A very smart guy told me once, "The quickest way to get a million dollars
is to start with two million and become a promoter". Certainly, I have no
way of knowing how well Raging Promotions' first two fight programs have
done, from a financial standpoint, but I hope the new company has a long
future ahead of it. It has made a commitment to the sport of Women's
boxing and it is headed up by a person who should know that sport from all
angles, Isra Girgrah.
Girgrah is currently a lightweight champion, with a gaudy 26-2-3 record
and has promoted two shows in Atlantic City and Washington, D.C. in the
past six weeks and both programs have featured a bout with skilled female
boxers. That, however, is both the good news and the bad news.
Good news because the bouts showcased Girgrah, one of the top boxers in
the sport, along with Trish "TNT" Hill in Atlantic City in July and
Melissa "Honey Girl" Del Valle in Washington, last Saturday and both
fights were very close decisions. Bad news because Girgrah was also the
promoter of each bout and both fights were very close decisions.
Trish Hill has had considerable success as a kickboxer, not as much in the
boxing ring. However, in the Atlantic City bout, she knocked Girgrah down
in the second round and while reports indicated that Girgrah controlled
the eight round fight from the third round on, the unanimous decision was
razor thin, 77-75, 76-75, 76-75.
In Del Valle, Girgrah was facing a much more experienced boxer, who only
lost her first fight in early July to Kelsey Jeffries and sported a 27-1-1
going into the Washington bout. According to reports, and not
surprisingly, given the skills of the two fighters, the bout went back and
forth for the eight rounds. The unanimous decision for Girgrah, 78-74,
77-75, 77-75, was greeted with derision by a large part of the crowd.
Since neither fight benefited from TV coverage, I did not see either bout
and Girgrah may have, indeed, deserved both decisions. However, its fairly
clear, from the scoring, that neither bout was an easy win and any time
the term "controversial" appears in news reports, as it did frequently in
stories about the Del Valle bout, there is bound to be lingering doubt
about the decision.
Not that doubt about a decision is anything new when it comes to boxing.
The major difference here is that one of the fighters in this bout, this
"controversial" bout, this bout where there is a distinct difference of
opinion regarding the winner, was the promoter. And the promoter, despite
what my friend said those years back about financial risk, is the person
who hires and pays the referee and the judges. Thus in a fight where the
decision is decided by four total points over eight rounds (and 454 total
points) in the case of Trish Hill and by eight points (456 total) in the
case of the Del Valle bout, a question of fairness has to be raised.
I am not, for a moment, suggesting that any one connected with Raging
Promotions did or would do anything to influence the referee or the judges
in a Isra Girgrah bout. What I am suggesting is that judges and referees
are human and, therefore, prone to subconscious support for their
employer. For that, in essence, is what we're looking at here, an
employer/employee relationship. Not only that but we can assume that
should this particular employer remain successful as a promoter, there
will be future employment opportunities.
As I said I hope Raging Promotions has a long and successful future. I am,
however, troubled by the current fighter/promoter arrangement. And I
think, Isra Girgrah, who has exhibited as much business acumen and
intelligence in putting this business together as she has exhibited skill
in the ring, might be troubled too, if she rationally reviews the
situation. There has to be a better way.