Shame That Judge!



Shame That Judge!

Welcome to “Shame That Judge,” a new weekly column we really hope not to do weekly. Or, preferably, ever again.

“Shame That Judge” shines a spotlight on shameful judging, the act of turning in boxing scorecards that bear no relationship to reality or what everyone else on the planet saw happen in the ring.

No one knows who invented shameful judging, but it was perfected September 16, 2017 by Patron Saint of Shameful Judging Adalaide Byrd.

Saint Byrd

Byrd’s 118-110 scorecard for Canelo Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) in the first of his three fights against Gennady Golovkin (42-2-1, 37 KOs) set a gold standard for shameful judging that has yet to be matched.

There are no consequences for shameful judging!

I would love to accuse the system in place of being useless, because it would at least mean there is a system in place.

But the only consequence a shameful judge suffers is another opportunity to continue failing upwards.

So, since no one else seems to want to hold these judges accountable in any meaningful way, I decided I would. Hence this column.

One can be excused for thinking “doesn’t everyone have a rough day at work now and then?”, because yes, everyone does. The difference is if you or I mess up at work, we hear about it. We’re forced to take accountability and suffer consequences.

When shameful judges judge shamefully, the only one who suffers is the fighter who was wronged.

A fighter who spent their entire career striving for a chance at greatness, and when they actually succeed under the bright lights, the accomplishment is ripped away by some chump in a tie whose mind may have been elsewhere.

Careers are ruined by bad judging. Earned championships and paydays are negated by bad judging. Fighters’ lives and livelihoods are ruined by bad judging.

February 8, 2024, Jamaine Ortiz (17-2-1, 8 KOs) suffered the same indignation, which brings us to our first shamed judge of the column:

Steve Weisfeld

Steve Weisfeld is considered by many, if not most, to be the best judge in boxing.

When I’m scoring fights at home, and I see I’ve scored it the same as Steve Weisfeld, I give myself a high-five, because it signals that I’m good at what I’m doing.

Opening a column called “Shame That Judge” by going after Steve Weisfeld is the boxing journalism equivalent of going to prison, and on the first day, finding the biggest, meanest dude in the courtyard and punching him in the face.

Steve Weisfeld has been a professional boxing judge for thirty-three years, and this is his photo from BoxRec.

Either Weisfeld’s a vampire or the only photo he has of himself was taken while waiting in line opening night to see The Matrix. I suspect it’s the latter, but if you’re around Steve, maybe cover your neck as a safety precaution.

Weisfeld’s record is not in question. His scoring of Teofimo Lopez (20-1, 13 KOs) vs Ortiz is.

I’m almost sympathetic, because the Lopez vs Ortiz fight was boxing Nyquil. But Weisfeld was there because he was paid to be there, and I’m sure at least two rules of boxing judging are “1. Be awake; 2. Look in the ring”.

Teofimo couldn’t do anything against Ortiz. Lopez’s gameplan wasn’t working, and he had no Plan B.

Many, perhaps even most (according at least to my corner of #Boxing Twitter) believed Ortiz was robbed of a rightful win against Lopez. I agree.

For boxing judges, a common shortcut to thinking is to give the round to the more aggressive fighter, which Lopez definitely was.

It wasn't quite as disappointing as Stevenson vs. De Los Santos, but Lopez vs. Ortiz failed to deliver for fans. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

Teofimo Vs Ortiz was a stinker. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

Lopez’s aggression, however, failed to yield him results. Lopez’s aggression, which was apparently his only gameplan, was a disaster. Why?

Because Ortiz’s gameplan of nullifying Lopez’s aggression was a smashing (though unfortunately not literally smashing) success.

Not only was Ortiz’s gameplan a success, according to Compubox, he even out threw and out landed Lopez.

Of the two fighters, Ortiz is the only one who had a game plan that worked.

Out of the two fighters, Ortiz is the one who threw more punches and landed more shots. There is no metric by which Lopez could credibly be called the winner of the fight.

Steve Weisfeld scored the fight 117-111 for Teofimo Lopez.

SHAME ON YOU, STEVE WEISFELD. You were incompetent that night at your job, and the only one who suffered was Jamaine Ortiz. February 8, 2024 should have been the biggest night of Ortiz’s career, and you ripped it away from him. SHAME.

(Message to judges Tim Cheatham and David Sutherland: You escape shaming in this article, because your 115-113 scores for Lopez, while eyebrow raising, can at least be plausibly defended. But now our eyes are on you. Especially you, Tim, whose last name is literally what you, Sutherland and Weisfeld did to Ortiz)

Moving on to…

Dr. Lou Moret

Dr. Lou Moret and his rosy cheeks –

– pictured here looking like Pinocchio before he Benjamin Button’ed into a real boy, is a “doctor of public administration:”

I googled what being a doctor of public administration means, and the simplest definition is Moret’s a doctor of not being a doctor. Lou Moret’s a doctor the same way Lou Albano’s a captain. So says Hospital Administrator Beowulf Jones.

SHAME ON YOU, DR. LOU MORET. Your February 16, 2024 scorecard of Joseph Diaz, Jr. (33-5-1, 15 KOs) vs Jesus Perez (25-, 18 KOs) was SHAMEFUL. Moret scored it 99-90 for Perez.

But wait… Perez was the rightful winner. What’s the problem if it went to the right guy?

The problem, thank you for asking, is Moret’s scorecard bears no resemblance to what actually happened in the fight.

Diaz, perhaps fighting in this fight for the right to continue thinking of himself as an elite boxer, won at least some rounds convincingly. Not enough to win, but certainly more than one round!

I scored it 97-92 for Perez. Judges Tiffany Clinton and Zachary Young (who, as opposed to me, were actually paid to judge the fight) scored it 96-94 and 95-94 respectively. Were it not for the point Diaz had deducted by the ref during the fight, Young’s score would have been a draw.

Moret’s scorecard, even if he did have it for the right guy, is shameful.

It sets up the idea that “sure, sometimes bad scorecards go in a way that robs a fighter, but sometimes they go the other way too.”

That is not a rationale. That is not a justification. Moret is expected to be good at his job even when incompetence doesn’t ruin a boxer’s life in one fail swoop.

SHAME ON YOU, Dr. Lou Moret. You were bad at your job, and if this is not recognized, you may very well be bad at it again.

Next time it may have dire consequences.

And unlike you, a fighter getting robbed of his one chance for greatness will not have “doctor of public administration” money to fall back on.

The only thing Moret needs to publicly administrate is an apology to Perez, and all the boxing fans he let down by failing at his job.

(Message to judge Tiffany Clinton: your 96-94 score indicates you forgot about the point the ref deducted from Diaz. What you were going for was 96-93.

All you had to do was add the numbers, then subtract one. Your job is not hard. I know it’s not hard because I do it for free and for fun.

Do you think I do anything challenging for free and for fun? I do not.

No shame for you in the column at this time, judge Clinton, but please, DO BETTER!