Named & Shamed: Judging the Judges (June 2015)

June 20th – Tony Weeks allowed Adrien Broner to get away with far too much holding and various other infractions against Shawn Porter, allowing the fight to descend into a bit of a mess. A point deduction finally came in round 11, but by then it was too late to salvage a real spectacle.

Adalaide Byrd’s 114-112 also failed to reflect what was a wide win for Porter.

 

Steve St-Germain called an obvious shove knockdown #2 in Luis Ortiz’s blowout of elephantine journeyman Byron Polley.

Incidentally, how can a man as out-of-shape as Polley be given a license to fight, much less against a rising talent like Ortiz? It’s decisions like this from boxing commissions that makes the sport a laughing stock sometimes.

 

June 26th – Jack Reiss incorrectly ruled a knockdown against Sam Soliman in round 4 of his contest with Dominic Wade.

It probably cost Soliman dearly in a disputed split decision loss.

 

June 27th – Ref Eddie Hernandez blew a a knockdown that should have been awarded to Jair Quintero in round 2 versus Leandro Chavez.

The two point margins on all 3 cards for Chavez indicate that the call may have cost Quintero the fight.

 

Ref Larry Doggett has received huge criticism online for his display during the Amnat Ruenroeng-Johnriel Casimero flyweight title fight in Thailand. (Full disclosure: I haven’t seen this fight…nor do I want to, given how unwatchable it is supposed to have been)

Home fighter Ruenroeng, who fights like a flyweight version of Bernard Hopkins, reportedly made Klitschko-Povetkin look like a clean fight, with a variety of egregious fouls throughout the contest & two blown knockdown calls to the detriment of Casimero. Ruenroeng emerged with the decision win, but somehow I don’t think HBO will be looking to put him on their airwaves against divisional champ Roman Gonzalez.

A more detailed report on the foul-fest (as well as the Pat Russell gaff which I will be covering momentarily) is available via David Greisman of Boxingscene: http://www.boxingscene.com/fighting-words-really-rough-night-refereeing–92911

 

With Tim Bradley reeling and possibly on the verge of being knocked out, aged ref Pat Russell called a halt to proceedings 10 seconds too early, when he mistook the 10-second clapper for the final bell.

Incredibly, Russell made the same mistake a whopping FOUR times when officiating Amnat Ruenroeng vs. McJoe Arroyo last year, once costing Arroyo an opportunity for a knockout. Somebody give this man a hearing aid.

David Greisman reports that Russell has retired following the Bradley-Vargas error & hopefully he stays that way. Old referees who no longer have the physical capabilities to carry out their job to a competent level should be put out to pasture more often.

 

Oh, Ian John-Lewis, it just wouldn’t be a month of boxing without you somehow contriving to make an absolute mess of things.

During the 2nd round of Rocky Fielding-Bryan Vera, Vera slipped to the canvas and Fielding hit him when he was down. Vera quickly rose with a wry smile, as Lewis indecisively came between the fighters and Fielding proceeded to clock an unprotected Vera with a left hook that dropped him. How can a referee rule a knockdown after a boxer has risen from a slip without a break in the action?!

Lewis inexplicably picked up his count regardless (the timekeeper starts his count from the initial slip & Lewis idiotically carries it on after the actual knockdown, meaning Vera boxes on 5 seconds after hitting the canvas) & the TKO followed shortly afterwards, with Lewis doing his usual shtick of stopping a fighter on his feet in the least decisive manner possible.

Credit to pundit Paul Smith for calling Lewis out on his “shocking refereeing”, but the faux disbelief of Johnny Nelson to Smith’s criticism of Lewis and ‘pretend it didn’t happen’ attitude of the other Sky Sports broadcasters was disappointing but not surprising. Can you imagine the stink they would have made had it been Fielding who had lost in that manner?

One only has to look back at Lewis screwing Brian Rose against Carson Jones (a fight which, incidentally, will now have a rematch) earlier this year to find the answer.

As his errors stack up month after month, it’s increasingly obvious that Lewis is a danger to any boxers he referees and should not be allowed anywhere near a boxing ring, and the same goes for his displays as a judge.

On that note, it was somewhat heartening to read the following tweet from journalist Ron Lewis: “Ian John-Lewis was up before the Board this month. Fined under regulation 25, which I believe is misconduct. Said he is being monitored.”

Hopefully, he will have to explain this latest disaster too.

 

30/6/2015 EDIT: Ian John-Lewis’ fine was supposedly for turning up late for a fight, rather than for any of his terrible recent officiating performances.

Any faith I had in the effectiveness of the British Boxing Board of Control as an arbiter for boxing fairness & doing what’s right for its licence-holders is gone.

3 thoughts on “Named & Shamed: Judging the Judges (June 2015)

  1. “Oh, Ian John-Lewis, it just wouldn’t be a month of boxing without you somehow contriving to make an absolute mess of things.”

    Pure class on this and in your June rant, Jeremy.

    I was appalled by John-Lewis allowing Vera to be knocked about in such shoddy manner. Yes, only the most bitter irony would see the ref fined for tardiness. Not impressed by Fielding or the Sky commentators, either.

    The longer one watches boxing, the more he concludes that the spectacle itself absorbs and even transmogrifies bullshit (into — what else? — instant replays). That is, televised boxing lives in fear of the dull fight. And rightly so. The mere act of broadcasting any matchup is asking for trouble, as few fights can live up to the lusts of the audience, let alone the special problems of the medium.

    So its wish is to find drama first and justice second. The camera, the commentators, the refs, the economic priority of the promoter and his fighter — they readily make for a miss en scene from hell. It’s a wonder it ever works out, but oh, when it does…

    • Thanks. I don’t wish to sound melodramatic but IJL in charge is a ring death waiting to happen.

      Your characterization of boxing as a “mise/miss en scene from hell” (I read the typo as a pun haha) is apt. The interests of the broadcasters and the lead promoter are usually intertwined, so it follows that we see the TV guys pushing the same agenda, regardless of the merit of it.

      This influences the casual fan, who in the UK must think Kell Brook is the only threat to Mayweather and that Anthony Joshua is Lennox Lewis reborn, but thankfully experienced observers like you and I can see through it. One of the things boxing lacks is enough broadcasters with critical thinking faculties, or at least the willingness to use them. I can only imagine what the obsequious PBC broadcasts on NBC and CBS are like…

  2. “Miss en scene”? Ack! That’s my spellchecker talking. But you know, it might just fit under the circumstances, haha.

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