The officials agreed with Pazienza. Two judges, Stuart Winston and Gary Merritt, scored the fight 147-138, while judge Lynne Carter had it closer, but not by much, at 145-140.
"I think a big difference was that while Pazienza hadn't had a fight since last June, Greg was not afraid to take a tune-up fight to stay sharp," said Haugen's manager, Wes Wolfe. On Dec. 16 Haugen stopped Derrick McGuire, a 14-5 fighter, in the sixth round. For that he earned just $5,000.
"It certainly wasn't the money." said Wolfe, laughing. "Sure we knew that we were risking a $140,000 payday and another shot at the title. But as Greg said, 'If I can't beat this guy, I don't deserve a fight with Pazienza.' And it took him three rounds [against McGuire] to shake the rust out. Rust that you didn't see against Pazienza."
At 11 p.m. in Atlantic City, Haugen and his friends were dining at a restaurant called Orsatti's. The TV fight had finally hopscotched across the country, and Haugen was the IBF champion everywhere. In Las Vegas, tired but content, Jasmine and Cassie were going to bed.