Joe Ward highly critical of referee decisions: 'They're the ones that cost me the fight’

Joe Ward highly critical of referee decisions: 'They're the ones that cost me the fight’
Ireland's Joe Ward with Carlos Andres Mina of Ecuador. Pic: INPHO/Morgan Treacy.

Joe Ward has criticised referee Wang Meng after his last-16 defeat at the hands of Ecuadorian Carlos Mina at the Olympics Games in Rio, where two docked points cost the reigning European light-heavyweight champion victory, writes Will Downing.

The beaten Ward kept his thoughts succinct and to the point, saying all he had to say in the space of 56 seconds to the assembled Irish media at Riocentro, following his split-decision defeat in the last-16.

Ward had a point deducted in each of the second and third rounds by the Chinese referee, and had it not been for those, the Moate fighter would have taken a unanimous points decision.

The Greek judge Evangelos Bougioukas gave it Ward 30-27, which remained in the Irishman's favour 28-27.

Moroccan judge Hassan Moudrikah and Chinese Taipei judge Liu Ming Li both scored it 29-28 to Ward, but these were flipped to 28-27 decisions for Mina when the two-points deduction was taken into account.

Ward said afterwards: "It's very disappointing the way the fight went. I felt like I was doing enough in there to win the fight.

"I landed the cleaner punches. I felt the referee got involved twice at crucial stages and it was very unlucky for me today to get two public warnings, especially when the fight was nip and tuck.

"I felt like I was doing enough, but very disappointing the way the referee got involved in the fight.

"They're the ones that cost me the fight. The referee got involved for no reason.

"If anything, he (Mina) was doing most of the holding, the pulling and dragging, making it very messy but what can I say? It's done now and I have to move on.

Ward says he didn't receive a verbal warning before having the points deducted.

"He didn't caution me that much. He jumped in straight away and gave me warnings, and a crucial one in the third round when the score was level."

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