Following his curious conduct during the Lewis Ritson vs Miguel Vazquez main event on Saturday, and subsequent contentious scorecard, judge Terry O’Connor has been called before the Board
Following the controversial conduct of ringside judge Terry O’Connor during the Lewis Ritson vs Miguel Vazquez main event from Peterborough on Saturday (show report here), and the contentious scorecard he then turned in at the bout’s conclusion, the Birmingham man has been called before the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC).
O’Connor’s 117-111 tally in favour of Ritson, who was seemingly outboxed for lengthy periods of the 12-rounder, raised eyebrows even before an image emerged of him apparently distracted from the action in the ring, looking instead at an object in his hand, possibly a mobile phone. The combination of these two developments appear to be the final straw for an official with a chequered history of questionable scorecards.
Even on the same card as Ritson-Vazquez, O’Connor, a 67-year-old former pro heavyweight, turned in a score sheet that made Thomas Patrick Ward a four-point victor over Thomas Essomba, their contest being halted early in the ninth round to precipitate a technical decision. O’Connor’s two colleagues had it level and Essomba ahead, respectively, leading to a draw overall. In the main event, Terry was not the only judge to have Ritson winning but Michael Alexander at least made it close, while Marcus McDonnell had Vazquez a clear victor.
O’Connor is notorious for a number of high-profile scores, including, as referee and sole arbiter, making Tyson Fury a fortunate winner over John McDermott in their first fight, and by a whopping six-point margin.
BBBofC General Secretary Robert Smith, interviewed yesterday morning, claimed there was "Nothing controversial" about the Ritson vs Vazquez verdict, so presumably the order for O’Connor to appear before the Board Stewards is more related to his apparent lack of focus, however momentary, caught on camera.