Teofimo Lopez defeated Vasiliy Lomachenko by unanimous decision Saturday to become a four-belt holder in the lightweight division, but Lomachenko’s manager said on Tuesday that he was infuriated by judge Julie Lederman’s scoring the bout 119-109.
“Does she need to be suspended for life from judging boxing matches? That’s my question,” Egis Klimas said about Lederman’s card, which gave Lomachenko only one round of the fight.
Klimas said his team had objections to Lederman being selected for the fight. They asked for any judge from California (where Lomachenko trains) and New York (where Lopez was born) to be excluded from consideration to avoid regional bias. Lederman hails from New York.
When made aware of Klimas’ comments, Bob Bennett, the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, defended the decision for Lederman and the other judges, Tim Cheatham and Steve Weisfeld, to work the fight.
“Those judges are based strictly on performance,” Bennett said on Tuesday. “If you look at the criteria, or the different fights those judges have judged since the pandemic, you will find out that they have performed exceptionally well within the closed system of events.
“The fact that Julie Lederman comes from the same state as Teofimo is not an acceptable reason to disqualify her. … We have no vested interests in who wins whatsoever.”
Top Rank’s Bob Arum was also vocal in his criticism of Lederman’s scoring, telling The Athletic: “Lopez won, 7-5 is [the] way I scored it. I can see 8-4, that’s a possibility. But you can’t score it 11 rounds to one and say you watched the fight. Ninth, 10th and 11th weren’t close. I would advise any fighter that I have to ask for the commission not to appoint Julie Lederman.”
Cheatham scored the bout 116-112 and Weisfeld marked it 117-111.
“As far as I’m concerned, we just want … the fighter who wins the fight to win the fight,” said Bennett, who said he believed the first seven rounds and the 12th round were clearly captured by Lopez. “So you look at those eight rounds, that’s 66 percent (of the fight). Now we can go and discuss those other four rounds.
“Tim had all four for Lomachenko, Steve Weisfeld had two, Julie had one. But I think Top Rank put on a sensational fight, I thought the production was second-to-none, and I think the history books can reflect Teofimo beat Lomachenko by unanimous decision in Las Vegas,” Bennett continued.
Bennett also made it clear he would not hesitate to assign Lederman to another important fight.
“I would say go back and look at all her fights, Julie Lederman is a highly sought-after judge who is usually assigned some of the most difficult fights to judge in professional boxing,” Bennett said. “Unfortunately, people might think her score was a little wide. But the bottom line is that the three judges had the right fighter winning.”
Klimas, who manages a talented stable of boxers, said: “100 percent she is not going to judge any of my fighters as long as I’m going to be in boxing.”