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.

Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (August 2017)

February 10th – Rau’shee Warren was outmanned and outhustled by Zhanat Zhakiyanov at home in Ohio.

Larry Hazzard Jr.’s poor 115-111 card couldn’t save him from a split decision loss.


August 5th – A night of home cooking was served up for boxing fans in a rare semi-significant India card.

Neeraj Goyat was the beneficiary of incredibly wide scores against Allan Tanada.

Anil Sharma (118-110), Ajay Negi (119-109) and Rohit Shokeen (119-109) all deemed their countryman to have dominated a closely contested fight.


In the main event, Vijender Singh was very lucky to escape with his unbeaten record intact against Zulipikaer Maimaitiali.

Singh held throughout with no warning from ref Danrex Tapdasan, who also failed to count a clear knockdown in the final round for the away boxer.


In LA, Ray Beltran comfortably beat Bryan Vasquez in the eyes of everyone except Steve Morrow, who handed in a 95-95 score.



August 19th – Heavyweight Dillian Whyte battered journeyman Malcolm Tann in three rounds.

Ref Tom Anderson should have saved Tann from further punishment after the first knockdown in round two.

Instead, Tann absorbed many more withering shots and two further knockdowns before it was belatedly called off.


August 26th – Thankfully, Mayweather-McGregor passed with no incident, but it wasn’t a night without some controversy.

On the undercard, Vik Drakulich continues to look like a terrible official, harshly deducting a second point from Thomas Dulorme in his bout with Yordenis Ugas.

This ended up being the difference on the cards between a draw and the Ugas win.


Ref Russell Mora made a mess of the finish of the Gervonta Davis-Francisco Fonseca clash.

Davis dropped Fonseca with a clear rabbit punch in the final sequence, and, while one could make the argument that Fonseca was making a meal of it, it was simply not a legal blow that should have resulted in a ten count.

Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (July 2017)


July 1st – Frank Buglioni vs. Ricky Summers could have been scored either way.

Robert Williams’ rubbish 118-111 card didn’t at all reflect the action.



In Russia, the usual incompetent officiating took place throughout the card headlined by the disgraced Alexander Povetkin.

There was a scandalously late stoppage from ref Irakli Malazonia in Sergey Lubkovich-Gabor Gorbics.

Gorbics battled on with a closed eye and suffered a highlight reel KO for his troubles.

Irresponsible refereeing at its worst.


The exact same thing happened with, you guessed it, the same referee in charge of the night’s co-feature as Eduard Troyanovsky took on Michele Di Rocco.

The fight should have been stopped after the penultimate knockdown, the referee was too far away from the action as the final blows rained down, and it all resulted in a cruncing final punch to punctuate another highlight reel finish that should have been avoided.


Ref Viktor Panin was at the centre of a bizarre interlude in the Povetkin-Andriy Rudenko main event.

Halfway through the first round, a simple clinch and cuffing rabbit punch left Rudenko complaining of a neck injury, and he turned his back, refusing to fight on.

What followed was a five minute period when the ringside doctor openly gave treatment to Rudenko (since when is this allowed?), before he finally continued, and ended up going the 12 round distance, only intermittently complaining of the injury.

Clearly everyone involved was desperate to avoid the fight ending as an early no contest/unsatisfactory TKO, but was such an interlude anywhere in the rules? Shouldn’t Panin or someone at ringside have had a handle on what the correct procedure should be?

Since Panin initially didn’t rule any type of foul, accidental or otherwise, shouldn’t Rudenko’s sudden refusal to fight have resulted logically in the fight immediately being stopped?


July 2nd – Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn will surely go down as the year’s most debated and controversial fight, with opinions sharply divided on whether Horn was a worthy winner or Pacquiao was robbed.

Count me in the former camp, as I thought Horn was the clear winner and felt much of the ire for the judging (emanating mostly from the US) stemmed from Teddy Atlas jumping the shark on commentary for ESPN.

In my view, Chris Flores, Ramon Cerdan and even Waleska Roldan (whose 117-111 card matched my own) did a perfectly competent job.


July 8th – Phil Edwards allowed constant fouling and lacing from Gary Corcoran, as he mauled his way to a highly debatable decision over Larry Ekundayo.


July 29th – Jorge Sebastian Heiland hobbled around from the first bell against Jermall Charlo and never, excuse the pun, stood a chance.

Benjy Esteves Jr. should have stopped the fight earlier than he did, and in round 2 he showed amateurish indecision by initially made a hand motion to rule a knockdown a slip, only to then change his mind & pick up the count.

Heiland claimed to have suffered the injury at the beginning of the fight, but that seems an outright lie. Reportedly, Heiland even had trouble walking at the weigh in.

How such physical debilitation was not noticed and acted upon by anybody at the New York State Athletic Commission is a mystery.

It almost seems as if no pre-fight medical examination was carried out, which seems ludicrous, until one thinks that this very oversight was committed by this same commission in the recent past, as exposed by Thomas Hauser.


Jarrell Miller dominated Gerald Washington, stopping him after 8 rounds.

One judge somehow had the bout even at the time of the stoppage, but, at this time, I have been unable to find out which of the three it was.


July 30th – Victor Ortiz vs. Saul Corral should have been stopped after the penultimate knockdown, which would have saved Corral from an unnecessary brutal KO.

Shame on ref Jack Reiss.


Nevada State Athletic commission boss Bob Bennett is boxing’s least believable liar:

“I’m known as an executive director to be very conservative in approving fights, whether they [be] MMA or boxing. I have a format that I go by that I had to deviate a little from.”

An oxymoron, with the emphasis on moron.

His barely concealed glee at securing an “unprecedented event” for his state was vomit-worthy at yesterday’s fight week presser.


Further belly-laughs can be had in delving further into his reasoning for sanctioning this bout, acting as if a Nate Diaz fight in UFC has any bearing on a debutant taking on the best boxer of recent decades:–119408?


Most disturbingly, the NSAC flouted their own rules in allowing the use of 8oz gloves for this 154lb. fight, despite an open letter from the Association of Ringside Physicians warning of the dangers of such a decision:

Bennett sure did a 180 in the weeks following this quote from August 2nd:


It’s almost surprising until one takes into account all the previous occasions Nevada has bent over backwards to accomodate their favourite son:

Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (May & June 2017)

April 22nd Away boxer Max Bursak was harshly deducted two points for holding by ref Tom Taylor in his one-sided loss to Gilberto Ramirez.


Oscar Valdez vs. Miguel Marriaga was a fiercely contested fight, marred by the cards of Julie Lederman (119-108) & Steve Morrow (118-109), who gave the challenger no credit for his efforts.


Blue chip prospect Shakur Stevenson eased to a debut win over Edgar Brito, but with a weird ending.

The bout was stopped on an inocuous looking cut (caused earlier by a head clash) at the bell to begin round 6, so it went to the cards.

Perplexing, however, that Steve Morrow, Pat Russell, Fernando Villarreal would all score the sixth round (which had to be perfunctorily scored as per the rules despite not a single punch being thrown) for Stevenson!

Insert joke about cards already being filled in pre-fight here.


May 6th Ref Tony Weeks missed Joseph Diaz Jr.’s knockdown of Manuel Avila in round two of an easy win.


May 13th Star amateur Josh Kelly’s mismatch against Jony Vina should have been halted by ref Shaun Messer long before things got nasty halfway through round 4.


Conversely, on a separate UK card the same night, Philip Sutcliffe Jr. was clearly stopped prematurely by the notorious Howard Foster in the sixth round of his fight with Josh Leather.


The circus of Mayweather-McGregor and inevitable whoring out of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and its unethical boss Bob Bennett began appropriately, with Bennett declaring that he does not view the bout as the mismatch almost the entire world does:–116754


May 19th Andy Kremner dominated Fonz Alexander in an entertaining four rounder in Bolton, only to be forced to settle for the narrowest of 39-38 verdicts on the card of sole adjudicator, ref Darren Sarginson.


May 20th Ryota Murata was inexplicably robbed against Hassan N’Dam at home in Japan, Gustavo Padilla (116-111) & Hubert Earle (115-112) the offending parties responsible for what will likely be one of the year’s worst decisions in a significant fight.


May 26th Faded former titlist Mike Alvarado battered Matthew Strode in two rounds.

But notably, Strode was given a standing 8 count by ref Dave Smith earlier in the round when under severe pressure, something which was simply not part of the rules for the bout.

Either stop it, or don’t, Dave.


May 27th Anthony Fowler stopped Latvian lemming Arturs Geikens in the first round of his pro debut, but not after clocking his overmatched foe with a big shot while he was already down.

He’s lucky Geikens didn’t play for the DQ, although ref John Latham decided to ignore the original knockdown and allow the bout to continue after approximately a minute’s recovery time. Geikens was promply stopped, for real this time, before the round was over.

The ref didn’t look like he knew what the proper ruling was, and one wonders if such a rule exists in the BBBofC regulations.


June 10th Boxing never ceases to surprise, and usually not in a good way.

Ryan Burnett dominated Lee Haskins to capture a bantamweight world title in Belfast. Shock greeted the rendering of the decision as a split, US judge Clark Sammartino scoring it 118-110 Haskins.

It soon transpired that Sammartino didn’t know which boxer was which and had put his scores in the wrong columns.

How in the hell can a judge travel across the Atlantic to work a fight and not know who the hell is who out of its two participants?!

Imagine if this had been a close fight, would the error have even been revealed?

After one of the most shockingly incompetent errors imaginable, Sammartino should obviously never be allowed to judge a fight again.


June 17th A quite incredible night of officiating and regulation this was in Las Vegas…

The worst came first in Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Moises Flores, as Rigo landed a punch, seemingly unintentionally, clearly after the bell to floor Flores (who had thrown and missed his own punch simultaneously), who admittedly did his best Andre Dirrell impression, feigning that he had been knocked out & failing to rise up to take his stool.

What followed was the most bizarre 20 minutes you’ll ever see as a lengthy debate ensued between Drakulich (who insisted that as far as he was concerned the punch landed before the bell, as well as saying that if it landed after it would be a disqualification, without mention of the intentional nature of the punch or otherwise affecting such a decision…which is a fundamental misunderstanding of the rules from a supposedly top ref), Robert Byrd and NSAC boss Bob Bennett.

Then Bennett and Drakulich put on headphones to view the finish again on video replay, but, unable to get sound to figure out when the bell rang, acted as if the matter had been resolved and decided on a KO.

Then Bennett was rightly roasted by Jim Lampley is a live HBO interview.

The result has since been changed to a no contest, but this was absolutely farcical.


Cedric Agnew, a former world title challenger, saw his bout with Dmitry Bivol downgraded from a 12 to a 10 rounder by the Nevada commission because he had only recently taken part in 8 rounders.

Is this really the same commission that sanctioned Conor McGregor to make his pro boxing debut against Mayweather? Consistency and common sense be damned…the rules too, but more on that in the next edition of ‘Judging the Judges’.


And in the main event, one can debate all day about whether Ward was en route to a truly decisive win over Sergey Kovalev in their much-anticipated rematch. However, at least a few of the finishing blows were below the belt and ignored by ref Tony Weeks.

Even the stoppage itself was strange, as Weeks halted it immediately as Kovalev dipped in a sitting position to the middle rope, when a knockdown (the ropes holding Kovalev up) would have been the more appropriate call.

Overall, a misfire of officiating that spoiled the fight.


In Belfast earlier that night, Craig Evans decisioned Stephen Ormond, effectively ending his career as a contender at title level. He did this despite having to contend with flagrant headwork from Ormond throuhgout, none of which was cautioned by ref Phil Edwards.


June 30th – Robert Easter vs. Denis Shafikov in Easter’s home town of Toledo was a competitive fight.

The shutout scorecards of Henry Eugene Grant & Jamie Garayua in no way reflected this.


On the undercard, Jamontay Clark took on away fighter Ivan Golub and received a questionable unanimous decision, featuring the terrible 79-73 card of Ken Bucher. Ref James Howe was also at fault for missing a crucial knockdown in round 4.

Adam Abramowitz of Saturday Night Boxing sent an impassioned letter to Bernie Profato, the Executive Director of the Ohio Athletic Commission, to outline the many problems:


Thomas Hauser writes on the quite incredible goings on (skipping a pre-fight medical examination, death threats, misunderstanding by regulatory personnel of basic rules, throwing away taxpayer money by overstaffing events, cowtowing to UFC political pressure, and more) at the disgraceful New York State Athletic commission, who are evidently doing their best to top their Nevada counterparts: