On July 22, George Kambosos Jr. (21-2, 10 KOs) took on Daniel Hughes, better known to fans as Maxi Hughes (26-6-2, 5 KOs), at the FireLake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma, USA. Kambosos won a majority decision with scores of 114-114, 115-113, and 117-111. However, the scoring has reignited an all too familiar discussion about judging in boxing. Despite appearing to outbox Kambosos over 12 rounds, Hughes did not get the decision. Big Fight Weekend takes a closer look at the scorecards.
Following the bout, Top Rank Boxing publicist Evan Korn made the judge’s tally public.
Take it away, Twitter pic.twitter.com/9tiOh8YIub
— Evan Korn (@KornerMan44) July 23, 2023
Judges for this bout were Josef Mason, Gerald Ritter, and David Sutherland. The score that has had many fight fans perplexed is Mason’s score of 117-111. With that total, he is telling us that he saw Kambosos win nine out of twelve rounds, which just does not seem possible at all. What is most frustrating is that it is almost guaranteed he will never have to justify his scorecard to anyone. The reason I can say that with confidence is because Mason has produced dubious scorecards in high profile, televised bouts before. Despite this, he continues to get major assignments. I took a look at past scorecards he has produced and there are some really questionable ones.
Mason was one of the ringside judges for the Regis Prograis-Danielito Zorrilla clash in which he scored the bout 117-110 for Prograis. The fight itself saw limited action (aside from Prograis knocking down Zorrilla in round three), with neither fighter landing much. As a result, many had the bout fairly close. Mason and one other judge wound up producing two very wide scorecards for Prograis, which just seemed far from what others were seeing.
Another questionable scorecard produced by Mason was the one he had for Shinard Bunch-Janelson Bocachica. In that bout, Bunch appeared to outbox Bocachica over ten rounds. Going into the final round, many believed Bocachica needed a knockout in order to win, which he did not end up getting. Mason somehow scored the bout 96-94 for Bocachica. The Prograis-Zorrilla and Bunch-Bocachica bouts both show that in spite of questionable scoring, the sport is perfectly fine with letting Mason continue judging without facing consequences for bad scorecards.
The other two scorecards
Ritter and Sutherland also produced scores that do not align with what many watched on Saturday. Although they are not as bad as the one produced by Mason, it does not mean they should be ignored.
Bad scores are bad scores.
In the end, these combination of totals ended a solid streak of wins for Hughes. Instead of being the one in a mandatory position to challenge for a title, he will have to deal with potentially never being able to challenge for a belt. Bad judging unjustly takes away opportunities for which boxers work extremely hard. The least they can expect is fair scoring for their bouts.