Disgraced Judge In Hot Water
It's fair to say that Terry O'Connor is public enemy number one in British Boxing after last night's incidents.
Now, let it be said. O'Connor is a VERY experienced referee. After all, he has been the man in the middle of some 1500 encounters. But his actions last night have left many, including Matchroom CEO, Eddie Hearn calling for his job.
Wait, did you say incidents Mr Writer? I did indeed, three of them.
Now, before i dive in, let me say that Boxing is subjective. After all, if we all agreed on everything, where would the fun be in that! But Mr O'Connor returned two highly dubious scorecards. Firstly awarding Thomas Patrick Ward an 88-84 score over Thomas Essomba. The other judges scored the fight 86-86 and an 88-84 return for Essomba. It was a close fight. Essomba was edging it, even Ward himself probably believed he had lost the fight if his body language was anything to go by. So just how did O'Connor have such a swing in Ward's favour.
Then, in the Main Event. He awarded Lewis Ritson a score of 117-111 in a fight that his opponent, Miguel Vasquez was, if the general consensus is anything to go by, was utterly bossing the fight. The ramifications of such a poor decision are astronomical. Ritson is still in the world title hunt at 140 pounds, Vasquez could have been in that picture. And, for all intents and purposes, should have had his hand raised last night. Fans, Pundits, Boxers and even Eddie Hearn himself thought that Ritson should have been handed a second loss as a professional.
As if this wasnt bad enough. Social Media being the powerful beast that it is, brought something perhaps even more scathing to our attention. In the eight round of the Ritson-Vasquez encounter, O'Connor was captured clearly scrolling through his phone while the action was going on just a few feet from his face!
This saw a wave of influential figures call O'Connor's head with Eddie Hearn leading the charge.
'If that's a phone (and I presume it is) then then BBBofC should immediately remove him.'
Lou DiBella 'I guess you don't have to watch the fight if you already made up your mind before it started. Unfortunately… it's just boxing.'
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman 'extremely troubling to any person involved in boxing.'
While Boxing trainer and manager Dave Coldwell took to Twitter to call out O'Connor, saying: 'I've always said judges should be asked to explain how they come to their decision when it's controversial & seemingly wide of the mark. Not sure swiping left counts as a good reason for screwing fighters careers over though?'
Speaking to iFLTV, Hearn said the decision was a 'disgrace' and said that the judges must be 'accountable for bad decisions'.
He said: '117-111 to Ritson was a disgrace of a card. And it's terrible for the sport.
'People have gotta be accountable for bad decisions. If you're in a job and you don't perform well, then you've gotta face the consequences.'
The BBBofC’s Robert Smith has declared that they will be launching an investigation into the performance of O’Connor and admits he is disappointed by the image.
He said: 'This has to be looked at and investigated and it will be. I am so frustrated that this seems to have happened. After all the hard work we do behind the scenes we have something like this emerging. Personally, I am so disappointed. I can’t say anything more on it at this point.'
Sadly, this is not the first occassion that has seen O'Connor give a wide scorecard in a fight that seemingly went against the grain of how the fight actually went.
117-111 Ritson over Vazquez
88-84 Ward over Essomba
117-111 Callum Smith over Ryder 118-110
Davies over Hughes 118-110
Joseph Parker over Hughie Fury 98-92
And lets not forget ...Tyson Fury over McDermott