Ian John-Lewis, the veteran British referee and judge who was heavily criticized for his scorecard for the junior welterweight undisputed title bout between Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall and subsequently demoted, has filed a complaint against the British Board of Boxing Control, according to a report by The Mail.
John-Lewis, 60, was one of three judges involved in last year’s infamous Taylor-Catterall title bout, which the champion, Taylor, controversially won by split decision. It is widely regarded as one of the biggest robberies in recent memory.
According to the Mail, John-Lewis, a former boxer, is now accusing the BBBofC of treating him like a “scapegoat.”
The Mail also reported that veteran referee Jeff Hinds, 61, is pursuing a claim with the BBBofC as well, albeit a separate one involving defamation.
The boxing world erupted in outrage over the scorecards submitted for Taylor-Catterall, particularly in response to the two referees who had Taylor winning: John-Lewis and Victor Loughlin. But most of the ire went to John-Lewis because of the margin of his scorecard. Loughlin’s scorecard read 113-112, while John-Lewis had it 114-111. The third judge, Howard Foster, favored Catterall by 113-112.
During a hearing with the BBBofC last spring, John-Lewis was demoted from the A Star class group of referees—a distinction he earned in 2000 as the first Black Briton to do so—to A class
According to the Mail, John-Lewis has taken issue with the fact that he was the only judge to suffer repercussions by both the public and the Board.
This was not John-Lewis’ first time attracting criticism as a judge. Previously he came under fire for scoring Rey Vargas’ win over Gavin McDonnell in their 2017 super bantamweight title bout a draw. John-Lewis was also criticized for scoring the first eight rounds for Kevin Mitchell in his 2015 lightweight fight against Jorge Linares. It was immaterial, as Linares wound up stopping Mitchell in the 10th round. More recently, John-Lewis was lambasted for turning in a 117-111 scorecard in favor of light heavyweight contender Anthony Yarde against Lyndon Arthur; the two other judges, however, had Arthur winning 115-114.
Taylor and Catterall will face each other in a rematch, reportedly on March 4 in Glasgow, Scotland, Taylor’s backyard. Only the WBO title will be at stake, as Taylor vacated his other belts in order to focus on this fight.
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