Tuesday 6 December 2016

Who are boxing’s ‘Magnificent Seven?’ – Bernard Dunne explains the controversial judging theory

Published 16/08/2016 | 18:08

Bernard Dunne Appeared on the RTE panel
Bernard Dunne Appeared on the RTE panel

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) have come in for stinging criticism following Michael Conlan’s Olympic quarter-final defeat to Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin.

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The Irishman was absolutely furious after a controversial defeat where he was adjudged to have lost the first and third rounds.

Speaking on the RTE panel after the fight, Bernard Dunne, Michael Carruth and Mick Dowling all voiced their anger at the decision and called for action to be taken against AIBA.

“I said before that the judging of the first round will tell a lot. The judging of that first round was just ridiculous. AIBA will need to look at itself. It turns people off boxing, it turns us off boxing and we love the sport,” said a fuming Bernard Dunne.

“He (Conlan) gave him a boxing lesson. An absolute boxing lesson. He controlled the ring. He didn’t allow himself to get caught on the ropes. It’s just ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous.

Olympic gold medal winner Michael Carruth echoed Dunne’s comments.

 “What are they thinking? What are they looking at in this championship? It’s a disgrace how they are judging these fights. I thought Katie’s was bad yesterday. This really takes the biscuit. I am a coach in Drimnagh, what do I teach my kids from this?”

Fellow panellist Mick Dowling added: “If Michael Conlan didn’t win that fight, I know nothing about boxing.”

Raging Conlan questioned the whole system in his post-fight interview and branded the AIBA “cheats”.

Last month, the Guardian newspaper ran an article with sources claiming that there would be corruption in Rio and that a group of boxing referees would get together before the Games to decide how to score certain bouts.

When RTE presenter Joanne Cantwell made reference to the article, Dunne explained the situation.

“We are talking about this magnificent seven now who were put in place and they may have a little bit too much control,” he said.

“There are seven judges who have been put in place and they are the ones who pick who goes in and referees fights and the quality of judging and refereeing.

“That referee and all judges involved in that fight should be suspended.”

Carruth added that it’s time for nations to take a stand.

“You can’t make any excuse for the decision. Something has to be done as to why decisions like this are going against the western countries. Robbery is going on. This is pure robbery. Something has to be done with AIBA because this is absolutely deplorable.”

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