Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (November 2018)

November 3rd – In Glasgow, Zach Parker escaped with a highly controversial decision over Darryl Williams due to the cards of Steve Gray (115-114) & Victor Loughlin (117-112), two of the regular ‘Judging the Judges’ entrants.


Loughlin couldn’t help himself, following this up by prematurely stopping the Josh Taylor-Ryan Martin main event in the 7th round.


November 24th – The latest Monte Carlo show was not a good one from an officiating standpoint.

First, ref Stephane Nicolo was very late to stop the Daniyar Yeleussinov-Marcos Mojica mismatch.

Mojica didn’t want to know after being knocked down in round 3, but Nicolo allowed him to take further punishment before stepping in.


A seemingly weight-drained Kal Yafai underperformed against Israel Gonzalez, in a fight that could have gone either way, not that you’d have known this from the scorecards.

Giuseppe Quartarone (117-111), Gustavo Padilla (116-112), & Jean Robert Laine (116-112) all turned in wide cards in favour of the defending titlist.


Finally, Gustavo Padilla allowed a weary, beat-up Alexander Ustinov to take too much from Michael Hunter.

Ustinov was stumbling around after an 8th round knockdown, and yet it was allowed to continue on, with Padilla virtually carrying Ustinov back to the corner at the end of the three withering minutes.

The belated finish came in the 9th, only after another knockdown and the towel being thrown in.


November 30th – It was a very poor night of officiating on the first Matchroom Italy card in Florence.

Martin J. Ward dominated home boxer Devis Boschiero, only to have to settle for a split decision win due to the card of Francisco Alloza Rosa (113-115).

The 115-113 card of Predrag Aleksic was almost as bad.

The same was true of the following fight, as Joe Hughes seemingly eased to victory over a dire Andrea Scarpa, only to be almost denied by the 112-116 verdict of Predrag Aleksic (again!), surely one of the years worst cards.

In the main event, Fabio Turchi stopped Tony Conquest in the seventh round, aided by a hard shot landed when Conquest had already touched down.

This was ignored by Francisco Alloza Rosa (again!), who administered the count and ended the fight. This is a disturbingly common theme when punches are landed on a downed boxer.


Back in Glasgow, Tyrone McKenna can thank ref Michael Alexander’s 96-95 card for saving him from defeat by Lewis Benson in a fight in which he appeared to come off second best.

Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (October 2018)

October 5th –Jan Teleki’s 91-99 did no justice to Matty Fagan in his closely contested defeat to Robbie Barrett in Barnsley.


In Belfast, ref Reece Carter oversaw the Marco McCullough-Rudy Encarnacion bout.

In one of the fight’s key moments, Carter didn’t say break but sought to separate the boxers.

McCullough was caught and hurt with a big left hook as Carter came in awkwardly and without exercising the proper authority.

This could have ended very differently, but McCullough ended up escaping with a narrow win.


In the main event of the same card, Tyrone McCullagh coasted past John Kennedy to a wide win, on everyone’s card but that of Jose Ignacio Martinez Antunez, who saw it unrealistically close at 96-94.


October 6th – In Leicester, Phil Edwards missed a flash round 5 knockdown of Nicola Adams by Isabel Millan.

Manuel Oliver Palomo’s 96-94 card was too generous to the visitor.


In Chicago, Celestino Ruiz said “stop” seconds before Beterbiev, who ignored and continued to punch, knocked down Callum Johnson in the fight round of their fight.

Ruiz counted the knockdown as if no rules infraction had occurred.


October 13th – Francesco Patera outboxed home favourite Lewis Ritson in Newcastle to win the European title, not that Soren Saugmann (112-116) saw it that way, turning in a risible scorecard.


In Omaha, Mike Alvarado blew away journeyman Robbie Cannon, who was out on his feet after the first knockdown.

Brandon Pfannenstiel allowed the fight to go on and Cannon to be brutally knocked out.


October 20th – In Boston, John Madfis (37-38) inexplicably scored 2 of the first 3 rounds of the Tevin Farmer-James Tennyson fight to Tennyson, who was dominated from bell to bell en route to a 5th round defeat.


In the main event, Steve Willis issued no warning to Demetrius Andrade when he landed a blatant, and hard, punch on Walter Kautondokwa when he was down in the first round.


On a broader note, praise must go to the Massachusetts commission for not allowing the Billy Joe Saunders-Demetrius Andrade fight to go ahead after Saunders’ failed VADA test.

There must have been pressure on them to do so, but they did the right thing for the sport and for Andrade.


On a Vegas undercard, an evenly contested Joseph Adorno-Kevin Cruz fight was spoiled by the cards of Chris Migliore and the infamous Adalaide Byrd (59-53).

Both judges absurdly gave just a single round to Cruz, aiding Adorno in achieving a unanimous verdict.

This is what happens when the likes of Byrd are allowed to continue to work after repeated showings of incompetence at the highest level.

Young fighters see their careers directly and irrevocably affected by this endemic incompetence.


October 26th – We must end on a sad note, reflecting on the passing away of Christian Daghio after his defeat in Thailand:–133416

Daghio was 49 years old, having just his 11th pro fight, and had hardly faced an opponent with a winning record in his career.

Still, he was somehow sanctioned to take part in his 4th 12 rounder, and it was a final round stoppage in a gruelling fight that led to his death.

The commission in Thailand (or Rangsit, if a more local body was overseeing this card, it is not clear) and the WBC, who had one of their myriad meaningless baubles at stake, deserve the harshest of criticism for allowing such a fight to go ahead.

The risk was evident. The consequences were final.

Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (September 2018)

August 24th – An evenly-matched and entertaining bout between George Ashie and Stephen Ormond was unfortunately decided by a referee error.

Kenny Pringle ruled a knockdown in round 8 against Ashie when he swung himself off his feet with a wild punch, getting caught with nothing in return.

This created a three point swing in the scoring and directly led to Ashie’s one point margin of defeat.


September 1st – Boxing’s answer to Justin Bieber, Ryan Garcia, was pushed hard and even hurt by Carlos Morales in his first real test as a pro.

A majority decsision outcome was fair, but the 98-92 cards of Max DeLuca and Edward Hernandez Sr. were not.


September 9th – Donnie Nietes was very unlucky to have to settle for a draw in a fight he appeared to clearly win vs. Aston Palicte.

Robert Hoyle (112-116) and (again) Max DeLuca (114-114) saw it differently.

It’s worth noting that DeLuca has historically been one of the worst offenders in ‘Judging the Judges’.


September 13th – Franchon Crews Dezurn and Maricela Cornejo contested a women’s bout at 168lbs., with Crews Dezurn dominating the fight and hurting her opponent on multiple occasions.

Patricia Morse Jarman’s 95-95 card made little sense as a reflection of the action.


September 14th – Prospect Gabriel Flores Jr. hit the deck in the first round against Roger Gutierrez, but recovered to win a six round decision.

Judges Edward Hernandez Sr. & Zac Young (59-54) strangely did not give credit to Gutierrez for a 10-8 round.


September 22nd – Carlos Sucre’s 59-55 for Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin did nothing to reflect the strong effort from the Russian challenger.


September 28th – Same goes for Jan Christensen’s 59-55 for George Groves vs. Callum Smith for a first half of a fight which Smith controlled prior to getting the 7th round knockout.


The first Thomas Mattice-Zhora Hamazaryan fight was one of the year’s most controversial.

The rematch draw was an acceptable verdict on the cards but Alejandro Rochin’s 77-75 for Mattice was again unduly harsh on Zhora.

In the main event of the same Shobox card, Edward Hernandez Sr.’s 97-93 for Devin Haney vs. Juan Carlos Burgos was very generous to the Mexican veteran who did not appear to win a single round.


September 29th – In the main event of a card from Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Erkan Teper eventually succumbed to an 8th round KO to fellow faded veteran Robert Helenius.

What was notable, however, was the timekeeper ending rounds early on several occasions to assist a hurt Teper. This was hardly a coincidence.


In Brooklyn, Arthur Mercante Jr. came up with a bizarre stoppage with a minute left in the final round of Jude Franklin vs. Danny Flores.

Flores was in no trouble and had not been caught with a clean punch when Mercante stopped the fight.


September 30th – In California, Rudy Barragan should have stopped the Jesse Rodriguez-Edwin Reyes fight long before the final bell.

Reyes absorbed a lot of unnecessary punishment, especially in a hard-to-watch final round.

Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (August 2018)

August 4th – Ron Lipton scored a bogus knockdown against Andre Berto in a battle of faded ex-titlists with Devon Alexander.

Berto needn’t have worried, though, as Julie Lederman & Don Trella generously scored 8 rounds in his favour for a fishy split decision.


In Cardiff, Michael Alexander (117-112) was ludicrously generous to Sean Dodd in his whitewash loss to prospect Joe Cordina.


August 18th – Bryant Jennings vs. Alexander Dimitrenko ended in a premature stoppage in round 9, Allen Huggins jumping in to end things immediately after Dimitrenko had been dropped by an uppercut, which the visitor immediately protested.

Huggins had not given him any opportunity to demonstrate that he still had his faculties intact.


August 19th – As usual in Russia, it was a strange night of officiating.

Eduard Skavynskyi was boxing Oleksandr Ivanov, and sustained an absolutely horrible cut in round 7 which should have stopped the fight.

A very weak doctor named Pavel Zhukov got talked into letting it go on and ref Giustino Di Giovanni had no authority or control of the situation either.

It got even worse in round 9.

Skavynskyi was hit with a low blow, didn’t go down, but Di Giovanni inexplicably gave him an 8 count! I couldn’t believe what I was watching.

While he would have lost by TKO on cuts in virtually anywhere else in the world, Skavynskyi managed to go the distance and win a decision.


The Maryland commission (boss Pat Pannela) have shockingly lifted their suspension of Leon Lawson, the trainer who punched Jose Uzcategui square on the jaw with bare knuckles after Uzcategui’s controversial first fight with Andre Dirrell in May 2017.

Lawson is now free to resume corner duties, when, truthfully, he should be behind bars somewhere and certainly never anywhere near a boxing ring again.

Uzcategui is rightly fuming:–131374
I’m pleased to see the Boxing Writers’ Association of America have begun a new initiative to highlight instances of bad officialdom in the sport:

Laurence Cole rightly came under criticism from the BWAA for his performance during the Regis Prograis-Juan Jose Velasco fight.

Named and Shamed: Judging the Judges (July 2018)

June 26th – Ref Al LoBianco Jr. protected Dejan Zlaticanin when he was hurt in round two versus the big underdog, Roberto Ramirez, stopping the action to have a minor cut inspected.

Ramirez finished him later in the round, in what was arguably a premature stoppage. It was a strange outing from LoBianco.


July 20th – In one of 2018’s worst decisions (I seem to say that every month), Zhora Hamazaryan dropped and dominated Thomas Mattice only to come out on the wrong end of a split verdict.

Mike Contreras & Jeff Sinnett (both 76-75) performed a grave injustice.

Here is a link to some excellent work from Gabe Oppenheim, who followed up on the situation and spoke to Jeff Sinnett:


July 21st – Pound for pound queen Cecilia Braekhus completely dominated Inna Sagaydakovskaya in Moscow over ten rounds.

Zoltan Enyedi’s 97-93 was very generous to the overmatched challenger, who was, of course, boxing at home.


Elsewhere on the card, in one of the year’s worst decisions (again…), Fedor Chudinov received the gift of all gifts against Nadjib Mohammedi, who had virtually shut him out.

Joerg Milke (115-113) & Andriy Baliasov (116-112) screwed the Frenchman.


In Connecticut, Shelly Vincent engaged in a very even rematch with Calixta Silgado, unfairly scored 78-74 by Steve Weisfeld & Robert Paolino.


July 28th – There was some terrible officiating by Howard Foster, as he counted a blatant slip from Cedrick Peynaud as a knockdown in round 2 of his rematch decision loss to Conor Benn.


July 29th – Welcome to one of boxing’s strangest freakshows since Mickey Rourke fought a homeless man in Russia: Lee McAllister vs. dangerously shot Tyson conqueror, Danny Williams.

The fight did end up taking place, but wasn’t sanctioned by the British Board and doesn’t appear to be recognized as official by the Boxrec record keepers:

Shame on everybody involved.

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.