WBA judge Gloria Rizzo Martinez had to step back from boxing in 2021 after a shocking scorecard incident and a racism storm erupted.
Rizzo carded the WBA interim welterweight title fight in August of 2021. It featured Colombian Gabriel Maestre and US contender Mykal Fox.
After twelve rounds, most of those witnessing the contest saw a solid win for Fox. However, all three officials appointed, Rizzo [117-110], John Mariano [115-112], and David Singh [114-113], sided with Maestre.
Fans and media were disgusted with the decision. But it was Rizzo who singled herself out with an outrageous and utterly impossible card of 117-110 for Maestre.
As Rizzo faced a social media barrage, a separate tactic of going through her previous social media posts uncovered tweets with racial tones that the WBA could not dispute.
Gloria Rizzo return
World Boxing Association President Gilberto Mendonda was backed into a corner and had to act. Therefore, he suspended Rizzo for six months.
Almost exactly half a year later, Rizzo was rehired to work for the WBA. Mendoza did not announce a race awareness course or a judging refresher for Rizzo. It seems she was allowed to return after a simple cooling-off period.
Back on February 11th of this year, Rizzo came out of hiding at Miami Airport Convention Center. She subsequently judged five cards, one of which was another controversial decision in a split verdict.
For the Fatima Dudieva vs. Indeya Smith bantamweight bout over six rounds, Rizzo carded in favor of Smith by five rounds to one. Unsurprisingly, Rodolfo Aguilar and Vincente Rodriguez both saw it 4-2 to Dudieva.
That might not seem like a big swing. But in a six-round fight that was equivalent to the card, she handed in for Fox vs. Maestre.
So, the WBA hasn’t learned from its mistakes. They should stand Rizzo down permanently if they are not going to push some sort of re-training on a judge that is clearly becoming a liability.
No sooner had she sat back down at ringside, though, had questions begun to be asked.
Fox, the boxer at the center of the storm, was curious as to how Rizzo was allowed back. “Professor Myke” was dumbfounded when Rizzo featured as a judge on the recent heavyweight clash between Trevor Bryan and Daniel Dubois after that comeback shocker.
“I didn’t say anything when she was working small card in Florida. But being back at the championship level lets me know that they were just waiting for the controversy to die down.
“Good thing I kept receipts,” said the welterweight.
WBN Editor Phil has over ten years of boxing news experience. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.