Boxing
 
          === Fitz Hitz: Celebrating the small scorecard victories ===
 
 By Lyle Fitzsimmons, Boxing Editor
 
 Cape Coral, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Yes, I do loves me some cookies.
 
 Still,  when  asked on  Saturday night  if I  thought the  judges for the Kell
 Brook-Shawn Porter welterweight title fight deserved one, I had to concede no.
 
 Maybe  Adelaide Byrd  and Max DeLuca shouldn't be plied with sweets simply for
 doing their jobs and getting the verdict right in a close fight.
 
 But it doesn't mean we shouldn't at least take notice.
 
 Lest  anyone  forget, the  boxing  record  book  has  been crammed  with  iffy
 decisions  and flat-out  crimes in the last  few years, to the point where you
 can't  log  on to Twitter's  #boxing feed and  go five minutes without someone
 railing about a bad decision in some corner of the world.
 
 Whether  it's  been a hometown nod,  a swerve in  favor of a house prospect or
 simply  a  case of three blind  mice masquerading as three licensed officials,
 there's  been more  than enough fodder to make "robbery" a go-to in modern-day
 boxing lingo.
 
 Some have opined, in fact, that questionable scoring practices will ultimately
 prompt  a 10-count  over a sport that's taken hard shots from organized crime,
 in-ring fatalities and PEDs.
 
 Maybe  they're  right. Maybe the  21st century will do  what the 19th and 20th
 couldn't do, and by the time our kids are old enough to commandeer TV remotes,
 boxing won't be an option.
 
 But it won't be because of what happened last weekend.
 
 Instead,  when several  of the cards were  stacked in Porter's favor -- he was
 Golden  Boy's unbeaten headliner, he was being suggested as a Floyd Mayweather
 Jr.  foil and he was an American champion fighting a foreign challenger, after
 all -- hardly a post-fight player claimed there'd been a bad deal.
 
 Of  61  media scores tallied  by BoxingNewsOnline.net, no  fewer than 49 -- or
 80.3 percent -- agreed with Byrd and DeLuca's call for Brook, while three more
 suggested  Porter deserved no  better than a draw. On the flip side, just nine
 of the 61 (14.7 percent) gave the defending champion the nod, and only four of
 those nine (6.5 percent overall) claimed it was by more than a threadbare two-
 point margin.
 
 Byrd  and DeLuca's prudence is even more noteworthy given Porter's aggressive,
 volume-punching  style, which is the type of mild effectiveness that too often
 dooms those with less flashy, more precise acumen when it comes time for Jimmy
 Lennon Jr. or Michael Buffer to take the mic.
 
 While  Porter evoked  Mike  Tyson  references from  the  Showtime crew  during
 Saturday's early going, it became clear shortly past the midway point that the
 sawed-off  147-pounder had no consistent answer for the solid jabs and jarring
 crosses he was absorbing on his flailing charges.
 
 The  jagged gash over his right eye was caused by a head butt, but the redness
 alongside  and  underneath  was  more  so brought  on  by  Brook's  persistent
 precision,  and by  the time the fight  reached its late stages he was neither
 energetic nor powerful enough to reverse the course his foe had plotted.
 
 My  card had  Brook by a firm 115-113  margin, and if I'd veered from there it
 would have been to make it 116-112 instead. Nevertheless, when Lennon read off
 Dave  Parris'  114-114  count  first,  my  instant  assumption  was  that  any
 lingering faith in boxing's good intentions was about to be tested once again.
 
 Had  he indeed gone ahead in that direction, it would hardly have been a crime
 on  the Pacquiao-Marquez  III or Rios-Abril level, and it likely wouldn't have
 scared  away the hardcore set whose weekly routines include terms like ShoBox,
 UniMas and Friday Night Fights.
 
 What  it might have  been, though, was one final straw on the back of one more
 middling  fan  who -- rather than  spending three more hours watching an event
 whose  ultimate  rightful result can't be  taken for granted -- will decide to
 take his time, attention and pay-per-view finances elsewhere next time.
 
 Sure  enough,  getting it right  here doesn't  ensure future results, and it'd
 hardly  be a  surprise if the discussion makes another 180-degree turn by this
 time  next month. But  after a stretch in which too many would-be routs turned
 into nail-biters or dead heats, any reason to celebrate is a good one.
 
 Good enough, in fact, that I think I'll have that cookie after all.
 
 THIS WEEK'S TITLE-FIGHT SCHEDULE
 
 SATURDAY
 
 Vacant IBF junior flyweight title - Tecate, Mexico
 
 Javier  Mendoza (No.  3  contender/unranked  IWBR) vs.  Ramon  Hirales (No.  4
 contender/No. 15 IWBR)
 
 Mendoza (21-2-1, 18 KO): First title fight, 12 consecutive wins by stoppage
 
 Hirales (20-4-1, 12 KO): Fourth title fight (1-2, 1 KO), held WBO title at 108
 (2011, zero defenses)
 
 Fitzbitz  says: When  a good  young man  meets an  experienced older  man, bad
 things  can happen to  him. Especially if that older man is still on his game.
 Could be the case here. Hirales by decision
 
 Vacant IBO super middleweight title - Chicago, Illinois
 
 Dyah Davis (No. 31 contender/No. 28 IWBR) vs. Don George (No. 38 contender/No.
 21 IWBR)
 
 Davis  (22-4-1, 10  KO):  First title  fight, 14th  fight  outside of  Florida
 (8-4-1, 3 KO)
 
 George  (25-4-2, 22 KO): First title fight, 18th fight in Illinois (15-0-2, 13
 KO)
 
 Fitzbitz  says: Neither has put it together on the highest stages, but they're
 pretty  evenly  matched  for  the  level that  they're  on.  George  has  been
 unbeatable at home, which breaks a tie. George in 8
 
 Vacant IBO welterweight title - Eberswalde, Germany
 
 Rico  Mueller (unranked/No.  76 IWBR)  vs. Franklin  Mamani (unranked/unranked
 IWBR)
 
 Mueller  (16-1-1, 11 KO): First title fight, undefeated in Germany (15-0-1, 10
 KO)
 
 Mamani (18-2-1, 9 KO): First title fight, never won a fight outside of Bolivia
 (0-2, 0 KO)
 
 Fitzbitz  says:  Don't  expect  him  to be  challenging  the  Mayweathers  and
 Pacquiaos  of the world  anytime soon, but Mueller should at least earn a belt
 with a suspect road foe. Mueller by decision
 
 Last week's picks: 3-1 (WIN: Hernandez, Dirrell, Figueroa; LOSE: Porter)
 
 2014 picks record:  58-16 (78.3 percent); Overall picks record:  605-210 (74.2
 percent)
 
 NOTE:  Fights  previewed are  only those involving  a sanctioning body's full-
 fledged  title-holder. Fights  for WBA "world" championships are only included
 if no "super" champion exists in the weight class.
 
 Lyle  Fitzsimmons is a veteran sports columnist who has written professionally
 since  1988 and covered  boxing since 1995. His work is published in print and
 posted  online  for  clients  in  North  America  and  Europe.  Reach  him  at
 fitzbitz@msn.com or follow him on Twitter: @fitzbitz.
 
 08/20 12:57:27 ET

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