reason, Soto momentarily lost his self control, an action which cost him a significant victory.

Cortez, who was traveling and could not be reached for comment, ruled that Lorenzo was unable to continue. And so, according to the unified rules, that meant the referee’s only option was to disqualify Soto once Lorenzo was given five minutes to recover and was still unable to fight.

This cannot be said enough: there is a difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the rule. The NSAC is now firmly calling this a mistake by Cortez, and saying Joe understands it to be one. So what is the issue now? There is nobody on earth that thinks Lorenzo deserves that win on his record, that Soto deserves that loss, or that Lorenzo should simply be awarded what is essentially a meaningless interim title in the first place, which he didn't deserve to be fighting for in the first place. With all the BS that takes place over sanctioning body titles, this is one of the least offensive notable happenings. I don't get why you'd even bother arguing for Lorenzo. A rare case of justice being served, but don't worry, Francisco, Kevin Iole is on the case!

Lorenzo doesn’t deserve respect, praise or credit, but he does deserve one thing:

The title.

No, he doesn't.

"Are you out of your mind?" Arum bellowed. "Of course they shouldn’t have given him the belt. He didn’t win that fight and it would be a disgrace to give him the belt. It’s ludicrous, absolutely ludicrous, to say otherwise."

That about says it.

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