At the last Venture show I made a point of referring to the great job of the referreing done by Mr. Mick Jones. – In my attendance at boxing shows I take a very keen interest in who is officiating at both amateur and professional level.

Some referees leave much to be desired. I attended a show at Warrington some weeks back and I saw the official disqualify a young boxer who’d just received a standing count. Apparently the boy did not respond to the referee, I think the boy could not understand what the referee was saying. When he was disqualified you could see the look of bewilderment on the boy’s face. The boy was losing, ok he did a bit of holding, but he was a novice and besides, the ref’s decision took the shine off the winners’ victory. I saw that referee in other bouts and in my opinion it left much to be desired.

Then I heard about a disqualification at the West Wirral show a week later that nearly caused a nasty situation. I was not present, however I obtained a copy of a dvd taken at the show and my fear was correct – it was the same referee.

In the bout concerned the boy who was disqualified was boxing well within himself, was definitely boxing well, an exchange took place and for no apparent reason this referee gave the young boxer a standing count, what for I don’t know, and I with others have studied the dvd closely. The young boxer asked why he was given a standing count and for that he was disqualified. Though you can’t condone bad behaviour that referees actions and attitude did not help the situation. When I heard about the West Wirral show I said to my wife ‘I bet it was the referee we saw at Warrington’, and I was correct.

With the Venture show coming up I was wondering if the same referee would be officiating, however my hopes and wishes were granted – the person was not in attendance. I have shown the dvd I have over the disqualification at the West Wirral show to quite a few ex boxers and not one has said the referee was correct.

I did write in a previous article that when I took Dave McDonagh to box on a show once, I saw the officials go about their business. I told Dave to keep to his boxing so as not to give the officials the opportunities to give him warnings as in my opinion they seemed biased towards the home boxers.

Davie heeded my advice and produced an exhibition of boxing that took some beating. I have often said that Davie was born before his time as with what’s going on now in Collyhurst I feel Davie McDonagh could be right up there with the best. Davie in conversation with Golden Gloves’ Wayne Smith and myself told how many bouts he’d had and boxed as told him to. If I said how many I’d be bragging. I told Davie, yes, but you were in there and you listened. Just think what he could have achieved with Pat Barrett and Paulie Da Silva.

I have to say this, the last amateur shows I have attended of late the referees have done a great job and I hope this continues as though the referee had a job to do the fans have come to see the boxers not for the referee to prance around and make a spectacle of themselves.

Some of the refereeing in the pro game leaves much to be desired. Sometimes when I see certain referees I think, ‘I wonder what sort of a balls up they’ll make tonight?’ I know in many ways it’s a thankless job but nobody holds a gun to their head and tells them to be a referee. Yes they get criticised but so does a tradesman if he does a bad job and rightly so. I once told a referee that his decision was garbage, someone was present and said ‘Tommy he is an ex boxer’. (I knew that). I replied ‘I know, I fell asleep twice watching him’.

One young referee I am very impressed with is pro official Darren Sarginson. He is fair, firm and in total command without any frills. His timing in intervening regarding the rules is excellent and is always in position to jump in to stop a bout. This man has all the attributes of becoming a great referee, it’s always a pleasure to see Darren as third man in the ring.

Until next time,

Good luck, God Bless,

Tommy Dix.

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