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.

November 19th’s Random Boxing Rants

Generally speaking, I have a higher opinion of promoter Eddie Hearn than most boxing observers on this side of the Atlantic do.

However, his decision to refuse refunds to those who wanted them once Pulev got injured and Takam was drafted in as a late notice replacement for Joshua is completely unjustifiable.

Sure, the vast majority don’t know or care about which opponent AJ would presumably be squashing & there were unlikely to be many refund requests, but it’s still unfair, as was Hearn’s specious reasoning that anyone who wanted a refund was probably a tout who only wanted to make a profit on his ticket in the first place.


Someone in power needs to ask the despicable WBC what the point of their VADA drug testing policy is if they’re going to allow Luis Ortiz and Luis Nery to box on with no consequences after their failed tests.


A genuine changing of the guard at the MTK Global (formerly MGM) promotional and management outfit, or simply the Kinahan crime gang putting themselves at a further step away from the public face of what still could be their company?

Am I being too cynical by feeling it could be the latter?

Pound4poundireland Scorecards from October 2017

Sam Sexton 115-113 Gary Cornish, officially UD

Andrew Selby 115-113 Maximino Flores, offically UD

Mohamed Mimoune 115-113 Sam Eggington, officially SD

Anthony Crolla 116-112 Ricky Burns, officially UD

Erislandy Lara 118-109 Terrell Gausha, officially UD

Leon Woodstock 98-92 Craig Poxton, officially UD

Jack Catterall 116-112 Tyrone Nurse, officially UD

Stephen Ormond 114-113 Paul Hyland Jr., officially Hyland Jr. by SD

Ryan Burnett 117-111 Zhanat Zhakiyanov, officially UD

Juergen Braehmer 119-109 Rob Brant, officially UD

Frank Buglioni 118-110 Craig Richards, officially UD

Kal Yafai 118-110 Sho Ishida, officially UD

Katie Taylor 100-89 Anahi Sanchez, officially UD

Dillian Whyte 118-110 Robert Helenius, officially UD