Lennox Lewis weighs in on the long haircuts distracting judges debate

The last undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, Lennox Lewis has aired his views on the notion that long haircuts can distract boxing judges.

In a conversation with boxing promoter Michelle ‘Raging Babe’ Rosado and ex-world super-welterweight title-holder Ishe Smith, Lewis pointed out how personal locks can be to anyone.

Rosado had stated that she encourages shorter hair in order to avoid fighters seeming like they’re getting hit more as hair flies back even from defensive movement.

Smith intervened to state that no fighter should be expected to change their appearance due to substandard scoring.

The conversation went down like this:

“I tell fighters to cut the hair. Don’t grow your hair,” said Rosado. “It gives the illusion that you’re getting hit a lot more.

“When you do get hit, the hair moves all over the place. The judges have a hard enough time as it is. It is a distraction.”

Smith responded: “That’s an easy cop-out. No one should cut their hair because of p— poor judging.

“Lennox Lewis wore dreads his whole career I believe, cutting his hair to appease judges?

“So what was the judge watching in Pernell’s fight against Chavez? Or the judge that gave Ray Leonard all those (rounds).”


Lewis instantly related to what ‘Sugar Shay’ Smith had outlined.

“Agreed, hair is so personal. It should not be an excuse for bad judging. We do things for it not to be a distraction for us in the ring.

“I use to sew my locks down or braided down. Lives are on the line when a boxer steps in the ring. The judges should remember, respect it,” added the champ.

Concluding the discussion, Rosado pointed out: “Times have changed (since Lewis). Judging is even worse now. Hair can be a distraction.”

Paulie Malignaggi dreadlocks

One famous example of ‘hair being a distraction’ was when Paulie Malignaggi traveled to the UK before his fight with Ricky Hatton.

‘The Magic Man’ cut his dreads off in the ring during the fight as they continually fell over his face and made it impossible to concentrate on fighting.