Boxing Judges: Should They Be Isolated?

Kym CharlesContributor IMay 31, 2009

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 27:  Daniel Geale lines up Anthony Mundine during the IBO middleweight world title fight between Anthony Mundine and Daniel Geale at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on May 27, 2009 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Reports have surfaced that during the recent IBO Middleweight Title fight between Daniel Geale and Anthony Mundine, at least one of the judges was "intimidated" by a Mundine supporter.

This involved judge Marcus McDonnell being called a racist after he scored one round in favour of Geale among a host of other incidents.  On a number of occasions, abuse was hurled at the judge relentlessly.

Now this kind of incident is nothing new.  It has been happening ever since the sport was invented.  But is it time now to minimise the exposure to this external scrutiny?

Boxing judges already have enough to deal with regarding watching and analyzing the fight, having home town crowds as a whole on your back for the entire fight and also the intense scrutiny of the media.

Is it not time to at least attempt to shield them from direct personal attacks on their credibility and impartiality?  The scorecards they write on are quite large so anyone who cares to peer of their shoulder can see exactly which way they are scoring the fight.

Now, do we isolate them completely, by incorporating a "scorers' box" into which no-one else can enter. 

Or is it feasible just to have an exclusion zone around the scorers area  and if anyone enters that area some form of punishment, either to that person or if they are connected to a fighter then to that fighter would be enforced, whatever that happened to be.

The options are there or do we just leave it how it is and then have to endure protests and hearings and possible over-turnings of results or rematches such as may happen in the Mudine/Geale aftermath.

So what should be done?  This obviously happens all the time and in some countries it is worse than others.  But is it time that boxing addressed the issue of intimidation and the security of their judges?

I think so.  Anyone else?