By Dave Spencer / Fightnews Canada
Even during the raucous post-fight celebrations where joyous fans celebrated the coronation of Jean Pascal as the new king at 175 pounds, one voice could be heard over all others in the ring at the Bell Centre in Montreal last Saturday night. Gary Shaw. Chad Dawson’s American promoter had an axe to grind with all things Canadian as soon as fighter was stopped by an accidental headbutt and deemed that he could no longer go on. “Why do you think I didn’t want to be in Canada,” howled the promoter on what he was sure at the time was an intentional headbutt. Veteran judge Jack Woodburn who was the lone Canadian judging the fight also tasted the wrath of Shaw. “As long as I’m in boxing, Jack Woodburn will never judge a fight again,” barked an enraged Shaw to the Commissioner’s table once the scores were read.
While two judge’s had the fight 106-103, Woodburn did seem a bit out of whack with a 108-101 for the hometown fighter. When Fightnews examined the scorecards after the fight, something was obviously wrong. The Montreal judge had somehow given the 11th round to Pascal, a round that was Dawson’s best of the night where he had Pascal almost down thanks to hellacious uppercut. Round to Pascal? Impossible, right? Right!
Knowing something wasn’t right, Fightnews contacted the veteran judge for his side of the story.
“What had happened, was in the 11th round, the fight was stopped by a cut from a headbutt and I was thinking it was a TKO and put away the cards in pocket, the 11th and 12th rounds. Then in about three to five minutes later, with everybody in the ring and cameramen on the apron referee Michael Griffin came over and said, ‘Score the round.’ So I took the card out of my pocket and I reversed the numbers. It should have been 10-9 Dawson and put 10-9 Pascal.
“I did go over and tell the commission and they told me that with the two judges from outside, Ritter and Keane, that it didn’t change the fight so they didn’t change it. It didn’t change the fight because after the 9th round, Dawson would have needed a knockout at least have Pascal go down twice.
“But Gary Shaw, lack of respect. He was yelling that I’d never do fights for him as long as he’s a promoter. But at least I had the courage, because he went on and on and on, I said, ‘Gary, you’re going to listen to me, I want to talk to you.’ And he stopped, I told him the only mistake I made was I reversed the numbers on the 11th round, but the rest of the rounds were judged properly.
“I was blasted in front of the public which to me is a lack of respect. He could have pulled me aside. He could have said them to me alone and give his opinion. But at least I’m glad, I did talk to him, and he did listen to me. I went nose to nose with him, and told him what I had to say, and he listened.”
The mistake would bring Woodburn’s card to 107-102, just one round away from the other two judge’s and also what Gary Shaw himself had the fight scored at.