Boxing Australia boss accepts judging criticism (The West)
Boxing Australia boss accepts judging criticism (The West)

Boxing Australia's top man has praised last week's national championships in Fremantle but recognised the call for the scoring of fights to improve.

The judges at the championships came in for heavy flak after a run of contentious decisions.

While BA chairman and president Ted Tanner would not criticise the officials, he did acknowledge there were issues at the event, which was also the chief Commonwealth Games trial.

"I'm very sensitive that we do have the best boxers winning," Tanner said. "Firstly, to be fair to the boxers. But also so the best boxers represent us.

"We had 13 R and Js (referees and judges) who were there and when you consider all of the competitions that were on - the juniors, under 15, elite men and women, etc - there weren't too many wrong decisions in the elite competition.

"But we're always looking to improve our R and Js as well as our fighters. We had two international trainers there and the feedback we got was that four of them (Boxing Australia officials) were held in high esteem.

"As for the championships, I think we had a very good venue and pretty good crowds and overall it was a good week."

The scoring system now used sees five judges score bouts, but only three determine the decision.

"Two of the judges' scores are randomly discarded by the computer. That was brought in around the world to prevent cheating because no judge is sure if their score will count.

"The downside to that is if it's a close fight and three judges go one way and two the other, the boxer who gets two votes can still win if the scores that are dropped were for the other fighter."

Tanner said Boxing Australia's selection panel will make its recommendations for the Commonwealth Games team in the next few weeks.

Western Australia's Jordan Samardali, who won the national 81kg title last week, is in the running for selection, especially after being voted elite men's boxer of the week.

However, while there are 10 men's and three women's divisions at the Games, each country is only allowed to select 11 fighters because organisers would not foot the bill for three extra fighters per team. That means heartache for the two champions who will miss out.

"Originally they weren't going to have a women's competition but I was one of the people who pushed for it," Tanner said.

"So the oragnisers said they would add three women's divisions (51kg, 60kg and 75kg) but only give teams one extra slot."

With the elite men now not using headguards, an issue last week was the number of cuts boxers suffered. One WA fighter, Callum Cassidy (64kg), won his first two fights after they were stopped early.

Tanner said BA was keen to to send a cuts specialist with the Aussie team to Glasgow.

"There was a substantial increase in cuts, especially in the first few days," he said. "That was very disappointing, although it got better as the week went on.

"It's not like the pros, where a fighter comes in and may get a cut, but he doesn't fight again for a few months. These boys might have to fight five times in seven days. So we're looking at having a specified cuts man with the team."

The West Australian

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