Boxing judge uses cell phone during controversial split decision pro fight

Boxing judge uses cell phone during controversial split decision pro fight

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England's Lewis Ritson won a controversial pro fight against Mexican fighter Miguel Vazquez in Peterborough.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

England’s Lewis Ritson won a controversial pro fight against Mexican fighter Miguel Vazquez in Peterborough.

A boxing judge has been slated on social media for using his phone during a WBA intercontinental super-lightweight title fight.

British fighter Lewis Ritson won a hugely debatable split decision against Mexican Miguel Vazquez in the English city of Peterborough on Saturday night (Sunday NZT).

Ritson got the nod from two out of three judges, but how much of the fight one of the officials was watching is debatable.

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Social media lit up after the fight with television images showing one of the judges, Terry O’Connor, distracted by his cell phone, rather than analysing what was going on in the ring.

Promoter Eddie Hearn, who felt Vazquez deserved the win, voiced his disapproval on Twitter saying: “If that’s a phone (and I presume it is) then BBBofC (British Boxing Board of Control) should immediately remove him.”

Most fans on social media believed Vazquez should have prevailed, but Ritson thought he was the rightful victor.

“I was confident I won the fight although I knew it was close,” Ritson said in his post-fight interview. “I was hitting him with the cleaner shots and he was tap-tap-tap and running away.”

O’Connor has turned in a number of contentious scorecards in recent years, including a widely criticised 117-111 verdict for WBA super-middleweight champion Callum Smith over John Ryder last November.

O’Connor also scored Joseph Parker’s hotly disputed WBO heavyweight title defence against Hughie Fury in 2017 118-110 in the Kiwi’s favour.

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