The role of the referee in boxing is extremely important. His job is to ensure not only that the rules are followed, but also that the athletes' health is protected. In fact, in addition to potentially distorting the sporting outcome, a bad call by the referee can put the boxers' safety in jeopardy, with potentially fatal consequences.
In the history of boxing, there have been countless national and international referees who have distinguished themselves for their impeccable directions, wisdom, and common sense; today, however, we want to highlight some unfortunate exceptions and thus propose a list of 10 arbitrages to forget.
Juan Martin Coggi vs Eder Gonzalez 1 - Referee: Isidro Rodriguez
Coggi, the WBA super-lightweight champion, landed Gonzalez and moved forward to finish him, but he suffered a bad right foot injury. The match was supposed to end soon after, but Venezuelan referee Isidro Rodriguez did everything he could to keep the Argentine on his feet, oblivious to his condition.
They helped him from ringside by ringing the bell well before the end of the round in the mess. In the end, Coggi incredibly imposed himself in front of the limit.
Wladimir Klitschko vs Alexander Povetkin - Referee: Luis Pabon
Wladimir Klitschko is well-known for his disproportionate and obnoxious use of the clinch throughout his career, but his behavior against local hero Povetkin in Moscow surpassed all expectations.
More than a boxing match, the Ukrainian led a Greco-Roman battle by grabbing his opponent every time he closed the distance between them and pushing him left and right without thinking. He only received a single penalty point.
Holly Holm vs Anne Sophie Mathis 1 - Referee: Rocky Burke
When we mentioned the safety of boxers in the introduction, we were referring to situations like this. Referee Burke had no qualms about attempting to assist his fellow countrywoman Holm, even if it meant jeopardizing her health.
The American was being subjected to particularly harsh punishment, and she was allowed to continue even after she had become almost unconscious in the ropes due to her soft legs. The result was a KO that could have been avoided.
Sergio Martinez vs Kermit Cintron - Referee: Frank Santore Jr
It's hard to believe what happened in the seventh round of this interim WBC superwelterweight title fight. Martinez landed a beautiful left foot on Cintron, and referee Santore Jr declared the KO after counting to ten.
The referee was forced to retrace his steps and resume the match after the Puerto Rican's vehement protests about a non-existent header! In addition to the damage, the absurd draw decreed by the judges was an insult.
Nigel Benn vs Gerald McClellan - Referee: Alfred Asaro
It's a delicate and often impossible operation to determine the exact causes and reasons for a permanent injury that occurs at the end of a match. As a result, it would be incorrect to blame the French referee Asaro for McClellan's partial paralysis, which he will have to deal with for the rest of his life.
Nonetheless, it's impossible not to mention that the referee let the boxers get away with a lot that night, including a lot of dangerous blows to the back of the head.
Obodai Sai vs Jaime Cox - Referee: Mark Green
Green, an English referee, let his compatriot Cox break the rules all the time by flying over a slew of low blows and only penalizing him twice after the most egregious of offenses.
Despite protests from the same London crowd, Ghanaian Sai, who should have won by disqualification, was declared defeated on points. Sai was so enraged that he refused to give his opponent the Commonwealth belt.
Mairis Briedis vs Krzysztof Glowacki - Referee: Robert Byrd
Even the greatest referees experience the passage of time. Byrd was a great race director, but he should be honored and banned from racing by the time he reaches the age of 77.
From the elbow of Briedis being treated with incredible indulgence to the bell at the end of the second round being ignored for more than ten seconds to the point of allowing a decisive knockdown outside the maximum time, his work in Riga was a complete disaster. The Poles' team has every right to be incensed.
Humberto Soto vs Francisco Lorenzo 1 - Referee: Joe Cortez
Another "big name" protagonist of a bad night, Cortez became the night's absolute protagonist when he denied poor Soto a well-deserved KO, improbably disqualifying him.
When Soto's opponent knelt in exhaustion, he had already landed Lorenzo once and was burying him with blows. The Mexican made the mistake of striking the back of the opponent's neck with his final blow, but the impact was minimal, and the disqualification was sensationally disproportionate.
Anne Sophie Mathis vs Christina Hammer - Referee: Manfred Kuechler
Another unsettling disqualification occurred in front of the fans of her opponent Hammer in the German ring of Dessau, involving the frequently mistreated Frenchwoman Mathis.
Mathis had knocked out her opponent with a series of very regular hooks to the temple, but the referee, German like Hammer, Kuechler, saw an alleged irregularity and decided to disqualify her. Thankfully, this ludicrous decision was later changed to a No Contest.
Abner Mares vs Joseph Agbeko - Referee: Russell Mora
When a boxer hits below the belt and the referee pretends not to see or only makes minor calls with no consequences, the misconduct is likely to be repeated.
This is exactly what happened in Las Vegas when Mares and Agbeko crossed their gloves for the first time under referee Mora's supervision. Mares was allowed to hit low repeatedly by the latter, who even gave him a KD after an uppercut to the groin area.