Quit paying bad boxing judges!!

By Dave Cacciatore - When the bell rang to end the 12th round of the Paulie Malignaggi versus Juan Diaz fight the whole world thought the fight was close…with the exception of the three officials ringside charged with scoring the fight. Gale Van Hoy 118-110, Raul Caiz 115-113, and David Sutherland 116-112 all scored the fight for the hometown fighter Juan Diaz. Teddy Atlas is always quick to remark that officials need to sit down and be able to explain how they scored each individual round. I think that we should go one better..

I think that we need to hold these judges to the same standard of accountability that we hold the fighters. If the official can’t justify his decision then he doesn’t need to be paid for that nights work and his license needs to be suspended.

The rule is already in place for the boxers. If a boxer puts on a performance that is completely lacking in effort then his purse is reduced or even withheld from him completely. The argument is that the fighter has not truly fought so why should we pay him for fighting.

The same argument needs to apply to judges. How can you truly say that you judged the fight when you scored it ten rounds to two for one fighter, when the majority of the boxing public who saw the fight thought the other fighter won? It is as if you did not truly judge the fight or you are obviously on the take. Conversely, why should we pay you a red cent for such a piss poor performance? At least when a fighter gives a terrible effort he still risks his livelihood and health in the ring. No punches are landing on these judges, no money is coming out of their wallets, no harm is being done to their reputation, and they all go on to score big fights again and again as if their lousy (or corrupt?) performances never happened. Meanwhile, as Paulie Malignaggi pointed out after the fight he is an “opponent” now. His income potential is greatly diminished by official incompetence and he is going to pay big time because of it. It is not right and the solution is to start dealing with these judges the same way we deal with recalcitrant fighters….DOCK THEIR PAY!!!! SUSPEND THEIR LICENSES!!!! DON”T LET THEM JUDGE AGAIN!!!

I am not saying that being a boxing judge is easy. I am not saying that you cannot have differences of opinion. I am not saying that Juan Diaz didn’t necessarily deserve to win the fight. But when you have officials scoring a fight that far out of the mainstream of what the boxing public expects there is a big problem. A problem that turns people off to the sweet science and turns them on to other entertainment options like glorified pro wrestling known as the UFC (not that they are without officiating problems either)! This is a cancer that has been a part of boxing since the sport began. As time has progressed, so has this disease in our sport. It is hard to fight off all of the challenges from other sports, entertainment, and critics, when you have to fight a war within. Throw the bums out if they can’t give an honest scorecard!

Article posted on 24.08.2009

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