Ian John-Lewis is reported to be in the midst of a discrimination claim to the British Boxing Board of Control, prompted by the actions taken over his judging of the Josh Taylor versus Jack Catterall fight in February 2022.
The former fighter turned referee was at the very centre of the controversial decision – one which saw Taylor retain his undisputed super lightweight titles despite the majority of fighters, fans, and pundits believing the challenger had done enough to win.
So controversial was the outcome that the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, reported it to the police. The pair are to rematch in March of this year.
John-Lewis scored the bout 114-111 to Taylor, alongside Victor Loughlin’s 113-112. Howard Foster gave it to Catterall 113-112. In the aftermath, John-Lewis was downgraded from an A* license to an A by the BBBofC.
It was a decision that would likely stop him from helming world title fights. In light of that, he relinquished his license before joining the British and Irish Boxing Authority.
The judge has accused the board, as per the Daily Mail, of making him a scapegoat for the highly controversial result. The fight drew much scrutiny from fans – more so than most poor decisions – and became a real conversation point about the scoring system in boxing.
Separate to John-Lewis’ complaint is one made by Jeff Hinds.
Hinds believes that he has not been given the judging opportunities he deserves since lodging a defamation claim against the BBBofC in 2020.
This stemmed from a fellow referee’s complaint on Hinds’ behaviour being dismissed by the Board, but Hinds still believing the details of the conclusion to be unfair.
These two cases coming to light represent a year to forget for the BBBofC, who also had to deal with Conor Benn’s failed doping tests in the lead up to his fight with Chris Eubank Jr.
Whilst not all the information is available, the promoters involved in the bout, Eddie Hearn and Kalle Sauerland, have said publicly that they believe the Board’s handling of the situation left a lot to be desired.
No representative has been able to be reached for comment.