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Sunday, March 27, 2022

Alleged Corruption in Lazarev-Hawankowski Scoring

On March 19, Igor Lazarev faced local product Dominik Harwankowski at Hala Widowiskowo-Sportowa in Świecie, Poland. Lazarev fought incredibly well and deserved to win. The Jewish Boxing Blog scored the bout 59-55 in favor of Lazarev. The judges, all from Poland, disagreed. Two judges scored the bout 58-56 for Harwankowski, a preposterous score that did not reflect the action in the ring. The other judge's score was even worse, 59-55 for Harwankowski.

"Igor was very disappointed," Lazarev team member Evgheni Boico told The JBB. "But it's all good. This is another adventure and experience."

New information has come out about the relationship between Harwankowski and one of the judges. The Jewish Boxing Blog has learned that Arek Małek (also known as Arkadiusz Małek) had a close association with Harwankowski when Dominik was a young child.

Journalist and Polish boxing expert Kacper Bartosiak told The JBB, "You know what was most outrageous about this decision? One of the judges was the same guy that raised Harwankowski as a boxer from [a] very young age!"

Małek, who turned in one of the 58-56 cards, was a journeyman boxer based in Poland.  He last fought professionally in 2014 and finished with a record of 13-70-5. Małek has been a judge since 2016.

"The judges were appointed by Polska Unia Boksu - a newly founded body that was created in order to improve the standards of refereeing," Bartosiak explained, "That attempt clearly failed."

Polska Unia Boksu came into being in August of 2020. Its website displays its mission statement, a quote from president Jarosław Kołkowski:

"We want, together with people who think similarly, to civilize the professional boxing market in Poland and improve its quality. This includes the introduction of uniform rules for players, judges, promoters and managers, including those relating to disciplinary liability, limiting the phenomenon of doping and improving the quality of judging."

The JBB reached out to president Kołkowski and Polska Unia Boksu for comment about the apparent conflict of interest involving Małek judging his protege's fight and the poor judging but did not receive a reply for this story.

Bartosiak gave his view of the judges' cards, "That was a shameful and unexplainable decision." It is now up to Kołkowski and the commission to acknowledge and rectify that horrible decision.

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