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Ruined by the judges

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  • Ruined by the judges

    Here is a little about fighters whose careers were ruined and even ended by corrupt or inept judging. These guys were robbed in major fights against major fighters:

    Dave Tiberi
    Dave Tiberi was a clever fighter from Delaware State, one of the very few to come from that state. He was a middleweight contender and had 22 wins and 2 losses, 1 of them by a cut-tko against Tony Thornton, when he faced James Toney in Toney's fourth defense of the IBF title. It was 8 February 1992 at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City and Tiberi thoroughly outboxed and outfought Toney, only to be robbed by two of the judges, while the third had it for him by 117-111. The result was so controversial that it prompted the US Senator William Roth, who was also from Delaware, to call for an investigation. It uncovered that the two judges that gave Toney the victory and allowed him to keep his title were not licensed in the state of New Jersey. They were very likely handpicked and paid off by Bob Arum, Toney's then-promoter. Tiberi was so disappointed by the rotten politics that he chose to retire, at only 25.

    Dan Schommer
    A super middleweight from Minnesota who was 30-0-1 when he faced Chris Eubank for Eubank's WBO title, 15 October 1994 in Sun City, South Africa, Schommer found himself a victim of the boxing politics when he was denied his earned victory by a unanimous decision for Eubank. Many years later, during the pre-fight promotion of his son's fight against James DeGale, Eubank admitted the decision was rotten and unjust and that he was likely given it because he was more aggressive and because his victory was better for boxing business. Eubank would soon thereafter lose his title to Steve Collins, but for Schommer it was the last fight he would fight. He retired with an unbeaten record, in reality.

    Tyrone Everett
    Was a "sublimely skilled" super featherweight who faced Alfredo Escalera for the WBC title which the latter was holding, 30 November 1976 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. Despite being FROM Philadelphia, Everett was denied the victory everybody present agreed he clearly deserved, when he lost by a very controversial split decision. It was even included among The Ring magazine's 5 worst robberies ever. It was reported that mobster Blinky Palermo might have been involved in the scandal, working in the shadows in favour of the champion. There was supposed to be a rematch, but tragically, on May 26, Everett was murdered by his girlfriend. She had come home to find him with a transvestite and shot him. Everett was 24.

    Ray Close
    Another victim of a robbery against Chris Eubank Sr, Ray Close was a talented and strong super middleweight from Northern Ireland who faced Eubank for the first time on 15 May 1993 at the Scottish Exhibition Centre in Glasgow. Close was a very talented amateur who had victories over Dariusz Michalczewski and Fabrice Tiozzo. He carried the fight for most of the 12 rounds and bullied Eubank and despite getting dropped in round 11, finished it strong. However, the judges were not on his side, except one, who scored it for him by 116-113. They had a rematch next year and again the result was disputed, but this time Eubank won by a split decision. Though he didn't retire, that spelled the end of his career and he retired 3 years later, after fighting journeymen, aged 28.

    Carlos Zarate
    He had reigned as the WBC bantam champion for 3 years and made 9 defenses, when he took on Lupe Pintor in his 10th, 3 June 1979 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Despite knocking Pintor down once and bloodying his nose, he didn't get the victory, as two of the judges scored it for Pintor. Even Pintor was surprised by the decision and stood there with his mouth wide open. This controversial loss made Zarate retire early and even though he came back in 1986, he was no longer the same fighter and lost both his world title fights before retiring in 1988.