Radivoje Kalajdzic deserved to leave the ring Saturday after getting his hand held up by the referee. Instead, the institution-backed guy — U.S. Olympian light heavyweight Marcus Browne — walked away the victor in their NBC-televised bout.
First, it took a bunk 1st round knockdown for Browne to even get the win, because otherwise he would’ve gotten a draw on the scorecard that had him up 76-75. The other two scorecards were split, 76-74, either way.
The problem is, there’s nobody else who thought Browne won. He was hurt by a right in the 4th, then suffered a 6th round knockdown by same. He spent the rest of the fight playing keep-away.
I’d told the “Premier Boxing Champions” organization beforehand, when asked for a prediction, that I wasn’t sold on Browne, but Kalajdzic didn’t look very accurate, and so picked Browne to win. There’s even less to like now with Browne turning in what can only be characterized an annoying performance. He held throughout, and only got warned about it late. He did have some flashes of power and speed, but often lunged amateurishly.
Kalajdzic wasn’t terribly impressive, but he was rangy and herky jerky and persistent, and hit hard enough to hurt Browne, obviously. It should’ve been good enough to win. If there’s any justice the once-unknown, now victimized Kalajdzic will get a second chance on the big stage.
(Marcus Browne prepares for his Cruiserweight bout against Francisco Sierra of Mexico on December 5, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City; Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)