By Peter Lerner: The highly-anticipated dual match between Ireland and Italy came to a premature end on Sunday evening with only five of the 12 bouts having been completed.
It is understood that the Italian team withdrew their fighters after what they saw as questionable scoring. The Italians had lost the match on Friday - which included upset wins for Eric Donovan and Con Sheehan over Domenico Valentino and Clemente Russo respectively - by 5 bouts to 7. On Sunday they were down 4-1, with Valentino again losing, when the evening came to an abrupt halt.
Here are the results from the two evenings:
National Stadium, Dublin, Friday 12th March
51kg: Vincenzo Picardi (Italy) 7-2 Gary Molloy (Ireland)
51kg: Alex Ferramosca (Italy) 13-7 Jimmy Moore (Ireland)
54kg: John Joe Nevin (Ireland) 11-3 Vittorio Parrinello (Italy)
57kg: Tyrone McCullagh (Ireland) 10-6 Alessio Di Savino (Italy)
60kg: Eric Donovan (Ireland) 11-8 Domenico Valentino (Italy)
64kg: Ray Moylette (Ireland) 10-0 Vincenzo Mangiacapre (Italy)
64kg: Davide Cenciarelli (Italy) 16-14 Philip Sutcliffe (Ireland)
69kg: John Joe Joyce (Ireland) 15-5 Diego Di Luisa (Italy)
75kg: Darren O’ Neill (Ireland) 11-1 Luca Podda (Italy)
81kg: Simone Fiori (Italy) 10-3 Gezim Disha (Ireland)
91kg: Con Sheehan (Ireland) 4-2 Clemente Russo (Italy)
91+kg: Roberto Cammarelle (Italy) 15-4 David Joyce (Ireland)
Donegal Celtic Club, Belfast, Sunday 14th March
51kg: Michael Conlon (Ireland) 12-7 Vincenzo Picardi (Italy)
51kg: Paddy Barnes (Ireland) 17-2 Alex Ferramosca (Italy)
54kg: Vittorio Parrinello (Italy) 15-3 Derek Thorpe (Ireland)
57kg: James Fryers (Ireland) 5-4 Alessio Di Savino (Italy)
60kg: David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) 8-4 Domenico Valentino (Italy)
The real losers were the boxers - those fighters whose results have been called into question, those fighters who won their fights clearly but whose performances have been overshadowed by the controversy, and of course those fighters who expected to fight on Sunday but didn’t.
From the distance of Rome, where this reporter is based, and without having yet seen the fights (which would of course be somewhat different from watching the fights from ringside: some of the delicacies of amateur scoring would be impossible to see from dvd), it is impossible at this point to comment on which side is in the right, or which side seems to have acted more correctly.
What seems clear is the chain of events. The Italians were aggrieved by some of the scoring from Friday’s bouts, in particular the bouts between Eric Donovan and Domenico Valentino, and Con Sheehan and Clemente Russo.
The Italian coach Raffaele Bergamasco said, “Two scandalous changed the result of the tie from 7-5 in our favour to 5-7 for Ireland. Valentino was literally cheated by a jury that favoured the home fighter, who was always kept ahead in the scoring and was given points for every gesture he made. Russo was targeted by the referee (Russo was penalised two points in his fight for hitting with the inside of the glove).”
Billy Walsh, the Irish head coach, said, “Some fights were maybe clearer than others. There were some points for our boxers which didn’t get scored. It happens. We’re generally quite happy with the verdicts. We had absolutely no influence on the judging or refereeing. We used a rotating system for each match: if the referee was Irish, then three of the five judges were Italian. If the referee was Italian, only two of the five judges were Italian.”
So, on Sunday when results, rightly or wrongly, started to go against the Italians – another loss for Valentino being the final straw – they stopped the bouts in order to change the use of the referees and judges. Both sides made proposals and counter proposals, no agreement could be reached and the match was abandoned.
Secondsout hope to receive a copy of the fights and give a report on the bouts.
March 16, 2010