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Some judges cheat, admits AIBA technical delegate

March 15, 2010 08:17 IST

An improved system of scoring notwithstanding, cheating by judges is still a reality in international boxing, concedes AIBA Referees and Judges Commission secretary Pat McCrory.

The International Boxing Association's (AIBA) current system of scoring has five judges observing the bout from all four corners of the ring and a point is awarded only when three of them press the scoring buzzer within one second of each other.

"It's not the perfect system because despite the computers, the system is being operated by humans and they are bound to make mistakes," McCrory, who is a technical delegate for the fifth Commonwealth Boxing Championships said.

"There has been cheating by judges in the past under pressure or for whatever other reasons. We have caught most of them but some cheats are still there," McCrory, who is also the President of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, conceded.

The previous system of scoring, in operation until two years ago, was such that every point given by a judge was counted making it easier for the "cheats", said McCrory.

"Until two years ago, we had complaint virtually in every tournament but now the number has gone down considerably. The judges are being observed and any malpractice leads to direct suspension," he added.

On whether more technology can help lessen the mistakes, McCrory said, "99 per cent of the time, we are getting the right winners. But sometimes, I admit that the scores are not really correct."

"All this talk of technology is fine but at the end of the day, it is being managed by humans and we all know that there are lot of human errors. We have to train people using the system," the 65-year-old former boxer added.

Explaining the system of appeals for an aggrieved boxer, McCrory said the pugilist has to put his complaint within 30 minutes of the bout and if found genuine, it may lead to the sacking of the referees and judges concerned.

"If our commission finds that there was something fishy about the scoring, the judges and referees are suspended straight away. That is the maximum punishment for any wrongdoing," he said.

"But the result of the bout cannot be changed until it is ascertained that the rules were flouted. There is an old saying in boxing that all the good boxers are sitting in thejury and all the good judges are sitting in the galleries. So, we cannot really make everyone happy," he said.

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