Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (November 2017)

Nov. 2nd – Juan Carlos Abreu dominated a shot Jesus Soto Karass, stopping him in 8 rounds.

One judge crazily had Soto Karass ahead 67-66 at the time of the KO, but I am currently unable to locate his/her name.


Nov. 4th – In Monte Carlo, Agit Kabayel appeared to my eyes to comfortably win the European title against Dereck Chisora, however, I can see the perspective of those who scored it close.

But judge Ventsislav Nikolov’s 114-114 was too much to bear.


On the undercard, Harlem Eubank was very lucky to escape with a split decision against Aboubeker Bechelaghem.

Ref Jean Robert Laine missing a clear first round knockdown against Eubank was the difference.

Nov. 11th – Phil Edwards (111-117) gave Liam Williams little credit for his effort in a closely contested decision loss to Liam Smith in their rematch.


In Uniondale, NY, Glenn Dezurn wasn’t given a hope by judge Jim Pierce’s 73-79 card in his close loss to Jesse Angel Hernandez.



Nov. 18th – Steve Gray oversaw Jerwin Ancajas’ one-sided tko6 beatdown of Jamie Conlan in Belfast, perhaps prolonging Conlan’s agony by ruling a clean body shot knockdown as a low blow in the 5th round, deducting a point from the visitor.


In the night’s main event, Victor Loughlin called a slip against Carl Frampton a knockdown in the 7th round of his bout with Horacio Garcia.

Frampton needn’t have worried, however, as with the knockdown, Steve Gray (98-93) & Phil Edwards (97-93) gave Garcia just one and two rounds respectively.



This is just one man’s word on what happened, but, relating to their July bout, Jeff Horn’s detailing of Team Pacquiao’s manipulation of local commission officials in Brisbane (who, surprise surprise, didn’t seem to have a clear understanding of basic rules regarding handwraps and adrenaline) is interesting:–122427


Shocking stuff in Arkansas, as the local commission managed to allow a HIV positive boxer to fight, despite forewarning.

Thomas Hauser outlines the situtation in two articles for The Sweet Science site:

Arkansas are claiming medical records were falsified and pledge to routinely test for hepatitis and HIV going forward:–123181

Interestingly, the Association of Boxing Commissions says that “Arkansas is the last state to impose mandatory testing”.


Nov. 25th – Mike Ortega was very harsh on Felix Valera during his fight with Sullivan Barrera, docking him three points for low blows, when a single deduction seemed more appropriate.

Ortega seemed to buy it and overreact every time Barrera showed out dramatically from a low shot.



The hearing is, at long last, set to begin this coming Monday, with Tyson facing a possible four year ban.

Pound4poundireland Scorecards from November 2017

Agit Kabayel 117-111 Dereck Chisora, officially MD

Sergey Lipinets 119-109 Akihiro Kondo, officially UD

Shawn Porter 117-111 Adrian Granados, officially UD

Liam Williams 115-113 Liam Smith (rematch), officially Smith by MD

Carl Frampton 96-94 Horacio Garcia, officially UD

Josh Leather 113-112 Glenn Foot, officially UD

Daniel Jacobs 120-107 Luis Arias, officially UD

Manuel Charr 115-112 Alexander Ustinov, officially UD

Sullivan Barrera 97-89 Felix Valera, officially UD

Yuriorkis Gamboa 94-94 Jason Sosa, officially Gamboa by MD

Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (October 2017)

Oct. 7th –  Omar Mintun Jr.’s 119-109 was an insult to Maximino Flores’ strong challenge of hyped prospect Andrew Selby.


Elsewhere in England, Sam Eggington lost his European title after being outboxed by the visiting Mohamed Mimoune, although Arnold Golger (116-112 Eggington) failed to see it that way.


Oct. 13th – Extremely dangerous incompetence from Chas Coakley in the Eric Israel-William Webber bout at the York Hall.

Coakley didn’t call the knockdown in the third round, Webber instantly rose to his feet and was met by a huge shot that knocked him out brutally.

Coakley is slow, old, indecisive and should never be allowed to ref again.


Oct. 14th – Similar incompetence from Bob Williams during the John Ryder-Patrick Nielsen finish.

Nielsen was completely out on his feet and Williams was hesistant to jump in, allowing Ryder to land two big flush punches for an unnecessarily brutal knockout.



Oct. 21st – In Belfast, Paul Hyland Jr. was lucky to escape with the decision against Stephen Ormond, aided in part by the horrible judging of Valerie Dorsett (117-110).


In the main event, Ryan Burnett beat Zhanat Zhakiyanov to unify 118lb. belts, but the 119-109 of Carlos Sucre and the 118-110 of, once again, Dorsett, did the visitor little justice.


Surely Adalaide Byrd, who provided the worst major scorecard seen since the career-ending effort of C.J. Ross just last month, would be banished from judging forever, or at least for the forseeable future.

But not in the wild west, no consequences world of boxing. She is now back to affecting the careers and future earning potential of boxers everywhere.

She returned to judge an undercard fight on October 21st, and judged three futher fights on a card in mid November.

Nepotism (she is the wife of fellow tenured official Robert Byrd) has to be a factor. Are our collective memories supposed to be that short?

It’s laughable & everyone at the top of the Nevada commission, none more so than Bob Bennett, should be ashamed.


Finally, there is further news on the endless Fury/UKAD situation:

The BBC are reporting that “UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) fears it could be made insolvent or require a government bailout over a dispute with Tyson Fury”.

Whoever is currently most at fault for the endless delays, Team Fury, UKAD or this National Anti-Doping Panel independent adjudication body, it appears to me that the integrity of the process has been compromised.

Since Hughie Fury, who is alleged to have failed a test for nandalone at the same time as his cousin, boxed in September for a world title, then are we to assume that he is now in the clear?

If Tyson Fury is found innocent, then surely UKAD open themselves up to the possibility of financial ruin via lawsuit.

December is mentioned by the BBC as the target for the rescheduled hearing, so let’s hope we get some answers at last then.

Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (September 2017)

Sept. 1st – Ref Kieran McCann should have saved brave journeyman Baptiste Castegnaro from a fourth round battering at the hands of Joshua Buatsi.

It ended mercifully in the 5th.


Sept. 8th – Richard Ocasio (79-73) messed up by scoring J’Leon Love a wide winner over Abraham Han in a bout that ended in a technical majority draw.


Sept. 16th – Callum Smith was pushed hard by Erik Skoglund in their WBSS QF, a fact not reflected by the cards of Michael Tate (117-110) & Ernesto Saldivar (117-111).


Elsewhere in England on the same night, Billy Joe Saunders easily beat Willie Monroe Jr.

Julio Cesar Alvarado’s 115-114 card was very poor.


Before we get to the real Vegas controversy, Francisco Rojo received a gift from Richard Ocasio (98-91) in his split decision loss to Ryan Martin on the undercard.

A bad couple of weeks for Osasio.


But nowhere near as bad as the display in the year’s biggest fight from Adalaide Byrd.

A tremendous battle between Golovkin and Canelo was spoiled by the scoring, particularly the 118-110 Canelo card handed in by Byrd.

While there was a wide variance in scoring of this fight worldwide (anything from a narrow Canelo win to a wide Golovkin win), the consensus was that Golovkin had done enough.

Was a draw a criminal offence? No, but the manner of the scoring, and not just the 118-110, was.

In fact, Don Trella is almost as culpable as Byrd. His 114-114 card contains a round 7 scored for Canelo, when it was one of Golovkin’s strongest sessions. This alone made the difference between a Golovkin split decision win and a draw.

Some other scattered takeaways:

  • Canelo gets gift scorecards in each and every fight. He’s truly Vegas’ new favourite son and his economic importance can’t be overstated.
  • In one of the most significant fights of the past decade, we got a good boxing match but an unfair result (as I’d feared in my pre-fight comments on this site). This is bad for boxing but life goes on.
  • Who wins out of this? HBO, Nevada, Golden Boy, even K2/GGG all come out ahead in an even bigger money rematch. The fans are the losers, forced to shell out for $90 PPV again. Thankfully, I streamed this one over here and I’ll do the same next time.
  • Canelo may be too important to not get the decision in any sort of reasonably competitive fight, but I can’t say if corruption is outright involved. Given what we know about amateur boxing and the sport’s lower levels, as well as historical precedent, it would be naive to think corruption doesn’t go on at the elite level of the sport though.

Bob Bennett did anything but cover himself in glory in his post-fight reaction, staunchly defending Byrd, who has been criticized for years by observers of both boxing and MMA, as an elite judge who just had a bad night.

Byrd’s judging future will be discussed further in the October edition of Judging the Judges.


Speaking of farces, boxing’s most long-running circus in recent years has been the Fury/UKAD situation.

It remains a mystery why test results from early 2015 have yet to be cleared up but UKAD are now claiming that setting a date for a decisive tribunal is being held up by Team Fury’s attempts to have certain evidence legally excluded from proceedings.

Futher updates on this case will be discussed in the October edition of Judging the Judges, which will be posted soon.


September 30th – Steve Gray should certainly have saved Tom Farrell from Ohara Davies before the final, withering knockdown of their one-sided bout.


In Latvia, ref Massimo Barrovecchio allowed far too much holding from titlist Mairis Breidis, as he alternately fouled and boxed his way to an easy win over Mike Perez in their WBSS match-up.