Boxing: Maloney wants ban on judge

BOXING

FRANK MALONEY returned to Britain last night and declared that Larry O'Connell should never be allowed to judge another world title fight. Maloney, the manager of the British heavyweight Lennox Lewis, was still furious about the World Boxing Council champion's draw with Evander Holyfield in their world heavyweight title unification bout at Madison Square Garden, New York, on Saturday night.

Maloney believes that the 60-year-old O'Connell, the WBC judge, who is British, deprived Lewis of the undisputed title when he scored the fight a 115-115 draw and O'Connell admitted yesterday: "I was wrong." The World Boxing Association judge, Stan Christodoulou of South Africa, scored the bout 116-113 in favour of Lewis while the American judge, Eugenia Williams, of the International Boxing Federation, gave it to Holyfield, the WBA and IBF champion, 115-113.

At Heathrow Airport, London, Maloney said: "Larry O'Connell should have his licence taken off him. He should never be allowed to judge another fight ever again... If Holyfield won three rounds he was lucky. In the eyes of the world Lennox Lewis is the uncrowned undisputed heavyweight champion of the world."

Lewis did not join his manager on the flight back to England. He has stayed in America and will return later in the week. Maloney said his fighter's mood was upbeat and they will now look forward to a rematch with Holyfield, which they hope will be in Britain, later in the year.

It emerged yesterday that the presidents of boxing's three primary sanctioning bodies had decided at ringside on Saturday to order a rematch. The International Boxing Federation president, Bob Lee, said yesterday that he and his counterparts in the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association would relax their rules so that the two champions can fight again within six months.

"This fight didn't do what we wanted it to do - produce a unified heavyweight champion," Lee said, adding that the decision to order a rematch was not the result of widespread condemnation of the decision in both Britain and the United States.

"Right after the fight we were standing around ringside, talking and chatting, and [WBA president] Gilberto Mendoza, Jose Sulaiman [WBC] and myself got together," Lee said. "We each agreed that... within six months these guys should fight again."

Lee refused, however, to criticise an unpopular decision. "I don't consider it a questionable decision, I consider it controversial." Lee said. "It ended in controversy and a rematch will provide a resolution."

Most of the criticism of the judges in America was directed not at O'Connell but at Williams, who had been nominated by the IBF. But Lee defended his choice.

"People have been dumping on Jean Williams. She does a good job, she's always done a good job. She does world class title bouts not just for this organisation but for others.

"I settled on her because I thought she would bring a fresh new face and she had done enough to be considered. All three had different scores and saw the fight differently."

O'Connell yesterday admitted that his heart sank when the fight result was announced as a draw - but he denied reports that he had changed his mind on his own scoring.

The 60-year-old from Kent, who described his life had been "one hell" since the fight, said: "I would not change my mind. I did it as I saw it.

"When a fight is over you get gut feelings, and my heart sank because it was a draw."

"Judged on the weight of opinion, I would say I was wrong. But I did what I thought was right at the time. I can't be more honest than that."

"People are so wound up by this. Lewis is the epitome of what is good about boxing and good about sport. I just picked it as I saw it."

Judge Eugenia Williams scored the fifth round 10-9 in favour of Holyfield and not as reported yesterday.

Fight rumpus, page 5

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss