The Five Worst Boxing Decisions

The Five Worst Boxing Decisions

By Henry Walter

The Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall fight on Saturday night resulted in an extremely controversial verdict.

This writer scored the fight 116-109 for Catterall and it seems virtually all boxing pundits agree Catterall won the fight clearly.

The outcry from fans and the media has been enormous and rightly so. Talk of boxing corruption raised its ugly head in Glasgow last night and not for the first time.

Here are five of the worst boxing decisions I’ve seen during my lifetime.

  1. Erislandy Savon vs Anthony Joshua

Olympic Super-Heavyweight Bout

Britain’s Anthony Joshua went into the 2012 Olympic Games in his home country as the favourite. Yet after three rounds of boxing versus the unheralded Erislandy Savon he looked a clear loser. The smaller Cuban boxed beautifully with a clever in and out style to befuddle the stiffer Joshua, who struggled to land cleanly throughout.

As the bell sounded to end the fight Savon walked away with his arm raised as Joshua slumped back to his corner with his head down. Joshua was then controversially declared the winner by countback, the obvious beneficiary of a hometown decision.

  1. Lennox Lewis vs Evander Holyfield

Undisputed Heavyweight Championship

When Lennox Lewis went to America to challenge Evander Holyfield for the heavyweight crown he dominated the fight. Till this day no reputable pundit has gone on record as saying they thought Holyfield deserved the draw he was awarded, allowing him to keep his titles. The decision was so bad the FBI actually investigated all involved, sadly to no avail.

  1. Jack Catterall vs Josh Taylor

Undisputed Light-welterweight Championship

Catterall had waited three years for this opportunity and he didn’t waste his chance. He boxed beautifully to win the vast majority of the rounds to any fair viewer, out-boxing the champion and even flooring him in the eighth round. All three judges, two of whom scored to Taylor and the other far too closely to Catterall, should never be allowed to judge a big fight again.

  1. Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley

WBO Welterweight Championship

Former multi-weight champion Manny Pacquiao dominated his American rival with fast combinations and lightning straight lefts. He appeared to have won every round comfortably and won yet another title at a canter. The judges ridiculously disagreed and somehow made Bradley a split-decision winner to a huge outcry.

  1. Robin Reid vs Sven Ottke

WBA and IBF Super-middleweight Championship

Held in German champion Sven Ottke’s backyard this fight was a farce from start to finish. The referee, one Roger Tilleman, never bothered to hide the fact that he was completely biased towards the home fighter. He was heavily criticised post fight for his performance which heavily favoured the crowd’s favourite Ottke.

He somehow “missed” a perfectly legitimate knockdown of Ottke in round six, instead ruling it a slip and bizarrely taking a point off Reid instead. He later alleged this was for a head-butt that everyone else had somehow missed.

When the decision was announced a very beaten up looking Ottke was ridiculously awarded the official decision that no one outside of Germany thought he deserved. Reid, completely unmarked, dryly remarked after the fight that:

“At least Dick Turpin wore a mask when he robbed people!”

Boxing is so hugely damaged by these decisions which are an enormous and a shameful blight on the sport.

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