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RIP Chuck Giampa
06-15-2018, 11:41 PM (This post was last modified: 06-16-2018 12:23 AM by Romulus9.)
Post: #1
RIP Chuck Giampa
I know Chuck had recently been in hospice but I was unclear of his ailment. A longtime, highly-respected boxing judge in Las Vegas, his name was associated with some of the biggest fights of the last 30 years.

Here's a look at a selection of his biggest fights and scorecards, both squared up and controversial, and some notes:
  • His first major world title fight was Tony Tucker's TKO 10 over Buster Douglas for the IBF Heavyweight championship in 1987. He had Tucker leading 86-85 at the time of the stoppage. (My card: 86-85 Douglas)
  • When Hector Camacho narrowly defeated a comebacking Ray Mancini by split decision for the WBO Super Lightweight championship in 1989, Giampa scored it 115-113 for Camacho. (My card: 115-113 Mancini)
  • One of the most legendary, and controversial, fights on Giampa's record was the first fight between Julio Cesar Chavez and Meldrick Taylor, featuring Chuck's longtime friend and insurance client Richard Steele as the third man in the ring. At the time of Richard's infamous stoppage with two seconds left in the fight, Giampa, the outlier, had Chavez leading 105-104 on his card. The other two judges, Dave Moretti and Jerry Roth, had Taylor leading 107-102 and 108-101 respectively. (My card: 108-101 Taylor)
  • Giampa was one of the three judges for one of the most underrated accomplishments in boxing in the 1990s, an aging Thomas Hearns moving up to light heavyweight to lift the WBA world title from a then-undefeated Virgil Hill. Giampa had the widest margin for Hearns by a round, 116-112. (My card: 116-112 Hearns)
  • The next year, in 1992, Giampa judged the Hearns-Iran Barkley rematch, won by Barkley in a razor-thin split decision. His final card was 115-113 Barkley. (My card: 114-113 Barkley)
  • In the second fight of the Holyfield-Bowe trilogy, the scorecards were far from the biggest story of the evening. No, that would be the a-hole with the fan on his back trying to land in the ring and risking killing people in the process. Sadly, that distracts from what was an all-out war and one of the best heavyweight championship fights of the last thirty years. Giampa scored it even, 114-114. The other two judges, Jerry Roth and Patricia Morse-Jarman, scored it 115-113 and 115-114 for Holyfield, giving Evander his revenge and two of the titles he lost to Bowe in 1992. Lewis already had the WBC title thanks to Riddick's garbage can incident followed by snore-fest over Tony Tucker. (My card: 115-113 Holyfield)
  • Giampa was at ringside for the first loss in the career of Julio Cesar Chavez; the only judge to offer a reasonable card. Chuck scored the fight 116-111 for Randall, while the other two judges, Abraham Chavarria and Angel Luis Guzman, submitted entirely insane cards of 114-113 Chavez and 114-113 Randall. The fight was not close, and Giampa was not swayed by the Chavez mystique... or whatever cash may have been offered under the table by God knows who. (My card: 116-109 Randall)
  • Michael Moorer fought twice in 1994, and Giampa was tasked with scoring both times. In the first fight, Moorer lifted the WBA and IBF titles from Evander Holyfield in the infamous heartattack fight, scoring the majority decision win for Moorer 116-112 in favor of the new champion. His card was the widest of the three official scores (115-114, 114-114). (My card: 115-114 Moorer)
  • The second fight of the year for Moorer is my favorite fight in the history of boxing. Twelve-year-old me was already a boxing diehard, and knew the sport backwards and forwards like no one would expect a sixth/seventh grader to know it. I told everyone who would listen that Moorer was a southpaw, he was vulnerable, and that he was about to get knocked out and lose his titles. I was politely told that I didn't know what I was talking about but it was cute that I liked boxing so much and believed in the impossible. Ten rounds later, at 2:03 of the round, Michael Moorer was laying on his back, looking up at the lights, and 45-year-old George Foreman was once again heavyweight champion, twenty years after he lost his titles in the heat of Zaire. I almost hit my head on the ceiling fan when Foreman dropped him with the consecutive one-twos. That moment will never leave me. I have the complete broadcast from that night, in perfect condition, in my collection, and watch it any time I need a lift. It happened, and I'll never forget it. Giampa, along with Jerry Roth, had Moorer ahead 88-83 after nine rounds. Duane Ford had it closer, 86-85 for Moorer. But it didn't matter, did it? (My card: 86-85 Moorer)
  • Foreman's first title defense is still shrouded in controversy, and Giampa was one of the three judges in question. George was awarded a close majority decision win over relatively unknown German heavyweight Axel Schulz and many in the boxing public were clamoring over the verdict from the second it was announced. Even George's home turf HBO judge Harold Lederman had Schulz winning the fight. Jerry Roth and Keith MacDonald scored the bout 115-113 Foreman, while Giampa ruled the fight a 114-114 draw. Only Larry Merchant voiced his disagreement, and I happen to agree with both Larry and the judges. Schulz would flash something here and there, stealing a memorable moment with a flurry before evading Foreman as quickly as possible a la Tommy Morrison and his 1993 track meet... but Foreman was winning large portions of rounds with his jab, his ring generalship, and the kind of defense that real judges, and serious boxing people, should always be able to see and understand. A partial hit is not the same, and is not scored the same, and a clean blow. There are four distinct scoring criteria, and the three that are not clean punching become infinitely more important in very close rounds. Kudos to those judges for getting it right. (My card: 115-113 Foreman)
  • The cards made no difference but Giampa had a front row seat the night Mike Tyson went berserk, bit Evander Holyfield twice, and decided that the only logical remaining step was to attempt to brawl with security and the police. Hey, judges get paid the same no matter how long the fights last. Believe me, I know.
  • Sometimes judges just have bad nights. In 2000, three judges had a bad night and Chuck was one of them. Paulie Ayala didn't beat Johnny Tapia in October 2000 any more than I did. Along with Jerry Roth, Giampa scored it 115-113 for Ayala, while Keith MacDonald actually had it a round wider at 116-112. Ridiculous. (My card: 117-111 Tapia)
  • His scorecard for Marco Antonio Barrera's drubbing of Naseem Hamed was right in line with the other judges' cards, 116-111 for Barrera, a round wider than the other two who had it 115-112. I just wanted to mention that fight because I detest Hamed to this day and that is one of the fights that I re-watch on a regular basis, especially the first round, just to watch Barrera completely embarrass him. Did I take money off of people on that one? I sure did. Easy pick, and those cards were way too close. (My card: 118-109 Barrera)
  • One of the last truly major high-profile fights of Giampa's career was the 2007 showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Oscar de la Hoya. This will go down in history as one of those fights with scorecards that vary by four and five rounds per scorer, and is one of the few times that you can truly understand the split decision. Giampa scored the fight 116-112 for Mayweather, wider than Roth and Tom Kaczmarek, who scored 115-113 de la Hoya and 115-113 Mayweather respectively. On a side note, thank God that Tom Kaczmarek isn't around to score boxing matches anymore. He is one of the worst big fight judges in history. He had the audacity to write an instructional book on how to score boxing matches on television. Tom, with all due respect, you couldn't score boxing matches from three feet away, you dumb son of a bitch. Don't tell anyone how to score. He is the lunatic that had Ray Leonard AHEAD of Thomas Hearns in their 1989 rematch. The other two scores were garbage, too, but to have Leonard ahead is purely insane. (My card: 114-114 Draw... and Hearns over Leonard 116-109)
  • The last fight of Giampa's career was a big one, the Joe Calzaghe split decision victory over Bernard Hopkins in 2008. Giampa and Ted Gimza scored the fight for Calzaghe (116-111 and 115-112) while Adalaide Byrd (yes... her) scored the fight 114-113 for Hopkins. I recall thinking the fight was likely a one-point swing either way as the cards were being announced but I don't have the fight in my scorecard archive.

Chuck had a long, successful career in the sport, mostly free of controversy. His work was competent and honorable, his reputation sterling, and his character unquestioned in three decades of scoring bouts. His work should be appreciated. Our sport could use more like him, especially in the current state of affairs.

RIP Chuck. God bless you. Keep scoring from the balcony.

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