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Terry O’Connor: Judge cleared of using phone in Lewis Ritson fight

Judge Terry O’Connor will not face any disciplinary action in relation to Lewis Ritson’s controversial win over Miguel Vazquez, after the British Boxing Board of Control cleared him of using a phone while scoring the fight.

Ritson received a split decision win over Vazquez on October 17, with O’Connor scoring the super-lightweight bout widely in the Newcastle fighter’s favour.

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A picture later emerged on social media which purportedly showed O’Connor looking at a phone during the fight in Peterborough.

However, after investigating the matter, the BBBofC says it is satisfied O’Connor was “not in possession of any telephone or handheld device whilst carrying out his duties as a judge”.

A BBBofC statement read: “British Boxing Board of Control Judge Mr. Terry O’Connor appeared before the Stewards of the Board to discuss his performance at the tournament held on 17th October 2020 at the East of England Showground Arena, Peterborough.

“Allegations made on social media and the print media as to Mr. O’Connor using a mobile telephone or similar handheld device were considered.

“Following extensive consideration of footage and Mr. O’Connor’s evidence supplied, the Stewards are satisfied that Mr. O’Connor was not in possession of any telephone or handheld device whilst carrying out his duties as a judge in the contest between Lewis Ritson and Miguel Vazquez and his scoring of said bout was not affected in any way.

“In addition, Mr. O’Connor’s scoring of the bout was considered and whilst judging a contest is subjective and following Mr. O’Connor’s explanation of how he scored the bout, the Stewards are satisfied that Mr. O’Connor’s final score reflected his own opinion of the contest.”

O’Connor scored the fight 117-111 for Ritson, with fellow judge Michael Alexander also favouring the British fighter 115-113.

The third judge, Marcus McDonnell, scored the fight 116-113 in favour of Vazquez and Ritson’s promoter Eddie Hearn admitted afterwards that he thought the Mexican had done enough to win.

“Watching from home and felt Vazquez deserved the win there,” Hearn tweeted.

Ritson, meanwhile, played down talk of a potential future fight against former WBA super-lightweight champion Regis Prograis, who lost to British fighter Josh Taylor in October last year.

“We got the win but it showed where we are. Call out Regis Prograis? I think we’ve got a little while before we get to them,” said Ritson.

“That was an eye-opener. We are world fringe level.”

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