The CyberBoxingZone News

Bruno on Boxing

Joe Bruno
August 12, 2000

By Joe Bruno---Former Vice President of the New York Boxing Writers
Association and the International Boxing Writers Association

News Item: Shamtime’s announcers assault the senses.

    This lead for this column should be, “It was a bout between a fighter who can’t fight any longer and a fighter who never could fight.” But after hearing the embarrassing and downright disgraceful commentary by Showtime’s Bobby Czyz and Steve Albert of the Evander Holyfield-John Ruiz heavyweight title fight Saturday night, the lead must be “Shamtime’s broadcast gives black-eye and burning-ear to boxing journalism. Again.”

    This was a fight where, reminiscent of fight calls by Howard Cosell,  when this reporter saw something happen in the ring, Albert and Czyz were saying exactly the opposite thing was occurring.

    Ruiz started fast, winning the first two rounds. Holyfield won the third round big, nailing Ruiz with a left hook, that had Ruiz staggering around the ring like a drunken sailor on liberty in Pago Pago. It was a two-point round for Holyfield and should’ve evened up scorecards judged on the ten-point must system.

    In the fourth and fifth round, for some inexplicable reason, Holyfield just plain stopped punching. A younger Holyfield would’ve ended the fight right right there, but his reflexes are gone and he just wasn’t capable of pulling the trigger.

    But on this reporter’s scorecard, Holyfield won six of the final seven rounds, hurting Ruiz in the sixth, seventh, tenth and again in the 12th and final round. In the tenth round, Holyfield dropped Ruiz to one knee with a left hook to the chops, but the referee Richard Steele, who obviously has seen two many punches in the ring, stopped the action, waved off the knockdown, and instead warned Holyfield for a borderline low blow.

    All through the final six rounds, Czyz and Albert were concentrating on telling viewers what a great number Ruiz was playing on Holyfield face; a scenario decidedly not based on fact. Ruiz would bull-rush Holyfield behind a pawing left jab, throw roundhouse rights that rarely landed, then hold on for dear life. Again, Holyfield is a shot fighter and he never took full advantage of Ruiz’ ineptitude. But Czyz and Albert were seeing and reporting a fight that just wasn’t reality.

    This reporter’s scorecard had it 7-5 in rounds for Holyfield, 115-112 in points, after giving Holyfield a 10-8 round in the third. Czyz and Albert had it 8-4 for Ruiz and Czyz said afterwards, “It could even be 9-3 for Ruiz.” The only scores that mattered had it 116-112, 114-113 and 114-113, all for Holyfield.

    When the decision was announced by Jimmy Lennon Jr., both Albert and Czyz went berserk. Albert screamed, “Incredulous, absurd and ridiculous! The decision was a farce.” Czyz piped in with, “That was a stinker decision. It’s another black eye for boxing.”   

    After canvassing 10 reports on the fight from 10 seasoned boxing writers around the country, 7 had Holyfield winning, 2 had Ruiz winning and 1, had it a draw. Either way, it was a fairly close fight, certainly not “incredulous, absurd and ridiculous” like Showtime's’ announcers would like us to think.     I applauded when Showtime fired Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, in a back alley no less, from it’s live boxing telecasts. Pacheco was a shill for Don King, and an embarrassment to sports journalism, and was rightfully given the gate.  Czyz and Albert’s integrity has never been questioned, and won’t be questioned now. But both should watch and listen to old boxing telecasts done by the great Don Dunphy, which Dunphy always did solo. Dunphy spoke only when necessary, giving his viewers full credit for having eyes and minds of their own.

    It was in vogue, during Howard Cosell’s days of know-nothing boxing broadcasts, for viewers to watch the fight with the sound turned off. Czyz and Albert are doing a damn good job of bringing an old fad back.

    A word to both Czyz and Albert. Watch the fight, shut up and talk only when you must, like between rounds, or after the fight.  Or join Pacheco and the late Howard Cosell with the rats in the back alley of boxing journalism.

    What a bad deal for the rats.


Upcoming Fights

Current Champions

Boxing Journal

On-line Encyclopedia


Main Page

[Return to Top]