As I suggested in previous reports from last week’s Strandja Cup in Pazardjik there were some completely mystifying decisions handed down none more so than when Katie Taylor was adjudged to have lost her final bout against Denitza Eliseeva 5 – 1.
Having interviewed Eliseeva on more than once in previous tournaments I know her to be a very genuine and honest competitor who knows that she is a very good fighter but not in the same class as Taylor. On Saturday Taylor was at her best and the Irish Management believed she was about 20 points ahead. Indeed both the referee and the local announcer announced that fact at the time. The fact remains that they were over ruled by the judges.
It would be wrong to suggest that this was purely a Bulgarian decision in favour of a Bulgarian boxer for it was not. There were judges from Sweden, France, Norway and Russia ringside and Taylor wasn’t the only one who walked away feeling ‘ cheated’ in Pazardjik. Irish coach Pat Ryan said afterwards:
““I do believe the fact that her opponent came to the dressingroom to apologise for the outcome bears testament to what happened in the ring and also to the calibre of opponent she was boxing in terms of sportsmanship.”
““Katie’s performance, as far as we’re concerned, was top class,” said Ryan yesterday. “It was probably the best performance out of three contests she had out here. At the end of the day, the referee in the ring raised Katie’s hand without any hesitation whatsoever and the announcer announced Katie the winner. And we lost 5-1.”
So what was the problem?
““At the moment, there’s confusion as to what denotes a score and a hit. It takes three judges to come in and do it. Unfortunately for some reason or another they never scored body shots.
“The scoring area includes the body and when you box you look at the target and hit the target, whether it’s body or head. For some strange reason, they never scored body shots. Some of the judges never pressed the button at all.”
Ryan says they made their view known to the AIBA delegate present and now awaits news of what the authority intends to do having also heard from their own delegate. “We spoke to him briefly and it’s in his hands,” added Ryan. “We’ll allow that process to proceed in the interests of fairness and let them deal with it in an official manner.”.
Taylor will be back in Europe in six weeks’ time at the prestigious Felix Stamm tournament in Poland