clihyd : Body Building , Strength Training And More Boxing British Boxing embroiled in TWO legal battles with its own referees

British Boxing embroiled in TWO legal battles with its own referees

Jeff Hinds (far right) is seeking action for allegedly not being permitted to referee or judge fights since pursuing a defamation claim against the Board

EXCLUSIVE: British Boxing is facing TWO legal battles with its own referees as the sport is accused of freezing out Jeff Hinds after he pursued a defamation case against them and scapegoating Ian John-Lewis for Jack Catterall v Josh Taylor controversy

  • Two boxing referees are in a legal battle with the British Boxing Board of Control
  • They are battling it out over allegations of victimisation and discrimination
  • Jeff Hinds is seeking action for allegedly not being permitted to referee or judge fights since pursuing a defamation claim against the Board
  • His victimisation complaint has been with an employment tribunal since 2020
  • Ian John-Lewis accused the organisation of making him a scapegoat for the highly controversial result for the Jack Catterall v Josh Taylor fight

Two of Britain’s leading boxing referees are embroiled in a legal battle with the British Boxing Board of Control over allegations of victimisation and discrimination, Sportsmail can reveal.

Jeff Hinds, 61, is seeking action for allegedly not being permitted to referee or judge fights since pursuing a defamation claim against the Board.

Ian John-Lewis, 60, one of the three scoring judges for the infamous Jack Catterall v Josh Taylor fight, has accused the organisation of making him a scapegoat for the bout’s highly controversial result.

Jeff Hinds (far right) is seeking action for allegedly not being permitted to referee or judge fights since pursuing a defamation claim against the Board

It follows a tumultuous year for British boxing, the nadir of which was Sportsmail’s revelation that Conor Benn failed two drug tests ahead of his proposed bout with Chris Eubank Jnr. And now, the sport could be facing further controversy. 

Hinds’ victimisation complaint has been with an employment tribunal since 2020. He last refereed a fight on February 29, 2020, and last judged a bout on March 7, 2020.

The defamation claim — which also started in 2020 — is regarding a hearing called by the BBBofC after a fellow referee complained about Hinds’ behaviour.

The case about his behaviour was dismissed but it is believed that Hinds is contesting the Board’s written conclusion of the hearing as there were parts he felt were unfair.

His victimisation complaint has been with an employment tribunal since 2020

His victimisation complaint has been with an employment tribunal since 2020

Another point of consternation, which is said to have been separately raised by Hinds to figures within the Board, is that he feels unfairly treated as he has not moved up the refereeing ranks in more than 25 years. The three classifications for licenced referees are B, A and A*.

Licensed referees are also permitted to score fights as ringside judges. Progression from A to A* class can often take up to 10 years but is decided on a case-by-case basis — there are no rules to stipulate the timescale.

Hinds, who has refereed bouts involving Tyson Fury, David Haye and Dillian Whyte, is believed to have been an A-grade referee since about 1995 and has officiated 1,615 fights.

Ian John-Lewis (above) has accused the organisation of making him a scapegoat

Ian John-Lewis (above) has accused the organisation of making him a scapegoat

Meanwhile, John-Lewis, an ex-professional boxer, has a complaint centred on the Catterall v Taylor bout which he scored 114-111 to Taylor, while fellow judge Victor Loughlin scored it 113-112, also to the Scotsman.

The third judge, Howard Foster, went in favour of Catterall by 113-112.

The verdict drew scorn from the public. But of the two men who gave Taylor the nod, John-Lewis was publicly reprimanded and had his A* licence downgraded to an A by the BBBofC in March 2022.

The 60-year-old was one of the three scoring judges for the infamous Catterall v Taylor fight

The 60-year-old was one of the three scoring judges for the infamous Catterall v Taylor fight

He has accused the organisation of making him a scapegoat for the bout's controversial result

He has accused the organisation of making him a scapegoat for the bout’s controversial result

It is understood this has prompted John-Lewis to also go down the employment tribunal route with a discrimination claim.

John-Lewis has previously received criticism for other highly controversial scorecards, including scoring Anthony Yarde’s bout against Lyndon Arthur 117-111 — the other two judges had Arthur winning 115-114.

His previous performances are believed to have contributed to the Board’s decision.

John-Lewis has since relinquished his BBBofC licence in September and joined the British and Irish Boxing Authority.

John-Lewis and Hinds’ cases are separate.

When approached by Sportsmail, Hinds, John-Lewis and the BBBofC separately confirmed there are ongoing legal cases but would not comment further.

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