Sunday, February 7, 2010

Old King Cole may not shove son in as Pacquiao-Clottey referee

It's never too early to agitate for some sort of official selection controversy, be it real or imagined, I always say.

But five weeks out from the March 13 Joshua Clottey-Manny Pacquiao bout at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, I might as well bring up the Laurence Cole situation.

There's a good, some might say excellent chance that Cole might get the nod as the referee in this bout between the Pinoy Idol and the Ghanaian now living in The Bronx.
His father, Dickie Cole, runs the Texas boxing commission.
It's a reminder of when someone asked Muhammad Ali, strident advocate and member of the Nation Of Islam (commonly referred to as the Black Muslims) why he had white man Angelo Dundee as his trainer.
"Because, with Angelo, he gets me the proper affection and connection," Ali replied.
Something along those lines.
Then Ali had a second thought.
"Besides," he said, "Angelo ain't white, he's Italian."
Referee Laurence ColeIf you're scoring--or just boring--at home, you may want to be reminded that in 2007 when Manny beat up on Jorge Solis in San Antone, Nevada's Vic Drakulich was the referee. Cole The Younger was the ref for Pacman-Barrera back in 2003 in San Antonio, an 11 round stoppage victory for Manny.
Surely, Pere Cole wants his son to be the third man in the Clottey-Pacman bout, the highest profile fight in Texas since 60,000 turned out in San Antonio to watch Julio Cesar Chavez and Pernell Whitaker.
And I will tell you that Cole, while not the greatest referee extant, is more than competent. He can be a bit erratic but can't we all from time to time?
Laurence handled Saturday night's Edwin Valero TKO 9 WBC lightweight title victory over Mexican Antonio DeMarco in Monterey. With the Venezuelan fighting the Mexican, Cole came in as the neutral arbiter and by all accounts did a decent job.

(There was some nice symmetry from judges Marty Denkin, Steve Morrow and Oren Shellenburger, Americans all, who turned in identical 89-81 Valero votes.)
I can only think of two possible twists to Cole The Younger being assigned to ref Joshua against Megamanny.Packy is defending the WBO welterweight title and ref Cole has been closely aligned for many years with the Sulaimans and the WBC.
WBO bossman Paco Valcarcel may want to assign Puerto Rican Luis Pabon or one of his other regular guys to the big bout and Poppa Cole may not want to be seen as pushing his kid into an assignment where they both might get criticized simply for making it a family affair.
Figure on Valacarcel and Dickie Cole working it out amicably or not.
As far as the judges, there should be no problem since neither side expects a Pinoy judge or any from Ghana.
Will the son also rise, as he usually does as the ref in most key Texas main events?
Stay tuned although I can't see it becoming a pressing issue on any side.


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