Williams-Lara judges suspended

The three judges responsible for the controversial scoring of the Paul Williams-Erislandy Lara bout that took place last Saturday in Atlantic City, N.J. — Donald Givens, Hilton Whitaker Jr. and Al Bennett — have all been placed on indefinite suspension, according to a legal letter from Aaron M. Davis, commissioner of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board ("NJSACB"), issued on Wednesday.

The NJSACB, which regulates professional boxing in New Jersey, selected the three inexperienced judges for the HBO-televised junior middleweight bout that most observers believed Lara won handily. However, Givens (116-114), Whitaker (115-114) and Bennett (114-114) inexplicably scored the 12-round bout for Williams by majority decision, an action that sparked outrage throughout the boxing world.

After conducting a full review of the controversial scoring, the NJSACB concluded that there was "no evidence of bias, fraud, corruption or incapacity on the part of any of the judges," and therefore, the government agency is not authorized to invalidate the decision or mandate a rematch, although the commissioners believe a return bout is warranted.

However, the NJSACB was "unsatisfied with the scoring of the contest, even after hearing the explanations from the judges." Thus all three were placed on indefinite suspension and "required to undergo additional training prior to their return to professional boxing."

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