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Sunday, November 20, 2022

Frustratingly Unfair Decisions

There is an old anti-Semitic trope that asserts Jews run the world, and since boxing is part of the world, they run boxing, too. This line of thinking is particularly deleterious, because it casts suspicion on any individual Jew who achieves success. At one time, Jews were certainly overrepresented as boxing promoters, but overrepresentation, of course, does not equal control.

If, for some peculiar reason, we accept the anti-Semites' view that Jews control boxing, it certainly hasn't helped Jewish boxers. This year has seen several frustratingly bad decisions go against Jewish fighters.

The worst decision came in Poland this past March. Igor Lazarev dominated the local kid, Dominik Harwankowski. The Jewish Boxing Blog scored the bout 59-55 for Lazarev, but the local judges disagreed. Eugeniusz Tuszynski, Tomasz Chwoszcz, and Arek Malek scored the fight 59-55, 58-56, and 58-56 respectively for their fellow countryman. The JBB soon learned that Arek Malek had a significant conflict of interest considering he was Harwankowski's mentor.

On November 11, David Alaverdian showed off his skills against local prospect Angel Geovanny Meza Morales in Mexico. The JBB scored the fight 59-55 for Alaverdian. The judges' scores are a bit of a mystery, but one had it 59-55 one way, another scored it 56-58 the other way, and the third judge saw it 57-57 for a spit draw.

The most bizarre incident dates to Mor Oknin's fight on February 26 in Agua Prieta, Mexico. Oknin claims he defeated Jose Cariaga by fourth round TKO. BoxRec lists the result as a third round TKO victory for Cariaga. The JBB investigated and was told by an editor of BoxRec that the site has "lots of problems with wrong reports." BoxRec posts whatever result the local commission reports. This fall, Oknin told The JBB that an effort to overturn the result was ongoing.

There has been no evidence of anti-Semitism as a motivation for any of these bad decisions. They were almost certainly erroneous decisions made to favor the local fighter regardless of the background of the opponent. The pro game is so decentralized that local commissions can pretty much do whatever they want. 

Jewish boxers also suffered from bad decision in amateur boxing this year. During the European Amateur Championships in May, Alaverdian and Miroslav Kapuler were the victims of curious judging. In Alaverdian's fight, two judges inconceivably scored the third round for his opponent. Kapuler clearly controlled the second round of his bout, but two judges inexplicably scored the round for his opponent. Judge Johany Maden of France was the common denominator in both decisions, scoring against the Israelis regardless of their performance in the ring.

The IBA, which ran the European amateur champions, is so corrupt it has been barred from running the Olympic boxing tournament. That corruption is the likely culprit for those bad decisions.

For all the power a faceless group of Jews supposedly possesses, it sure hasn't helped actual Jewish boxers. Those boxers have been on the short end of some terrible decisions this year, not because of their religious persuasion, but because the amateur game is shrouded in corruption and the pro game is so decentralized that results are determined by the whims of individual commissions.

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