Following his apparent momentary distraction and highly questionable scorecard for the Lewis Ritson vs Miguel Vazquez fight, Terry O’Connor has been cleared by the BBBofC of any wrongdoing
Birmingham referee and judge Terry O’Connor will face no sanction from the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) after appearing before their stewards to explain his behaviour during the Lewis Ritson vs Miguel Vazquez fight last weekend, and the highly questionable scorecard he produced.
O’Connor’s 117-111 tally in favour of Ritson, who appeared to the vast majority of observers to have been outboxed for the majority of the 12-round contest, raised eyebrows, but the controversy was exacerbated when images later emerged of the official not looking at the action at a certain point in the fight. It was initially alleged that he was peering at a mobile phone, but subsequent video footage appeared to confirm it was actually his scorecard; either way, he was not focused on what was unfolding in the ring.
Regarding the score itself, the Board’s summary that "The Stewards are satisfied that Mr. O’Connor’s final score reflected his own opinion of the contest", seems to entirely miss the point. Even though Mr O’Connor is honest, this does not necessarily mean he is competent, especially as the Ritson vs Vazquez score would suggest otherwise.
This seems like a missed opportunity for the Board to put their house in order and send a message to all their judging team regarding exactly what the scoring criteria is and that there would be some form of sanction for those who fail to adhere to it.
The full BBBofC statement is below:
"Boxing Board of Control Judge Mr. Terry O’Connor appeared before the Stewards of the Board to discuss his performance at the tournament held on 17th October 2020 at the East of England Showground Arena, Peterborough.
"Allegations made on social media and the print media as to Mr. O’Connor using a mobile telephone or similar handheld device were considered.
"Following extensive consideration of footage and Mr. O’Connor’s evidence supplied, the Stewards are satisfied that Mr. O’Connor was not in possession of any telephone or handheld device whilst carrying out his duties as a Judge in the contest between Lewis Ritson and Miguel Vazquez and his scoring of said bout was not affected in any way.
"In addition, Mr. O’Connor’s scoring of the bout was considered and whilst judging a contest is subjective and following Mr. O’Connor’s explanation of how he scored the bout, the Stewards are satisfied that Mr. O’Connor’s final score reflected his own opinion of the contest."