Boxxer Promoter Ben Shalom and Sky’s Head of Boxing Adam Smith are working on a proposal to develop the judging system in the sport.
The British Boxing Board of Control recently announced that experienced referee and judge Ian John-Lewis had been demoted from an A Star Class to an A Class Official. The Board’s decision came after an investigation into his controversial 114-111 scorecard in favour of Josh Taylor against JackCatterall in their undisputed super-lightweight world title fight on February 26.
The fallout from the fight swept through boxing and even resulted in The Speaker of The House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, writing a letter of complaint to the police.
While the fight was a Top Rank promotion Ben Shalom and Boxxer were heavily involved with the event which was broadcast live on Sky Sports. Shalom was commended for his frank comments in the immediate aftermath of the show in Glasgow and is now seeking to find a way to minimise future mistakes in judging with a proposal he and Smith will put to the BBBofC.
“I think it’s good in terms how they dealt with Ian John-Lewis,” Shalom told Boxing Social’s Ryan Elliott.
“I don’t exactly know how long that’s for or what that means. I think the bigger picture, and this is why I’ve been upset with any sort of comments directed toward Josh Taylor, [is] this isn’t even about Taylor-Catterall. This is about British judging and boxing and how that can be developed and how
that can be more transparent and how we can minimise mistakes.
“There has to be a want to minimise mistakes by everyone. You see it in other sports. Look, there’s so much more to be done. We’re working now on developing the judging system, transparency, open scoring, technical solutions, maybe even having judges in editing suites or whatever but there
has to be a conversation now. There’s very little instruction on how a fight is judged and there needs to be more transparency with that and qualification, re-qualification for judges and things of that sort.
“We’re working hard with Adam Smith and John Wischusen who works for us to try and come up with a proposal that we can put towards the Board and get Sky behind it. If we don’t use this momentum now it will continue to go on and on.
“We saw it again [with] the scorecards for the Sandy Ryan fight and even the Marc Leach fight. We need to try and minimise mistakes. We had such a high-profile case of Catterall and Taylor and we’re going to use that as best we can to develop something to put towards the board. Robert Smith
(Board Secretary) said he’s going to be open to ideas and he’s almost welcoming them. So, maybe it falls on the promoter and the broadcaster to maybe help and put something forward and I expect us to make strides with it.”