Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (June 2018)

May 24th – Some belated bad news from Australia, as poor judging marred a night of boxing in Sydney.

Charlie Lucas (37-39) somehow scored just one 10-9 round against Ray Ingram, despite the fact that he suffered a heavy final round knockdown against Ty Telford.

Thankfully, the other two judges scored more sensibly.

In the main event, visiting Tyrone Nurse was robbed in a fight he clearly won against Jack Brubaker.

Mick Heafey (115-113), Charlie Lucas (116-112) and Richard Israel (116-112) screwed him.


June 2nd – Emre Cukur received a gift decision over Roman Shkarupa.

Ernst Salzgeber (114-113) & Luigi Muratore (114-113) were the culprits.


June 9th – Terry Flanagan went unpunished by Terry O’Connor for regular head work and lacing as he tried in vain to neutralize the superior boxing of Maurice Hooker.

Jerry Jakubco’s ludicrous tally of 117-111 for Flanagan will go down as one of the year’s worst single cards.


In LA, Fernando Villarreal’s 113-113 didn’t reflect Jermell Charlo’s relatively dominant win over a faded Austin Trout.


June 23rd – Speaking of the year’s worst cards, few will be as bad as how the judges assessed the brilliant and closely contesed Josh Taylor-Viktor Postol fight, which could have been scored either way.

Officially, the judging made it look like Taylor had won at a canter: Fernando Barbosa scored 117-110, Victor Loughlin 118-110 & Eddie Pappoe 119-108.

This does little for the UK’s growing reputation as one of the toughest places for an away boxer to get a fair shake.


That same night in London, the hastily arranged Martin Murray-Roberto Garcia fight threatened to degenerate into farce.

Ref Hector Afu had little control over proceedings: despite two points being taken off Garcia, he allowed continual rabbit punching and hitting on the break.

At one point, Afu called break and even stuck his arm out to separate the fighters. Murray acknowledged this but Garcia kept hitting him. Murray looked at Afu but the ref then acted as if he hadn’t said break and allowed the action to continue. Afu had lost control of the bout.

Murray himself ultimately deserved a point deduction for his retaliatory fouls, but didn’t receive one.

In terms of judging, Predrag Aleksic (118-109) and John Keane (118-108) were too wide in favour of Murray.


June 30th – Jack Catterall flattered to deceive against Tyrone McKenna after an explosive start.

That said, he still won by a comfortable margin, not reflected by the generous 94-93 cards of Phil Edwards and Marcus McDonnell, which almost gave the home boxer from Belfast an undeserved draw.


Gabriel Montoya with an accurate take on the Trey Morrison-Byron Polley mismatch at heavyweight under the auspices of the Oklahoma commission:

Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (May 2018)

May 5th – Disastrous reffing from Jerry Cantu in round four of Ryan Martin-Breidis Prescitt, ruling what would have been a body shot knockout for Martin a low blow.



Paul Butler suffered a Wright-Trinidad (or Tete-Butler!) esque schooling from Emmanuel Rodriguez.

The two rounds scored to him from Carlos Colon were pure charity.


May 11th – Tony Harrison comfortably beat Ishe Smith in a crossroads fight, only to almost be cost his win by the 95-94 card of Dave Moretti in favour of the veteran Smith.


May 12th – Rey Vargas was helped to victory in his hard-fought title defence against Azat Hovhannisyan by the unrealistically wide cards of Don Trella (117-111) & Kevin Morgan (118-110).


May 19th – At the big show in Elland Road soccer stadium, the timekeeper fucked up big time.

Nicola Adams-Soledad del Valle Frias was set for ten two-minute rounds, but the end came with 2:59 on the clock in round one (Adams the ko winner) due to the timekeeper failing to ring the bell.

This is as grossly unprofessional as it gets.

Surely this must go down as a no contest, but there’s no indication so far that this will be the case.


The main event was a shock as Josh Warrington appeared to dominate Lee Selby for a fairytale win.

Alan Davis’ ridiculous 115-113 for Selby threatened to spoil the celebrations. A truly horrible card.


May 26th – Raul Caiz Sr. committed the error of incorrectly ruling a body shot knockdown as a low blow in round 4 of Kal Yafai’s win over David Carmona.

The multi-knockdown brawl finally ended with a corner retirement after seven rounds.

Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (April 2018)

April 6th – I must begin by making mention of perhaps the most astonishingly bad decision from a commission we are likely to see all year.

The Texas commission saw fit to license Jack Lucious, a 62 or 64 year old (depending on where you look) taking part in his first fight in almost 32 years, to become the oldest professional boxer in history. He took on a 38 year old.

Was this a publicity stunt? It’s sick.

Of course, he was knocked out in one round.

How incredibly dangerous and negligent.



April 7th – Crap judging from Patricia Morse Jarman, who scored Julian Williams’ clear win over Nathaniel Gallimore even.


In Australia, adopted home favourite Dennis Hogan outpointed Jimmy Kilrain Kelly in a competitive bout.

Adam Height’s 119-109 card was a joke, however.


Adalaide Byrd is at it again, scoring Alfredo Angulo a 77-75 winner over Sergio Mora in a fight he decisively lost.

How much more does she have to shit the bed to be banned from judging permanently?


The James DeGale-Caleb Truax rematch could have been scored either way.

John McKaie’s 117-110 for DeGale was all wrong.


April 21st – Michael Alexander prematurely stopped Taoussy L’Hadji after one knockdown in the 7th round of her competitive fight with Natasha Jonas.

Something tells me he wouldn’t have done the same if it had been Jonas who hit the canvas.

Marcus McDonnell’s 98-92 was a hometown card for Tyrone McKenna vs. Anthony Upton in Belfast.
Unfortunately, he was the sole arbiter of the bout.
April 27th – Kermit Bayless’ 99-91 for Fredrick Lawson vs. Baishanbo Nasiyiwula was a ridiculously wide score.
April 28th – In Spain, Jon Miguez was the beneficiary of a 59-55 score in his disputed win over the visiting Ilya Usachev.
Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to get the name of the judge in question.
Further suspicious decision-making can be found in the Andoni Gago-Geoffrey Dos Santos bout later on the same card.
Ref Philippe Wouters crucially deducted Dos Santos points in each of the final two rounds, which was key to deciding the result.
In Philadelphia, ref Shawn Clark incorrectly ruled two knockdowns against Desmond Nicholson in round 3 of his fight with Jesse Hart.
Both were pushes, the first one particularly clear.
Later, in the 7th round, preceding the finishing sequence, Hart landed and Nicholson bent to his knees, shortly afterwards touching his gloves to canvas. Bizarrely, no knockdown was called.
The finishing sequence was also strange. Nicholson went down complaining of a foul and, still down, he complains to Clark as his count reaches eight.
Instead of counting him out, Clark stops at that point. Eventually, well after what would have been a ten count, Nicholson rises, shows little interest in continuing and the fight is waved off. It’s at this point that Nicholson again resumes his remonstrations.
Overall, it was a complete and utter mess overseen by Shawn Clark.


In New York, Daniel Jacobs was given a surprisingly competitive test by Maciej Sulecki.
John McKaie (116-111) & Carlos Ortiz Jr. (117-110) didn’t reflect this adequately in their final scores.

Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (March 2018)

March 3rd – In a Prizefighter-style tournament in Dublin, Emile Tiedt missed a clear body shot knockdown scored by J. J. McDonagh against Gerard Healy in the first round, not long before McDonagh would end the contest.


In New York, John McKaie’s 96-94 didn’t reflect Vaughn Alexander’s dominance of Devaun Lee.


In South Africa, Eddie Pappoe only gave Dmytro Kucher a single round in his game effort against home boxer Kevin Lerena.

On the undercard, John Chagu unfairly scored DeeJay Kriel a 118-110 winner over Xolisa Magusha in a closely contested rematch.


March 9th – Junior Fa laboured to an 8 round win over Craig Lewis, but won clearly to everyone except Rey Danseco, who turned in an even verdict.

In the main event, Mark Nelson missed a round three body shot knockdown scored by Ivan Baranchyk en route to battering Petr Petrov.


March 17th – John Stewart’s shutout scorecard was simply awful in the Jose Ramirez-Amir Imam bout.

Ramirez won clearly but Imam certainly got enough licks in to win some rounds.


March 24th – Bob Williams prematurely stopped Kalilou Dembele after he was knocked down by a body shot in round 5 against Anthony Fowler.


March 31st – Steve Gray (100-90) & Martin Williams (100-91) were way off the mark in Anthony Crolla’s slog against Edson Ramirez.

On the contrary,  Pawel Kardyni was too generous to challenger Yonfrez Parejo, giving him 4 rounds as he was schooled by Ryan Burnett.

In the heavyweight main event, ref Giuseppe Quartarone copped some well-deserved flack for breaking Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker up too early throughout and not allowing any inside fighting.

Judge Ian Scott’s 119-109 basically didn’t give Parker any credit for his good back-foot boxing, particularly in the fight’s first half.


In Quincy, Mass., Leo Gerstel unfairly called a knockdown against Yamaguchi Falcao, when Richard Gutierrez stepped on his foot and landed a cuffing blow in round one.


In the card’s main event, Mark DeLuca took on Ramses Agaton.

Agaton was very harshly deducted two points for a low blow in round four, a foul he had committed in retaliation for a low blow from DeLuca.

The culprit was the same man as earlier: Leo Gerstel.

Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (February 2018)

Feb. 3rd – Steve Gray deducted Lawrence Okolie a point for holding in a nonsence make-up call in the 9th round versus Isaac Chamberlain.

One of the judges scored the bout 96-90, which didn’t reflect Okolie’s complete dominance in this snoozefest.


Feb. 10th – In Mexico, Alfredo Ramos edged Jose Luis Rodriguez Guerrero, but was helped home by Mario Medina’s 59-54 card.

Elsewhere on the show, Ivan Alvarez faced Pedro Campa and was given a second point deduction for rabbit punching in bizarre circumstances with seemingly no warning from ref Florentino Lopez.


Feb. 16th – Jay Nady showed indecision in the Shakur Stevenson-Juan Tapia fight, signalling in round 3 to stop boxing when Tapia’s gloves touched down, then acted as if he hadn’t when Stevenson ignored him and kept punching.

In the main event of that card, Eric Cheek (116-112), Burt A. Clements (117-111) & Don Trella (117-111) didn’t give Paulus Moses much credit in an evenly matched fight with sentimental favourite Ray Beltran.


Feb. 17th – Mark Lyson scored Luther Clay a narrow 58-57 winner over Danny Craven in a fight he dominated.

Ryan Walsh clearly beat Isaac Lowe in a British title fight, but had to settle for a draw because of Marcus McDonnell (114-115) and the even card of Michael Alexander.

In the night’s main event in Manchester, ref Michael Alexander allowed George Groves to hold incessantly against Chris Eubank Jr., a key tactic employed by the veteran as he boxed his way to victory.


In Texas, Devon Alexander appeared to do enough to beat Victor Ortiz in a battle of faded ex-titlists.

Glen Rick Crocker (114-114), Javier Martinez (114-114) & Don Griffin (113-115) scored it even.


In Germany, visiting Ryno Liebenberg was on top against Vincent Feigenbutz when he was prematurely halted due to a cut in the sixth round by ref Massimiliano Bianco.


Feb. 24th – Steve Morrow’s 117-111 for the titlist didn’t reflect an excellent, evenly matched fight between pound for pounders Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and challenger Juan Francisco Estrada.


On the same night at London’s York Hall, the 116-111 cards of Miroslaw Brozio and Jan Teleki were generous to veteran Ronnie Clark as he upset heralded prospect Zelfa Barrett.

Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (December 2017)

Dec. 2nd – Let’s start on a rare positive note, by giving credit to judges Julie Lederman, Steve Weisfeld and Eric Marlinski for correctly judging Sadam Ali the winner over Miguel Cotto on his swansong outing.

It would have been very easy to be swayed by the sentimentality of the whole evening and gifted the decision to the hugely popular veteran.

Dec. 9th – It’s never too late for one of the robberies of the year, however.

Tevin Farmer schooled Kenichi Ogawa in a vacant 130lb. title fight, only to find himself robbed by the cards of Max DeLuca (115-113) & Burt Clements (116-112).

Dec. 13th – Bob Williams missed a clear knockdown scored by Lawrence Okolie in the second round en route to his stoppage of Portuguese journeyman Antonio Sousa.

The real controversy came later in this York Hall show, and again involved Bob Williams.
He laughably scored hyped prospect Conor Benn a 57-54 winner over Cedrick Peynaud after a wild 6 rounds, meaning he had not scored a single round to Peynaud after the 10-7 first session.
This makes absolutely no sense, considering that Peynaud hurt Benn again in the third and was generally in control until the 5th round. In fact, Benn didn’t even need to score his dramatic 5th and 6th round knockdowns to get the decision!
One of the year’s worst cards.
Dec. 16th – Billy Joe Saunders pitched a Wright vs. Trinidad-esque abject shutout on home boxer David Lemieux in Montreal.
Gerardo Martinez’s 117-111 card was stupidly generous to the Canadian.
Dec. 22nd – Rose Volante won a 135lb. title against Brenda Karen Carabajal in Argentina, scoring two knockdowns on her way to the win.
Hector Miguel seemed intent on robbing her, however, turning in a 94-94 score.
The Fury/UKAD situation, raging since their February 2015 failed drug tests, and chronicled much of the way on this site (largely in this ‘judging the judges’ section), has finally come to a conclusion, if not a wholly satisfactory one:

In my view, it boils down to this: UKAD reportedly feared legal reprecussions because of their mishandling of the case, namely the gross “delays in results management”, but also did not want to appear toothless by appearing to not sanction the Furys over the tests.

The Furys simply wanted to put the case behind them, and, in the case of Tyson, to box on again as soon as possible.

Thus, the two-year backdated ‘non-ban’ ban was invented, lip-service to a legitimate process and punishment, but not changing the fact that Tyson was allowed to potentially box dirty to beat Klitschko in late 2015 (something UKAD are careful not to suggest when outlining Tyson’s subsequent clean samples) when he could have been banned in the event of an expedited results procedure.

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.

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.