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Judges, refs make year rough on Golden Boy

It was a controversial year for boxing, and Golden Boy Promotions in particular, with several of its fighters involved in questionable decisions.

Amir Khan, Abner Mares, Victor Ortiz, Bernard Hopkins and Floyd Mayweather Jr. were among boxers with Golden Boy ties who were in disputed bouts.

“This whole year has been a horrible year in terms of refereeing and judging,” said Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy’s chief executive officer. “People have to be held accountable.”

Zab Judah complained when Khan hit him low during their July 23 fight. Referee Russell Mora missed some low blows by Mares when he fought Joseph Agbeko on Aug. 13. Ortiz’s fight against Mayweather Jr., on Sept. 17 ended in bizarre fashion when Ortiz didn’t realize the fight had resumed after he head-butted Mayweather in the fourth round. Mayweather knocked him out.

Hopkins demanded and got a rematch against Chad Dawson after the referee in their Oct. 15 fight did not call a foul on Dawson for throwing Hopkins to the canvas, which damaged Hopkins’ shoulder. Now Khan is complaining he got robbed by the referee and judges when he lost to Lamont Peterson on Dec. 10 in Washington, Peterson’s hometown.

At the WBC convention last week at Mandalay Bay, seminars were held for referees and judges with the mandate that they follow the rules and be consistent. Schaefer said it’s a step in the right direction, but he thinks the sport needs to train officials better.

“I’m not saying all referees and judges are corrupt,” Schaefer said. “But people make mistakes, and when they do, they need to be held accountable. Maybe we need to use instant replay to change some of the questionable calls.”

Nevada uses a limited instant replay system for injuries, but there are no plans to expand it.

■ GOOD YEAR FOR STATE — Thanks to appearances by Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather, boxing and mixed martial arts in Nevada generated $4.76 million in revenue for the state’s general fund this year, nearly double what the state gained during the same time frame in 2010, which produced $2.87 million.

Boxing produced $2.5 million, with 70 percent of it coming from Pacquiao’s fights against Shane Mosley in May and Juan Manuel Marquez in November, along with the Mayweather-Ortiz fight in September.

“It was one of our best years ever,” said Keith Kizer, Nevada Athletic Commission executive director. “We had a lot of very good fights this year, but the big fights generate a lot of money.”

■ KICKING OFF 2012 — Top Rank will promote the first local boxing card of 2012 when Teon Kennedy and Chris Martin square off in a super bantamweight bout Jan. 13 at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Kennedy (17-1-1, seven knockouts) is ranked No. 7 by the IBF, and Martin (23-1-2, six KOs) is No. 9. Also on the card are unbeaten Las Vegas super bantamweight Jesse Magdaleno (7-0), local junior welterweight Anthony Lenk and Las Vegas welterweight Angel Flores.

The card will be televised by ESPN as part of its “Friday Night Fights” series. Tickets, priced from $25 to $75, are on sale at the Hard Rock box office and through Ticketmaster.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter @stevecarprj.

 

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