May 2nd – May was a bad month for boxing officials, but let’s begin with some positivity.
The scrutiny on the officials was at an all-time high for Mayweather-Pacquiao, and while referee Kenny Bayless let Mayweather get away with too much holding in the early rounds (it has to be said that he’s probably no longer boxing’s top referee at this point), the three judges got the scoring spot on.
Hats off to Burt Clemens, Dave Moretti and Glenn Feldman for doing their jobs well when the pressure was on.
May 9th – Texas is a tough place to get a fair shake if you’re the away fighter and this card in Hidalgo was a prime example.
Possibly boxing’s worst big fight ref, Laurence Cole (who gets these assignments solely because his father is the head of the state’s athletic commission), botched the Omar Figueroa-Ricky Burns main event, unjustly docking two points from Burns for holding and ludicrously grabbing his arm continuously to move it out of the way mid-clinch, thereby allowing Figueroa a free shot.
Despite the actions of this idiot referee, Burns still fought well enough to win on my card, only to be robbed by the 116-110 cards of Don Griffin and Cathy Leonard, and the laughably biased 117-109 from Nelson Vazquez.
Earlier that night in London, underdog Lee Markham, in my view, did more than enough to upset fan favourite Frank Buglioni.
The generous 96-94 of Dave Parris and 95-95 of Jose Ignacio Martinez meant that he had to settle for a draw.
On the undercard, Mitchell Smith hit Cristian Palma when he was down, knocking him out.
This happened in full view of the confused ref, Terry O’Connor, who simply ignored it and began his ten count.
At what point does something like this become a disqualifiable offence? It happens in too many fights and, as with many of the more rare occurences in boxing, there doesn’t seem to be any firm rule on how an official should act.
It shouldn’t be too much to ask for a little damn consistency. This same problem will crop up again on the 30th.
In Germany, Fedor Chudinov dominated a shot Felix Sturm, but one judge didn’t see it that way.
Juan Manuel Garcia Reyes can fuck off and never judge again, and take his 116-112 score for Sturm with him.
May 16th – In a 6 rounder on Golovkin’s undercard, Daniel Perales was inexplicably waved off when in no apparent distress with 10 seconds left in the fight against prospect Pedro Duran.
Referee Wayne Hedgepeth was the offending party.
May 22nd – Massimo Barrovecchio somehow let Mike Perez continue after rising on very wobbly legs from the first knockdown against Alexander Povetkin.
Barrovecchio is lucky that he didn’t get Perez seriously hurt.
May 23rd – How did Alan Davis see the close James DeGale-Andre Dirrell fight 117-109 in DeGale’s favour?
On the undercard, Edwin Rodriguez got a premature stoppage victory over Craig Baker in the 3rd round.
Grey-haired ref Robert Benoit looked positively geriatric in his movements and erroneous decision-making in both this bout and in another undercard fight, one which he thankfully didn’t affect the result of.
May 30th – After Laurence Cole’s display earlier in the month, Ian-John Lewis (you know him, he’s the lad who annoyingly squeaks “I am the weferee” through his nose before every fight he refs) evidently felt compelled to re-assert his claim as boxing’s worst official.
First, he had Kevin Mitchell leading Jorge Linares by 6 points at the time of his 10th round stoppage loss, which was way out of line with anybody else’s perception of a closely-contested fight.
Then he reffed the Anthony Joshua-Kevin Johnson mismatch. Joshua heavily dropped Johnson in the final seconds of the round and then viciously hit him when he was down. Lewis had two options: to count the knockdown regardless of the punches on a downed opponent (which would have been wrong, in my opinion), or to deduct points from Joshua while allowing Johnson the time to recover from the foul.
He did neither. Firstly, he waved his arms as if to signal an end to the fight, before evidently changing his mind in the ensuing seconds and just ushering Johnson to the corner, choosing to ignore that anything had ever happened.
What a goddamn joke & one made possible by boxing’s over-reliance on a referee’s capricious interpretation in the cases of punches landing when a fighter is down, which all-too-often takes the form of ignoring the foul as long as it benefits the home fighter.
Can anybody point me to a rule that can clear this problem up? And, if there isn’t one, can’t one be put in place by the authorities who are supposed to be policing this sport?