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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Puerto Rican Cortez as likely as Pinoy Padilla for Cotto-Pacquiao

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All right, everybody out of the pool on this one.

The dumb idea that “fair but firm” veteran referee Joe Cortez will be tabbed to handle the Miguel Cotto-Manny Pacquiao bout Nov. 14 in Las Vegas is ridiculous not to mention p[atently absurd to anyone who knows what time it is at the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

So stand down, all you worrywarts including Examiner dSource Guillermo because this one is a nonstarter, a contrived issue where there is no issue.

Nevada rates its own refs and judges and separates them quietly in two categories. There is an “A” List and and a “B” List and, in recent years as he has aged markedly, the avuncular referee of Puerto Rican decent has dropped into the second group.

I’d bet dollars to Dunkin’ donuts that Keith Kizer, the lawyer who runs the commission, will give the nod to either of his two top guys, reliable Kenny Bayless or the rising Tony Weeks.

Neither the Pacman camp nor Team Cotto can really have any legitimate grip about either one.

Besides the worries about the 60ish Cortez’s physical responses he has made some mental mistakes in bouts in recent years, errors he did not make when he was a spryer, younger man.

There is good reason that the British Boxing Board of Control "retires" its referees when they hit age 65.

These miscues have not gone unnoticed. And Bowtie Joe is age 64 so he's on that bubble. (In recent years, Cortez opened his own school for aspiring referres,

Nevada also knows that it would be injecting Cortez into a nearly impossible ethnic mix as he would get shredded for either favoring or not favoring the Boricua Banger over the Pinoy Idol..

Tabbing Cortez would cause a furor just as if Pinoy Carlos Padilla Jr.—he did the “Thrilla In Manila,” the third Ali-Frazier bout and was excellent then—was still on the Nevada referee roster and he was assigned to a Pacquiao bout.

Of course, "Sonny" Padilla is now age 74, his glory years as a Vegas-based referee just a fond memory.

(Among the renowned boxers he was able to officiate are Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, Alexis Arguello, Salvador Sanchez, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Larry Holmes, Michael Spinks, George Foreman, Ken Norton, Tommy Hearns, Wilfred Benitez, Julio Cesar Chavez, Hector Camacho, and other world champions.
Subsequently, he became a figure in the big fights in the United States. His last stint as a referee was when Manny Pacquiao stopped Nedal Hussein of Australia in the 10th round in Antipolo City in 2000.)

So relax or chillax, a word I just learned the other day (a combo of chill and relax), because Cortez is about as likely to be named referee for Cotto-Pacman as I am.

Actually, I have reffed some outlaw amateur bouts in a ghetto area basement back in the day but that is a tale for another day.

I should also add that Senor Cortez is no dummy. He knows that handling a Cotto bout would be a thankless task and, even if he was offered the bout, I think he would politely decline.

But that offer won’t be forthcoming.

Which reminds me, hey waiter, what is that fly doing in my strawberry soup here in Baguio?

Waiter: “I don’t know, sir, but it looks like the backstroke to me.”

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-5699-NY-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m10d13-Puerto-Rican-Cortez-about-as-likely-as-Pinoy-Padilla-for-CottoPacquiao

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