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Judge Gloria Martinez Rizzo Suspended by WBA for Scorecard Controversy, Racist Tweets

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 12, 2021

AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File

Boxing judge Gloria Martinez Rizzo is facing a six-month suspension and potential expulsion from the WBA after racist Twitter posts from an account under her name were unearthed following a controversial scorecard decision in Saturday's fight between Mykal Fox and Gabriel Maestre.

ESPN's Mike Coppinger reported Thursday that Rizzo came under fire after she scored Saturday's bout, which was viewed by most observers as close and a potential upset win for Fox, as a 117-110 blowout victory for Maestre. Fox is a Black native of Maryland. Maestre is Venezuelan.

The Twitter posts, which included racist comments in reference to Michelle Obama and LeBron James, were then found and caught the attention of WBA president Gilberto Mendoza. The Twitter account has since been deleted.

"We saw her score was wrong despite the unanimous decision," Mendoza told ESPN. "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 Coppinger he was "a little surprised" after learning about the tweets.

"This sport has introduced me to people from different walks of life," he said. "But I can't help but wonder if the person that she is outside of boxing affects how she judges boxing. 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."

The 25-year-old southpaw, whose nickname is "The Professor," reacted to the news on Twitter by thanking fans for their support:

Mykal(Michael) Fox @ProfessorMyke

All of you got this done. <a href="https://twitter.com/boxergirl1970?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@boxergirl1970</a> <a href="https://t.co/eqEwDOoFHP">pic.twitter.com/eqEwDOoFHP</a>

Rizzo hasn't publicly commented on the situation.

Meanwhile, Mendoza told ESPN he's ordered a rematch between Fox and Maestre, 35, for the interim WBA welterweight title with no champion's advantage for Maestre. He also said he's going to try to find new judges.

"We need to get new judges," Mendoza said. "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]."

Maestre, an Olympian in 2012 and 2016, improved his record to 4-0 since turning pro in 2019 with the win over Fox, who dropped to 22-3.

A timetable for their rematch wasn't immediately announced, but Mendoza said the title will be held in abeyance if either fighter takes on another bout before they can meet again.

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