Boxing Judge Suspended Over ‘Racist’ Scorecard And Tweets
Boxing judge Gloria Martinez Rizzo has been suspended by the World Boxing Association (WBA) following a controversial scorecard and discovery of racist tweets.
Rizzo has been suspended for six months after she revealed a confusing scorecard of 117-110 in the interim welterweight title fight between Mykal Fox and Gabriel Maestre which took place in Minnesota on Saturday, August 7.
The judge’s scorecard proved controversial as viewers believed Fox, a 25-year-old Black boxer from Maryland, clearly won the 147-pound fight, however Maestre, a native of Venezuela, was declared the winner by unanimous decision.
Alongside Rizzo’s 117-110 scorecard, judge John Mariano scored the fight 115-112, while judge David Singh turned in a 114-113 score. Speaking to ESPN, WBA president Gilberto Mendoza said officials ‘saw [Rizzo’s] score was wrong despite the unanimous decision.’
Following the fight, racist tweets posted in 2020 were discovered on a Twitter account for @GloriaRizz, which Mendoza confirmed to belong to Rizzo. Among the tweets were racist remarks made against Michelle Obama and LeBron James.
Discussing the tweets, Mendoza said: ‘Those comments she made in the past — she might be expelled by the WBA. I don’t support any kind of racism. I believe in equality. … Sports are the only thing that brings equality into the world sometimes.’
Fox told ESPN he was ‘a little surprised’ by the posts made on Rizzo’s account, adding: ‘This sport has introduced me to people from different walks of life. But I can’t help but wonder if the person that she is outside of boxing affects how she judges boxing.’
He continued: ‘If it weren’t for it being on TV, I’d say this [decision] could do really bad for me. But people around the world witnessed a robbery that night.’
Mendoza has ordered a rematch between Maestre and Fox, though noted there would be no champion’s advantage, meaning if there is a draw, the title will be vacated. There will also be no special permits to allow an interim fight.
The WBA president said: ‘We need to get new judges. I have a concept of making an academy and bringing people who like boxing to online courses and test them in different parts of the world. I want to step away from the boxing circle and find fans who like boxing [to become judges].’
Mendoza is set to consider Rizzo’s permanent expulsion from judging fights sanctioned by the WBA. He will also meet with Rizzo in Miami this week to discuss discipline.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
Most Read StoriesMost Read