The 6 Biggest Robberies In Boxing History
The decision to give Josh Taylor the nod over Jack Catterall in the super lightweight world championship boxing bout last Saturday was a contentious result at best and a corrupt one at worst.
But, it's not nearly the first time a furore has rumbled on over the decision to gift a win to the man who was a pre-fight favourite with the best betting sites.
With a subjective scoring system, a decision result is always open to debate, but it also allows for manipulation and influence. A judge might be swayed by the crowd, they might think that going against the favourite will lose them future work or, simply, the fix might be in before the opening bell.
Catterall, an 11/1 underdog with the best online betting sites for boxing last weekend, seemed in control against Taylor - he landed more punches in 11 of the 12 rounds, more power punches in nine of the rounds and he dropped the Scot in the eighth.
The split decision in favour of Taylor didn't just deny Catterall a world title, it stopped him becoming a unified and undisputed champion in the four-belt era - a feat that would have put him in the history books with just a handful of other elite boxers who captured all the major belts at once.
The result is the most recent in a string of dodgy decisions on British shores: a few weeks ago London's John Ryder snatched a win against American Daniel Jacobs in the UK's capital, Lewis Ritson benefitted from home cooking against Miguel Vazquez, and Natasha Jonas was robbed when she only got a draw against Terri Harper.
Realistically though, these robberies were pocket money compared to some of boxing's all time biggest heists. We’ll let you argue over which one was the worst!
A Rich History Of Robbery
Julio Cesar Chavez Draw With Pernell Whitaker
Chavez had amassed a record of 87-0 and he was considered one of the pound-for-pound best in 1993, but he still had more to prove so he moved up to welterweight to take on Whittaker - a three-weight world champion, an Olympic gold medalist, and his only defeat had been five years previous.
Although the fight was in America, the pro-Mexican crowd in Texas was silenced by Whittaker's classy work on the outside and sharp inside game.
The result after 12 rounds seemed to be a clear-cut win for Whittaker, but two of the judges managed to score the contest even and preserved Chavez's unbeaten record.
Joe Louis Split Decision Win Over Jersey Joe Walcott
Even legendary, long-reigning heavyweight champ Louis needed a hand from the judges during his career.
In 1947, Louis had been at the top for almost a decade, while Jersey Joe had exchanged wins and losses as he steadily improved and moved up through the weights.
In the event, Walcott dropped Louis twice during the 15-round contest, but somehow the champ retained his title via a couple of generous judges.
After the fight Louis apologised to his challenger and granted him a rematch six months later - Louis took care of business this time with an 11th round KO.
Bad Calls In The Unpaid Code
Park Si-Hun Wins Gold Over Roy Jones Jr
Possibly the worst example of boxing judging comes from the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Roy Jones Jr was mesmerising through the tournament and didn't drop a round until the gold medal match, while home fighter Park had already benefited from some dubious officiating before the final.
In the showdown Jones out-landed his opponent 86-to-32 but the scorers saw it fit to give the title to the local man.
The bout was investigated - two of the judges never officiated again and Olympic boxing changed its scoring - but Jones was stuck with his silver medal.
Vladimir Nikitin Eliminates Michael Conlan
Famous for his double-barrelled middle finger response, Conlan's defeat in the Rio 2016 Olympic quarter final was a shock inside and outside of the ring.
The Irish southpaw was reigning World and European champ and he appeared to do enough to get through to the bronze medal match.
The judges gave the fight 2-1 in rounds to Nikitin, who ended up having to withdraw from the semi-final because of injuries sustained at the hands of Conlan.
The pair met in the professional arena in 2019 and Mick beat the Russian by a wide unanimous decision.
More Recent Robberies
Robert Helenius Beats Dereck Chisora
In the early 2000's, before the UK was the home of the controversial decision, you could count on mainland Europe for some biased scoring.
Back in 2011, a fresh-faced Chisora went to Helsinki in his 17th professional bout to battle for the European strap against hometown heavyweight Helenius.
The officials concluded that "Del Boy" had come up short despite it appearing to almost everyone else that Chisora had bossed the bout, so much so that the Brit got a world title shot against Vitali Klitschko in his very next fight - a contest which Chisora comfortably lost.
Carl Froch ‘KOs’ George Groves
Although most robberies come via erroneous judging some can come from inadequate refereeing.
Froch was a veteran champion looking for mega fights when London upstart George Groves came calling him out. Groves believed he had the power and the ring craft to handle Froch and for eight rounds he backed up his words - even dropping the infamously granite-chinned Nottingham champ.
"The Cobra" had started to turn the tide in the middle rounds and in the ninth stanza he had Groves backpedalling under an onslaught when, inexplicably, the referee jumped in to 'save' Groves and give the win to Froch.
Groves protested and got the rematch, but without such a blistering start Froch took control and conclusively knocked out his bitter rival.
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