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The Williams-Airich controversy

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

I didn't want to say anything much until I'd seen the fight myself. Now that I have, this is a fight that deserves to be talked about and exposed so as many people as possible are aware of this pathetic, transparent joke of an alleged sporting competition that took place in Spain last Friday.

Let's even backtrack and talk about two other recently notable officiating curiosities, just to give this one perspective. Howard John Foster was a laugh in the Ricky Hatton-Juan Lazcano bout on May 24. For those that saw the EliteXC MMA card on CBS this past Saturday night or browsed any MMA material on the internet, you've certainly heard plenty about Dan Miragliotta.

Alfredo Garcia Perez makes them both look like the best referee you've ever seen in any sport. This was a disgrace to boxing -- believe me, I don't like talking about these things any more than anyone likes hearing about them. When I first saw a news update about this, I thought, "God, here we go again with this crap." But to ignore it wouldn't be right. This happened, and it's another thing that makes boxing look bad.

Some are claiming that he favored Konstantin Airich, the undefeated 29-year old German who was getting a step up in competition against 34-year old Williams. I'm absolutely not certain that this is the case at all; instead, I just don't think Perez had any business refereeing any fight.


An uneventful opening round of the scheduled eight-rounder. Nothing special. Nothing crazy.


Williams hits Airich low, which is warned. Another low blow lands later in the round -- Airich is given a standing eight-count. For being hit low. And then Perez takes two points from Williams. This is just the start of the turd storm.


Williams' left glove has tape coming loose. Perez stops the action and gets it cut. Comes loose again, with Williams reeling. Williams is scolded for hitting on the break. Great shot by Airich sends Williams stumbling into the ropes, and the count is administered. Perez does not take this opportunity to fix the tape. He does not check the fighter, really, just counts to eight and says, "Box!" This goes for every knockdown in the fight. Williams admonished again for hitting on the break (I think, or holding and hitting). Now, Perez attempts to take the tape off himself, leaving a big strand hanging loose. Williams is yelled at again by Perez. Airich lands another good combo, and Williams stumbles again. He keeps his hands up and stays defensive, but a count is given anyway. Williams takes the tape off of his glove himself after this, which just removes all of the tape from his glove, period.


Williams is warned for shots to the back of the head, it appears. They didn't look like they hit the back of the head to me, but definitely were debatable, so this isn't so awful. Williams hurts Airich with a body shot and goes to work, unloading with power punches. Williams appears to slip throwing a punch, but goes down and a count is given again. This is another one that isn't SO bad -- Airich's left hand was thrown, and it might have hit Williams, or glancingly landed. That's not awful. There are plenty of debatable knockdowns in the sport.


Williams is screamed at by Perez for...fighting? Commentator chuckles. Another point is taken away from Danny. Three knockdowns, three points taken. Airich gets knocked down, and for whatever reason it takes Perez an age to start the count, then he sends him to his own corner for some reason, and then rings the bell on an expired round eventually. Williams follows Airich to his corner and seems to wonder what the hell is going on here.


Williams starts with some good left hands, and a scrap breaks out. Williams drops Airich for the second time. Williams continues tagging the hell out of Airich, and the bell rings with about 1:40 left in the round. Perez sends the fighters to their corners. More on this later.

After a long break, we get the seventh round underway!


Airich's corner throws the towel in when Williams starts beating the crap out of him again.

A couple of notes:

  • Airich's camp says he broke his left hand during the fight.
  • Williams is going to file a formal complaint.
  • Ahmet Öner, Airich's promoter, rang the bell in the sixth round. That is a serious, serious offense. He's trying to say he was screaming for the officials to stop the fight, but who knows? No matter what, you cannot ring a bell if you aren't an official. You just can't do that. But in his defense, the Airich corner did throw in the towel as soon as their man was in trouble in the seventh.

So you know what? No, I don't buy the fix theories here. I think we got to see an exceptionally awful referee at work. Perez had no clue what he was doing.

Who knows how long this will be up, but judge for yourself:

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