If you've been a fan of boxing for the last several years, you know that Texas has become the punch-line of athletic regulating. Whether it be incompetent judging (though that tends to happen everywhere), questionable drug testing protocol (Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. to name one), or the fact that Laurence Cole continues to get high-profile refereeing jobs despite consistently performing below par in the profession, Texas has become a laughingstock in boxing, which is perhaps the laughingstock of the entire sports world (or UNIVERSE, if you prefer).
To stick out as notably bad in a sport like boxing, where incompetent officiating is relatively commonplace, must mean you've been doing something incredible. Is incredible the right word?
Anyways, Dickie Cole, the head of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation's (TDLR) Combative Sports division, is stepping down on April 30 after 21 years on the job. You've probably noticed that he and Laurence Cole have the same surname, and that's because Dickie is Laurence's father. This has allowed Laurence, one of the most criticized boxing officials in the United States, to maintain his job while constantly getting big fights in Texas, and that has been considered common knowledge in boxing for years. In fact, it's almost become comical.
TDLR released this statement:
"Over the years, Dickie has been recognized for his dedication to combative sports and has provided opportunities and mentoring for many young men and women to become referees, judges, promoters and seconds," the department said in a statement. "His care and concern for the sport of boxing has been a lifelong passion that will continue to influence the industry for years to come. We are proud to have worked with Dickie, and to have been recipients of his wisdom and knowledge. He will be missed but not forgotten. We wish him well and thank him for his decades of service to the state of Texas."
Will Cole's retirement mean an improvement? Honestly, it's far too early to tell anything. His replacement will be Greg Alvarez (I pray no relation to Canelo) who has worked for the TDLR for 13 years.