Ian John-Lewis disciplined in hollow one-round gesture, change is needed

Iain John-Lewis

Esther Lin / SHO

Ian John-Lewis is now an A-Class official rather than an A-Star one. No doubt he woke up this morning completely gutted about that.

However, the British Boxing Board of Control’s punishment over the scoring of the Josh Taylor vs. Jack Catterall fight literally doesn’t make sense.

On the one hand, the BBBofC said: “The Board was satisfied that Mr. John-Lewis’ scorecard did not affect the overall result of the contest. But the Stewards of the Board did have a margin issue.”

Now, that sentence alone baffles the mind. So, it did not affect the result when John-Lewis carded 114-111 to Taylor? – It one hundred percent did.

John-Lewis carded only four rounds for Catterall despite the challenger out-scoring in punches for eleven of the twelve sessions.

If he’d have seen what everyone else saw for the first six rounds, Catterall would have won at a canter.

Also, given their actions, it looks as though the BBBofC had no problem at all with Victor Loughlin’s 113-112 to Taylor.

Therefore – ultimately, the Board was unhappy about one round more scored for the champion? – That’s ridiculous and even worse given that the phrase features in an official statement.

Airing what transpired during the meeting, the Board added: “Following an internal review of the scoring of the Josh Taylor v Jack Catterall contest by all three appointed judges, the Stewards of the Board decided to call Mr. Ian John-Lewis to appear before them to explain his returned card.

IAN JOHN-LEWIS

“Having considered Mr. Ian John-Lewis’ explanation, the Stewards of the Board decided to downgrade Mr. John-Lewis from an A-Star Class to an A-Class Official.

“As the regulatory body for the sport in Great Britain, the British Boxing Board of Control continues to improve and maintain the high quality and consistency in scoring by our licensed officials.

“As such, the Stewards further decided that in addition to each A Star Class Official evaluation after each bout, as per current procedure, they will now also be subject to a separate individual annual review.”

All that jargon sounds good on paper, but it does nothing for Jack Catterall in the cold light of day.

Airing his views on the actions taken, the Chorley man said: “Not good enough.”

And he’s right. For too long, organizations like the British Board, the World Boxing Association, and others have gotten away with slapping the wrists of incompetent officiating.

Even with their plea that Catterall should get another shot at the title, his greatest night got taken away from him forever. He won’t get that back.

The shocking thing is that Taylor himself still believes he won. The Scot won’t admit that he probably lost the fight. He’s also getting validation from most of the high-profile media in the United States, those who obviously didn’t watch the same contest as everyone else.

DAMAGING

Catterall can take solace in the fact his reputation is enhanced. But for too long, boxing fans and competitors have put up with the lack of transparency in the sport.

It’s been damaging for years, and there has to be some sort of retrospect to overturn shocking results. Sanctioning bodies did it in the past, so why not now?

Taylor is also getting validation from people yelling, ‘it was a close fight’ without really looking at the evidence. That is a travesty in itself.

The statistics are there for all to see, and they tell no lies.

Nonetheless, the Board wants Catterall to be next in line for a title shot, potentially with all four bodies. But that doesn’t begin to go far enough to appease the fact Taylor undeservedly can still call himself undisputed.

“The British Boxing Board of Control has contacted the WBO, WBC, IBF, and WBA. They support Jack Catterall as the mandatory challenger for each or all Championship Sanctioning Bodies,” they said.

Also, this week, the British Board announced sanctions against Russia.

They said: “Please note, the British Boxing Board of Control will not permit Boxers registered/licensed by the Russian Boxing Federation or Belarussian Federation of Professional Boxing to compete in the United Kingdom under the jurisdiction of the BBBofC at this time.”

The views expressed in this article are opinions of Phil Jay.

Phil has over ten years of boxing news experience. Founding editor of World Boxing News since 2010. WBN has over one billion views on all platforms.

Attending over 200 events and scoring over 400 fights, Phil has overseen WBN to a quarter of a million followers on social media.

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