World Boxing Council judge Stephen Blea released an honest statement in which he claims scoring on TV is sometimes better than being ringside.
Blea cited many factors in his view, pointing all of his worries out in a lengthy open letter.
It comes after Blea scored the Oscar Valdez vs. Robson Conceicao clash 117-110 to the champion.
He began: “My name is Stephen Blea, and this is an open letter that I have decided to write regarding my scoring from last Friday night in the Valdez vs. Conceicao fight in Tucson, Arizona, on 10 Sept. 21.
“I have been involved in boxing as a ring official both in the amateur and professional fields for more than 30 years. And I have officiated over 60 championship title fights as a judge and referee in several countries of the world. They include Japan, Thailand, Korea, China, Russia, Mexico, and the USA.
Also, I have Judged over 200 fights and Refereed over 500 Pro fights, with no controversy.
“I have watched the fight and thoroughly analyzed it. The 117-110 score is not accurate. It does not represent the actions in the ring, and I feel I have let down my federation, the NABF, my organization, The WBC, and most importantly, our sport and the fighters inside the ring.
“I want to share my thoughts publicly on the specific conclusions I have reached on important topics regarding judging in boxing:
“Close rounds – There were a few very close rounds in this fight. I made two mistakes, 1) not to score 10-10 in 2 rounds, I felt there was not a clear winner, 2) scoring those to the champion, and the benefit in the close actions.
“Crowd noise influence – It was a loud crowd in favor of Valdez. During the first rounds of the fight, some actions took place in a corner where I had limited view. I couldn’t see some punches land by Conceicao. There was no crowd reaction, contrary to when Valdez landed.
“I was also dealing with photographers and camera operators all cramped up. This was due to the location of the Champion Valdez in the red corner to the left of me. (I was between the photographers on the left of me and the camera crew to the right, who sometimes bumped me. They blocked and even stepped on my hands while going across the ring apron towards the Champs corner ).
“Considering these distractions, I honestly thought I would be able to do my Job 100%, no excuses.
“Getting Stuck on one fighter – I awarded three out of the first four rounds to Valdez. This is a combination of the above points I have outlined.
“I have scored the bout on tv and have a 115-112 or even a 114-113 score in favor of Valdez.
WORLD BOXING COUNCIL TRAINING
“I have decided to reach out to my NABF / WBC ring officials committee to undergo a thorough training and review program. But I will not accept any championship assignments until I complete this process.
“I am an honorable man with profound love, knowledge, and respect for the sport. I’m sorry for having a bad night and having brought unnecessary controversy to such a sensational fight.
– Stephen Blea.
Furthermore, Blea’s narrative fits that of the World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman, who has been called for noise-canceling headphones for some time now.
Sulaiman is also a champion of scoring bouts outside of the venue to gain a clearer perspective.
Could this become the future?