Judge to appear before BBBofC after accusation of using phone during Ritson bout

Lewis Ritson, left, beat Miguel Vazquez, right, via a hotly-disputed split decision on Saturday (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Lewis Ritson, left, beat Miguel Vazquez, right, via a hotly-disputed split decision on Saturday (Owen Humphreys/PA) (PA Archive)
17:00pm, Mon 19 Oct 2020
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Judge Terry O’Connor has been summoned to appear before British Boxing Board of Control stewards after he was accused of looking at his phone while officiating a bout between Lewis Ritson and Miguel Vazquez.

Ritson was awarded a hotly-disputed split-decision victory in the light-welterweight contest in Peterborough on Saturday night, with O’Connor’s 117-111 scorecard in favour of the British fighter coming under some scrutiny.

Ritson’s promoter Eddie Hearn was among a number of people to share a stills image which allegedly showed O’Connor glancing away from the ring and looking down on his phone while the action was ongoing.

The BBBofC is looking into the matter and has asked O’Connor to explain himself.

A statement said: “Mr O’Connor will appear before the stewards of the British Boxing Board of Control following his appointment to the boxing tournament at the East of England Showground Arena on Saturday, 17th October 2020.”

Hearn believes O’Connor should be stood down as a judge if the claims he was using his phone are proven to be true.

He wrote on Twitter: “IF it’s a phone he should be removed and if not he should be accountable for the score card. The BBBofC have called a hearing and we will see, it’s over to them.”

Ritson recorded his 21st win in 22 professional contests after edging out former IBF lightweight titlist Vazquez, who suffered the 10th defeat of his 52-fight career and fifth in eight of his most recent outings.

However, Hearn thought the Mexican veteran deserved the nod, while manager Sam Jones, who oversees the career of British heavyweight Joe Joyce, went a step further.

He wrote on Twitter: “I promise that’s the worst decision I’ve ever seen in boxing.”

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