Named & Shamed: Judging the Judges (February 2016)

Antonio Margarito has been licensed to fight in Mexico and begin an ill-fated comeback from a 4 year+ retirement.

He hadn’t won a fight in six years and the effects of the horrific eye injury sustained against Manny Pacquiao are still grossly evident, as seen in the picture below.

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Here is what I wrote in September, as his return was gaining steam:

“It should be obvious to anybody that has seen the state of Antonio Margarito’s eye at the end of his rematch with Miguel Cotto in 2011 that he should never box again, and thankfully he retired after that contest.

But like so many before him, a return is on the cards after a whopping four year layoff.

Again, Steve Kim provides further detail: http://www.boxingscene.com/antonio-margarito-receives-green-light-ring-return–96230

A big FU to Top Rank, Robert Garcia (who should have saved his man’s eye by pulling him out against Pacquiao, instead of pulling what I’ll henceforth refer to as a ‘Collins’ bros. special’), quack Dr. Alan Crandall et al. in Utah. & anybody else who becomes complicit in this sure-to-be-disastrous return.”

This piece is being written on March 10th, so knowing how Margarito’s fight on the 5th played out only serves to reinforce my opinion that he should never have been allowed to box professionally again.

The former titlist escaped with a close decision against the similarly faded also-ran Jorge Paez Jr., overcoming a heavy knockdown in the sixth round, an aberration for the normally iron-chinned Margarito.

He seems determined to continue his comeback, and, while many would like to see him further punished for his past sins with loaded gloves, here’s hoping he’s never licensed to box in the US again, or against a significant opponent.

 

Feb. 20th – It’s going to be tough to top this one for robbery of the year.

Fedor Chudinov lost his undefeated record and world title in a rematch with Felix Sturm that he appeared to dominate. I scored just a single round for Sturm but the old adage of needing a knockout to get a draw in Germany reared its ugly head once more.

I suppose the signs were there in their first meeting, a similarly dominant win for Chudinov, which was somehow scored a split decision. Both of their meetings took place on cards self-promoted by Sturm, which must have played a part in influencing the judging.

Jean-Louis Legland (113-115), Giuseppe Quartarone (113-115), and Ignacio Robles (114-114) should be the subjects of an investigation for such terrible scorecards.

It’s worth noting that this was just the second fight in the four-year history of the TBRB (http://www.tbrb.org/), of which I am a member, to garner enough member support that the ‘robbery clause’ was triggered. This meant that the official result was not recognized, and Chudinov retained his ranking as if he had won the fight. This is fair, but will obviously be scant consolation.

Sturm, on the other hand, is 37, hadn’t won a fight since 2013, and is basically shot ability-wise, yet this allows his gravy train on German TV to roll on for another while yet.

Such is boxing.

Named & Shamed: Judging the Judges (January 2016)

The Erkan Teper-David Price situation is everything that’s wrong with boxing’s fractured governance and poorly managed PED testing.

Jake Donovan’s report for Boxingscene.com outlines the lurid chain of events in detail: http://www.boxingscene.com/teper-dealt-two-year-ban-price-ko-changed-no-contest–99702?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

The German Boxing Federation (BDB) are most at fault: taking five months to disclose the failed test for the Price fight; it only coming to light now that Teper had previously failed a test & was given a short ban in mid-2014; and for failing to inform the European Boxing Union about any of this until December 2015, when Teper had shortly beforehand been scheduled to fight once again for their title.

It was also somehow not revealed publicly that a police raid on Teper’s residence in April of last year uncovered vast amounts of PEDs (for example, clenbuterol, testosterone, growth hormone and Methandrostenolone).

Despite what Donovan’s article says, it remains to be seen whether Price’s loss to Teper will be officially changed to a ‘no contest’. For unknown reasons, the EBU say that the result stands, while the BDB disagree.

David Price’s career has essentially been destroyed by drug cheats, his other two losses coming to Tony Thompson, who failed a test after his 2nd knockout of Price (another fight not yet changed to a ‘no contest’), as well as after his next fight against Kubrat Pulev.

 

 

January 16th – Pasquale Procopio & Waleska Roldan’s 78-74 scores in favour of defending titlist Deontay Wilder at the time he knocked out plucky challenger Artur Szpilka were simply not in line with reality and smacked of bias towards the house fighter.

Thankfully, Wilder’s bomb of a right hand meant the ending was devoid of controversy.

 

On the undercard, another heavyweight title bout was cut short by a leg injury suffered by Vyacheslav Glazkov against Charles Martin.

But what makes this a matter for inclusion in this segment is that Glazkov’s slip which caused the injury was precipitated by a large, slick advertisement, which had been plastered to the ring canvas.

This sort of thing happens far too often: causing slips to be ruled as fight-altering knockdowns, and, in the case of Glazkov, injuring boxers completely unnecessarily.

It’s rarely mentioned but is a good example of boxing’s craziness. What other sport would allow such a risk?

I can’t imagine slippery advertising being stamped on the centre court of Wimbledon to impair movement & significantly heighten the possibility of Roger Federer falling on his ass in front of millions.

 

January 22nd – Ahmet Patterson seemingly ended his bout with Ryan Aston with a perfectly placed body shot in the 6th round, only for ref Marcus McDonnell to incorrectly rule it a low blow and give Aston time to recover.

Patterson ended matters almost immediately upon the restart, thankfully avoiding undue punishment for Aston or an alteration of the outcome.

 

January 30th – Jean Pascal was knocked down in the first round by Sergey Kovalev’s fearsome jab, only for ref Michael Griffin to rule it a slip, perhaps confused, continuing the theme of this month’s segment, by the presence of a large advertising ‘sticker’ under his feet at the time.

In fact, the advertising on the canvas did cause noticeable footing problems for both Kovalev and Pascal throughout this fight.

 

January 30th – Ref Victor Loughlin was in charge of the Tommy Martin-John Wayne Hibbert Commonwealth title contest, and caused controversy with the manner of his stoppage.

It was almost identical to the far more controversial Chisora-Scott stoppage on British shores in 2013: http://www.boxingscene.com/bbboc-explain-rejection-chisora-vs-scott-protest–68408

In short, Loughlin counted Martin out in the final round as he rose at the count of 9, rather than giving him the full ten to get to his feet. Why, you ask? Because that is the British Board’s senseless rule.

Unlike in other jurisdictions, in a British ring, you are considered ‘down’ when in the act of rising to your feet. Thus, essentially, you only have to floor your opponent for a 9 count to author a knockout.

In this case, unlike in Chisora-Scott, it didn’t affect the result, as Hibbert was well ahead on points with less than 90 seconds remaining on the clock.

Worryingly, this pedantic and arcane rule is obviously not well known outside of BBBofC officials, so I highly doubt that British fighters are aware of it when stepping into the ring to fight (Martin certainly wasn’t and neither were the Sky Sports broadcasters), and I even more strongly doubt that all visiting fighters, for example Malik Scott, are informed of it in their pre-fight instructions.

This obviously leaves the door open for fighters to unknowingly mistime their attempts to rise to their feet and creates needless controversy.

It’s a rule that serves no purpose and should be scrapped.

 

Let’s end by mentioning Frank Bruno, the 54 year old former heavyweight titlist who hasn’t fought since 1996, but announced plans for a comeback recently.

On top of his advanced age and inactivity, he has suffered through many bouts of well-publicized mental illness.

Thankfully, the British Board have said they will not consider licensing him, but one fears there are other entities out there, for example the Maltese and Latvian federations who still license completely shot boxers like Danny Williams, who will have no such scruples.

Let’s hope Bruno and those close to him see sense and don’t go ahead with this pipe dream.

Named & Shamed: Judging the Judges (November & December 2015)

November 4th – The latest poorly handled major Russian card of the year took place in Kazan.

 

Murzabekov-Bogere should have been stopped by ref Leszek Jankowiak after the second knockdown in round 2, which would have spared Bogere a brutal knockout.

 

Shortly before Afolabi upset home fighter Chakhkiev with a one punch ko, ref Grzegorz Molenda conveniently failed to notice an obvious knockdown scored by Afolabi.

 

Overall, the medical work at this card was atrocious, with doctors not tending properly to knocked out fighters: in some cases, raising them immediately to their feet, and not turning them to their sides to prevent the swallowing of their own tongue.

 

November 6th – In an incredible display of sportsmanship the likes of which I’ve never seen in boxing before, Dennis Don Kiy raised his opponent Andre Bunga’s hand and openly declared him the actual winner after receiving a 6 round decision on a small card in Germany.

Offending judges: Francesco Gippetto 59-59; Arno Pokrandt 58-56; Jens Kluge 59-57.

 

On the same bill, the ridiculous Briedis-Hubert mismatch should have been stopped earlier than it was, and ref Arno Pokrandt ignored Hubert taking a knee at one point.

 

November 7th – After a stirring effort in challenging for Scott Cardle’s British title, Sean Dodd, seemingly with a healthy lead, was unjustly stopped on his feet by ref Terry O’Connor with 62 seconds to go before the final bell.

The latest terrible botch from this incompetent official.

What we didn’t know was that due to the shitty scorecards (I’m not aware which two out of Phil Edwards, Marcus McDonnell & Dave Parris messed up), Dodd was going to lose a split decision even if he had seen the final bell.

 

In Dublin the same night, ref Mickey Vann’s 97-95 card was a terrible reflection of Peter McDonagh’s virtual shutout dominance of Dean Byrne in their Irish title main event.

 

In Vegas, Kenny Bayless allowed Gunnar Jackson to hold constantly in order to survive ten rounds against Ryota Murata.

On top of his recent questionable handling of Mayweather fights, Bayless seemingly can’t bring himself to punish holding at all.

 

November 21st – Burt Clements (118-110) & Dave Moretti (119-109) gave Cotto no credit for his competitive effort in defeat to Canelo Alvarez.

 

November 28th – Tony Weeks ignored a blatant jumping headbutt (a la Victor Ortiz) from a desperate Wladimir Klitschko in the eleventh round en route to losing his championship to Tyson Fury.

 

Barry Lindenman’s 117-111 card for Pedro Guevara over Yu Kimura was criticized for not reflecting their split decision 108lb. title fight.

 

In Canada, Eleider Alvarez squeaked by Isaac Chilemba in a majority decision that I felt Chilemba narrowly won.

Peter Hary’s 118-110 for Alvarez was a bad joke.

 

In the main event of that card, Lucian Bute got no credit from the judges (Phil Edwards 117-111, Benoit Roussel 117-111, Nelson Vazquez 116-112) in his strong challenge of James DeGale.

 

December 5th – Referee Freddy Rafn was widely criticized for his terrible handling throughout of the Daws-Nieto European title fight.

This culminated in disqualifying Daws in the tenth for what he very dubiously deemed to have been an intentional headbutt.

The EBU have ordered an immediate rematch.

 

Finally time to give some credit to an official this time of the year.

Harvey Dock stopped Danny Jacobs-Peter Quillin at the perfect time.

With Quillin out on his feet, in a situation where most refs would have panicked (I’m looking at you, Ian John-Lewis), he took a few seconds to look into Quillin’s eyes as he stumbled on Bambi legs, and seeing a vacant stare, correctly called a halt to the fight before Jacobs could knock his defenseless opponent cold.

 

December 12th – In one of the year’s biggest upsets, Luke Campbell was made to look like an amateur by Yvan Mendy.

Not that homer judge John Keane (115-113 for Campbell) saw it that way.

 

December 19th – Billy Joe Saunders outboxed and outpunched Andy Lee to win a 160lb. title.

However, the verdict was a majority decision due to the laughable Marcus McDonnell card, which scored things a 113-113 draw.

British officials really are the worst in boxing.

 

Perhaps the worst decision of the year was saved for the final major card of 2015, as Nicholas Walters authored a near shutout of unheralded Jason Sosa in Verona, New York.

Universal outcry greeted the even cards of Don Ackerman and Wynn Kintz, and especially the Tom Schreck card of 96-94 Sosa, which rendered the fight a majority draw.

Named & Shamed: Judging the Judges (October 2015)

October 2nd – Let’s open on a positive note with some praise for the Victor Emilio Ramirez-Ovill McKenzie judges (Alejandro Lopez Cid, John Poturaj & Larry Layton), who didn’t show bias towards the Argentine home fighter and correctly ended up judging the bout a draw.

 

October 3rd – The Humberto Soto-Antonio Orozco judges (Max DeLuca 92-97, Pat Russell 92-97, Fernando Villareal 91-98) never gave the elder statesman, Soto, any chance in his closely contested bout with the prospect.

 

Jose Pedraza and Edner Cherry fought on relatively even terms, and Pedraza came away the disputed split decision winner. The two wide cards in favour of Pedraza (George Hill 117-111, Scott Maddox 117-111) were widely criticized.

 

October 6th – Ellis Johnson’s 99-90 card in favour of Argenis Mendez against Miguel Vazquez chimed with nobody’s view of the contest.

Mendez was a disputed unanimous decision winner.

 

October 10th – Ref Steve Gray missed a 9th round knockdown scored by Craig Evans over Tom Stalker, ultimately affecting the result of what ended up a draw.

Dave Parris’ 96-94 card in favour of Evans was way off.

 

October 13th – The consensus was that Amir Mansour had done more than enough to snatch the unbeaten record of heavyweight prospect Gerald Washington, but he was held to a draw due to the cards of Pat Russell (95-95)  & Adalaide Byrd (93-97).

 

October 14th – Judges Chris Flores (118-110) & Robert Hoyle (119-109) failed to turn in cards that reflected the closeness of the Lee Selby-Fernando Montiel fight.

 

Ref Wes Melton allowed Aron Martinez to blatantly use his head all night, en route to his upset of Devon Alexander.

 

October 16th – Ref Celestino Ruiz did a bad job keeping control of the foul-filled (but, thankfully, entertaining) Kohei Kono-Koki Kameda contest, and, in round two, mistakenly ruled a knockdown against Kameda.

Kono got a deserved decision, but Glenn Feldman’s 116-108 card was a joke.

 

October 17th – Ref Steve Willis should surely have docked Golovkin a point, as well as given the fallen Lemieux his 5 minutes to recover, when he hit his opponent while down, in round 5 of their 160lb. unification. He did neither and Golovkin was allowed to take an unfair advantage.

 

Laughably, in a small show in the Czech Republic, former title challenger Lukas Konecny acted as both promoter & supervisor on behalf of the licensing body, the Czech Union of Professional Boxers, for a card which featured mismatch walkovers for the likes of Robin Krasniqi and Robert Stieglitz.

I bet there are more than a few promoters around the world who would love to be in this kind of position of impunity.

 

October 24th – Evgeny Gradovich looked poor, but nevertheless had few problems in winning an 8 round decision over Aldimar Silva Santos.

Grover Wiley (yes, the man who retired Julio Cesar Chavez) turned in a terrible 77-75 card in favour of Santos.

Maybe the guy just has a soft spot for his fellow journeymen?

 

We’ll end by looking at some licensing & sanctioning issues:

James Toney, the former multiple weight titlist, is now a totally shot 47 year old who hasn’t had a significant win in a decade.

His speech is horribly slurred, and in his last fight he lost to a 9-3-1 club fighter by a lopsided margin.

Still, the boxing decision-makers in Ontario, Canada are licensing him to fight again on December 4th.

Shame on them.

 

Stephen Ormond knocked out journeyman Michael Clark in a round on October 10th in Lowell, Massachusetts.

That was Clark’s 6th consecutive knockout loss, 5 of them coming in the opening round. 3 of those fights took place in Mass., and 2 in Washington.

What is it going to take for the commissions in these places to realize this guy should no longer be fighting?

 

Kudos to the Nevada State Athletic Commission for refusing to sanction the proposed Andre Ward vs. Rohan Murdock (who?) mismatch of epic proportions that was planned for the Cotto-Canelo card.

 

Sadly, Jermain Taylor, whose unhinged and dangerous out of the ring behaviour has been detailed extensively elsewhere (e.g.: http://www.boxingscene.com/jermain-taylor-bailed-out-heads-training-camp–96078), plans to box again after his release on bail pending legal charges for a gun related offence.

Any commission that will license this guy in the future will lose the respect of every sensible boxing fan.

Sanctioned fighting is a privilege, not a right, and somebody with the triple whammy of a history of head trauma, increasingly erratic behaviour (CTE, anybody?), and multiple pending legal cases, should never be let anywhere near a boxing ring again.

We will be watching closely.

Named & Shamed: Judging the Judges (September 2015)

September 4th – Prospect Christian Gonzalez pounded overmatched Luis Ruiz Lizarraga to the canvas with a brutal 2nd round left hook knockdown.

Referee Sharon Sands was inexplicably about to let the bout continue when Lizarraga rose on wobbly legs, before thankfully Lizarraga’s father showed compassion to put a halt to proceedings.

 

September 6th – In the Jamie McDonnell-Tomoki Kameda rematch, a Kameda slip in the final round was erroneously called a knockdown, but thankfully didn’t affect the result of the contest.

John Schorle was the man at fault.

 

September 11th – A pox on the Toronto commissioners who licensed the shot pair of Vivian Harris and 51 year old ‘Razor’ Ruddock to step into the ring on this undercard and predictably get knocked out.

Readers may remember Ruddock for losing twice to Mike Tyson in 1991 & Harris from a 140lb title reign in the mid 2000s.

 

September 12th – Robert Hoyle scored Jonathan Oquendo a 98-90 winner over Jhonny Gonzalez in a closely contested fight.

 

Lisa Giampa handed in a very strange 95-95 card in the Martirosyan-Smith fight, seemingly not crediting Martirosyan for either of the knockdowns he scored.

More information here, via Steve Kim: http://ucnlive.com/so-this-is-the-end-we-hope-so/

 

 

September 22nd – I haven’t viewed the bout, but the vast majority of observers scored Anselmo Moreno the winner over favoured home fighter Shinsuke Yamanaka in their 118lb. title clash.

David Sutherland and Mauro Di Fiore handed in 115-113 tallies that denied him the upset win.

 

 

September 26th – The vacant British title fight between Ryan Walsh-Samir Mouneimne could have gone either way, although the consensus was that Mouneimne had done enough.

Turns out he never had a chance on the skewed cards of Terry O’Connor (117-111) & Michael Alexander (116-112) which gave Walsh victory.

Mouneimne sadly retired post-fight. Hopefully, in time he will change his mind and not let bad judging be the end of his career.

 

Terry O’Connor made a mess of things again in the main event, too slow to step between Frank Buglioni and Dmitry Chudinov as the bell to end round 6 sounded, which allowed Buglioni to drop a defenceless Chudinov, who had relaxed his hands to his sides.

Unsure of what to do, O’Connor gave Chudinov some rest time at the beginning of the next round, as he made a meal of ceremoniously deducting Buglioni 2 points, but where was the standard 5 minute rest period after a foul?

Chudinov recovered and thankfully it didn’t affect the fight as he won every round in commanding fashion in as one-sided a 12 round fight as you’ll ever see.

Somehow Victor Simons (118-108) and Ingo Barrabas (117-109) found a way to give home fighter Buglioni some charity rounds.

 

Normally, this segment of the site is reserved for boxing officials, but such was the egregious display of Steve and Paschal Collins in the corner of Buglioni that it merits mention.

Buglioni showed tremendous bravery in staying on his feet through the battering he endured in the final rounds, but where was the compassion from his corner (and indeed, O’Connor), who should have pulled him out on numerous occasions?

It was sadistic, dangerous and could very well have shortened the career of the man whose well being they’re supposed to be concerned about.

They allowed their charge to absorb far too much punishment, and still had the temerity to espouse such a deluded view of proceedings in their post-fight interview with the always-illuminating Kugan Cassius:

 

Former Olympian Dominic Breazeale took his first real step up in class against Fred Kassi.

Most had the fight even or a Kassi upset, but all 3 judges favoured Breazeale by crazily wide margins.

The offenders: Irwin Deutsch 98-92, David Hudson 97-93 & John Westeterp 100-90 (a top candidate for worst card of the year).

Any non-boxing fan who watched this fight as the lead-in to the Deontay Wilder showcase on NBC must have been left shaking their head at boxing’s corruption.

 

Finally, it should be obvious to anybody that has seen the state of Antonio Margarito’s eye at the end of his rematch with Miguel Cotto in 2011 that he should never box again, and thankfully he retired after that contest.

But like so many before him, a return is on the cards after a whopping four year layoff.

Again, Steve Kim provides further detail: http://www.boxingscene.com/antonio-margarito-receives-green-light-ring-return–96230

A big FU to Top Rank, Robert Garcia (who should have saved his man’s eye by pulling him out against Pacquiao, instead of pulling what I’ll henceforth refer to as a ‘Collins’ bros. special’), quack Dr. Alan Crandall et al. in Utah. & anybody else who becomes complicit in this sure-to-be-disastrous return.

 

Worryingly, Jermain Taylor is also now out of state care and is planning a return to the ring.

Will anyone show some sense and stop this madness?

This is boxing, so the answer is probably no, and it’s likely that there’s a two-bit commission somewhere that will license this freak show, as well as a promoter somewhere who will look to profit.

Named & Shamed: Judging the Judges (August 2015)

August 1st – Ian John-Lewis makes his monthly appearance in this segment for his atrocious 119-111 scorecard in the Brian Rose- Carson Jones rematch, but should anybody really be surprised?

Back in February, IJL was responsible for a premature stoppage of Rose in his first fight with Jones, for which he was widely criticized.

Surely this should have meant that he would be put nowhere near another Brian Rose fight, never mind his next fight, an immediate rematch with the man who had controversially beaten him? How could he have been expected to be impartial and leave emotion at the door?

However, the British Boxing Board of Control ignored common sense, allowed IJL to be among the judges & he predictably turned in a ‘make-up’ scorecard in favour of Rose which did nothing to reflect a close fight.

The sight of Brian Rose leaning over the top rope to shake hands with a contrite and deferential John-Lewis before the scorecards were even read was a disgrace.

 

August 2nd – Sam Burgos let John Jackson get away with too much holding in his win over Dennis Laurente.

 

Referee Frank Santore Jr. mishandled Juan Carlos Payano- Rau’shee Warren, allowing fouling on both sides to let the fight often devolve into a mess.

Carlos Sucre’s 115-109 card in favour of Warren was way off.

 

August 7th – Weirdest card of the year? Look no further.

After a very slow start for the first 4 rounds, Ievgen Khytrov battered Nick Brinson on the way to a 8th and final round stoppage, which he surprisingly needed.

Two judges had reasonable cards, but Tony Perez’s 70-62 for Brinson could only be viewed as corresponding with reality if you gave him the benefit of the doubt of writing his 10s in the wrong column. Perhaps it was the commission official at ringside tallying up the individual cards who made the error, who knows?

However, this assumption would still mean that Perez didn’t give Brinson any credit whatsoever for his early success in the fight.

Headscratching, and it could have been a major issue had Khytrov not finished the job, as this scoring anomaly would have cost him the fight by split decision.

 

Sparkle Lee should have stopped the Derevyanchenko-Ayala main event of this card in the final round, a move that would have prevented the veteran Ayala from taking some unnecessary punishment.

 

August 23rd – For the most part, the officiating stunk in a card that took place in Yalta, Crimea.

 

Referee Alexander Kalinkin deserves shaming for not stopping Buzolin-Reutski in round four, with Reutski a bloody mess.

Thankfully, his corner stopped the fight at the end of the round.

 

Referee Nikolay Sigov lost complete control of Amanov-Payano, which ended in a DQ3 in favour of the home fighter.

Sigov didn’t look like he had a clue what he was doing, as he consulted various ringside officials about what he should do after each foul, and strangely allowing various Amanov team members into the ring to administer various stretches and other treatment during the recovery periods.

 

 

Dilmurod Satybaldiev stepped up in class to win a razor tight decision over Dmitry Sukhotsky, though you wouldn’t know that based on Reina Urbaez’s laughable 120-108 card, as bad as you will ever see.

 

In a night of military-themed jingoism, full credit must be given to the judges of the Kashtanov-Valera main event…well 2 of the 3 anyway.

As members of the notorious Night Wolves biker gang (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_Wolves) stood sentinel in full battle gear ringside, Valera outboxed the stiff, upright Kashtanov to a clear decision win, thankfully acknowledged by the cards of Reina Urbaez (116-112, perhaps feeling guilty for screwing Sukhotsky) & John Poturaj (115-113).

Philippe Verbeke probably feared for his safety judging by his joke of a 117-111 card for the home boxer.

 

August 29th – The judging was so bad in the Kerry Hope-Petchsuriya Singwancha ‘draw’ in Hong Kong that the WBC overturned the decision, declaring Hope the winner.

Visuth Yingaupagarn (115-113 Singwancha) & Pongpan Rattanasutorn (114-114) were the offending parties.

More details here: http://www.boxingnewsonline.net/kerry-hope-has-wbc-title-fight-decision-overturned/

Named & Shamed: Judging the Judges (July 2015)

July 4th – Dave Parris scored home fighter Jamie Conlan a 96-92 winner over Junior Granados in an even fight that took place in Dublin’s National Stadium.

 

July 18th – Referee Katsuhiko Nakamura stopped Khunkhiri Wor Wisaruth prematurely in his defeat to prospect Rex Tso in Macau.

 

Steve Gray and Terry O’Connor’s even scores cost Tyrone Nurse the British title at 140 lbs., as he was forced to settle for a draw in a fight he appeared to clearly win against Chris Jenkins.

 

In Martin Murray’s tuneup against journeyman Mirzet Bajrektarevic, referee John Latham missed a knockdown in round 1 & prematurely stopped the bout in round 5.

 

Erki Meronen’s 116-111 card in favour of Anthony Crolla was way off in his lightweight title challenge of Darleys Perez.

The bout was ultimately ruled a draw (thanks to the other cards of 113-113), and the consensus was that Crolla had been hard done by. On the contrary, I felt the other two cards corresponded well to what was an even fight to my eye.

Regardless, an immediate rematch has been ordered by the sanctioning body.

 

July 24th – Ian John-Lewis, boxing’s most incompetent official, makes his monthly appearance in this segment for his display during the Gary Corcoran-Rick Godding fight.

He shouted ‘no holding’ rather than a decisive call of ‘break’ during round 2, allowing Corcoran a free shot at Godding when his back was partially turned as the fighters were tangled. He then admonished Corcoran for what was actually his own error.

In round 7, Corcoran was attacking Godding along the ropes, when Godding dipped his head low and Corcoran leaned on it. At this point, John-Lewis moved between the fighters to break them, again without shouting ‘break’, grabbing the arm of Corcoran, who ignored this and kept punching. John-Lewis decided this was okay with him and simply backed off to let the action continue as if nothing had happened.

John-Lewis once again demonstrating a total lack of assertiveness. Neither of these errors was serious or particularly noteworthy if taken on their own, but further display the danger John-Lewis consistently puts boxers in.

Since this article is being published on August 11th, I can reveal that he has already ensured his place on the next edition of ‘Named & Shamed’ for his Jones-Rose II card on the first of the month.

 

July 25th – Russell Mora almost contrived to get a brave Hakim Zoulikha hurt in his fight against Sullivan Barrera by not stopping it after the second knockdown in the 8th round.

 

The consensus was that the judges (Richard Ocasio, Eric Cheek & John McKaie) matching cards of 96-94 for Jean Pascal against Yunieski Gonzalez were harsh on the underdog.

I feel they were spot on as Pascal consistently landed the cleaner punches over the volume of Gonzalez, and end this month’s segment by crediting them for a job well done.

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.

Named & Shamed: Judging the Judges (May 2015)

May 2nd – May was a bad month for boxing officials, but let’s begin with some positivity.

The scrutiny on the officials was at an all-time high for Mayweather-Pacquiao, and while referee Kenny Bayless let Mayweather get away with too much holding in the early rounds (it has to be said that he’s probably no longer boxing’s top referee at this point), the three judges got the scoring spot on.

Hats off to Burt Clemens, Dave Moretti and Glenn Feldman for doing their jobs well when the pressure was on.

 

May 9th – Texas is a tough place to get a fair shake if you’re the away fighter and this card in Hidalgo was a prime example.

Possibly boxing’s worst big fight ref, Laurence Cole (who gets these assignments solely because his father is the head of the state’s athletic commission), botched the Omar Figueroa-Ricky Burns main event, unjustly docking two points from Burns for holding and ludicrously grabbing his arm continuously to move it out of the way mid-clinch, thereby allowing Figueroa a free shot.

Despite the actions of this idiot referee, Burns still fought well enough to win on my card, only to be robbed by the 116-110 cards of Don Griffin and Cathy Leonard, and the laughably biased 117-109 from Nelson Vazquez.

Earlier that night in London, underdog Lee Markham, in my view, did more than enough to upset fan favourite Frank Buglioni.

The generous 96-94 of Dave Parris and 95-95 of Jose Ignacio Martinez meant that he had to settle for a draw.

On the undercard, Mitchell Smith hit Cristian Palma when he was down, knocking him out.

This happened in full view of the confused ref, Terry O’Connor, who simply ignored it and began his ten count.

At what point does something like this become a disqualifiable offence? It happens in too many fights and, as with many of the more rare occurences in boxing, there doesn’t seem to be any firm rule on how an official should act.

It shouldn’t be too much to ask for a little damn consistency. This same problem will crop up again on the 30th.

In Germany, Fedor Chudinov dominated a shot Felix Sturm, but one judge didn’t see it that way.

Juan Manuel Garcia Reyes can fuck off and never judge again, and take his 116-112 score for Sturm with him.

 

May 16th – In a 6 rounder on Golovkin’s undercard, Daniel Perales was inexplicably waved off when in no apparent distress with 10 seconds left in the fight against prospect Pedro Duran.

Referee Wayne Hedgepeth was the offending party.

 

May 22nd – Massimo Barrovecchio somehow let Mike Perez continue after rising on very wobbly legs from the first knockdown against Alexander Povetkin.

Barrovecchio is lucky that he didn’t get Perez seriously hurt.

 

May 23rd – How did Alan Davis see the close James DeGale-Andre Dirrell fight 117-109 in DeGale’s favour?

On the undercard, Edwin Rodriguez got a premature stoppage victory over Craig Baker in the 3rd round.

Grey-haired ref Robert Benoit looked positively geriatric in his movements and erroneous decision-making in both this bout and in another undercard fight, one which he thankfully didn’t affect the result of.

 

May 30th – After Laurence Cole’s display earlier in the month, Ian-John Lewis (you know him, he’s the lad who annoyingly squeaks “I am the weferee” through his nose before every fight he refs) evidently felt compelled to re-assert his claim as boxing’s worst official.

First, he had Kevin Mitchell leading Jorge Linares by 6 points at the time of his 10th round stoppage loss, which was way out of line with anybody else’s perception of a closely-contested fight.

Then he reffed the Anthony Joshua-Kevin Johnson mismatch. Joshua heavily dropped Johnson in the final seconds of the round and then viciously hit him when he was down. Lewis had two options: to count the knockdown regardless of the punches on a downed opponent (which would have been wrong, in my opinion), or to deduct points from Joshua while allowing Johnson the time to recover from the foul.

He did neither. Firstly, he waved his arms as if to signal an end to the fight, before evidently changing his mind in the ensuing seconds and just ushering Johnson to the corner, choosing to ignore that anything had ever happened.

What a goddamn joke & one made possible by boxing’s over-reliance on a referee’s capricious interpretation in the cases of punches landing when a fighter is down, which all-too-often takes the form of ignoring the foul as long as it benefits the home fighter.

Can anybody point me to a rule that can clear this problem up? And, if there isn’t one, can’t one be put in place by the authorities who are supposed to be policing this sport?

Named & Shamed: Judging the Judges (April 2015)

April 4th – Adonis Stevenson won practically every round of his mismatch defence against the smaller Sakio Bika.

Glen Rick Crocker (115-111), Don Griffin (116-110) & Jack Woodburn (115-110) somehow found ways to see multiple rounds in Bika’s favour.

 

April 11th – Robbery of the year so far, in my view.

I thought Lamont Peterson outboxed Danny Garcia early and outfought him late in their catchweight contest, and saw him a 116-112 victor.

I can see where the 114-114 card came from, but Kevin Morgan and Steve Weisfeld’s 115-113 cards in favour of Garcia reek of bullshit.

 

April 18th – Ismail Muwendo eased past Rolando Chinea in an 8 rounder, but Javier Alvarez scored it a draw. Headscratching.

 

On the same night, one wonders what the Lucas Matthysse-Ruslan Provodnikov judges were watching. Matthysse largely dominated the fight with his superior versatility & boxing skill, dropping 3 rounds at most.

Regardless, Don Ackerman saw the fight a draw, and Glenn Feldman (one of the judges for Mayweather-Pacquiao tomorrow) & John McKaie turned in too-close 115-113 tallies for the Argentine.

 

April 25th – Alan Rubenstein has gotten some flack for his 100-90 score in the Sadam Ali-Francisco Santana fight, but I thought it was a completely accurate reflection of the action.