The strange case of Famechon and Harada~

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by WAR01, Sep 25, 2020.


  1. WAR01

    WAR01 In the 7.2% Full Member

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    When I worked the Famechon–Harada fight for the featherweight title in Sydney, Australia [July 28, 1969], they had no rules for judging a fight. The promoters said to do what I thought best.
    I had to make up my own scorecard. So I got a piece of cardboard and ruled off the columns for fifteen rounds. They had no boxing commission. I was the sole judge.

    When the fight began, I decided to use a five/four system, five points for the winner and four for the loser of the round. At the end of the fifteen rounds I added up the points and it came out even. So I called the fight a draw. Well, naturally, some liked the decision and some didn’t.

    I then gave my scorecard to the chief of police who was sitting at ringside. In a way I should have given it to him before the decision but they had told me to give the decision as soon as the bout ended.
    He added up the card and said: “By Jove, Willie, you made a mistake of one point.”
    Sure enough we re-added and we had Famechon ahead by one point. So I went back and raised Famechon’s hand and that caused another turmoil.

    It was tough. I was referee, judge and boxing commission
     
  2. WAR01

    WAR01 In the 7.2% Full Member

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    What are some other cases with judging as odd as this?
     
  3. WAR01

    WAR01 In the 7.2% Full Member

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  4. ecto55

    ecto55 Rural Australia Full Member

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    Its very strange, especially as Sydney was a genuine fight town in those days, with professional promotions running three or four times a week, sometimes five nights a week. In any month, there was more boxing in Sydney in the 60's or 70's than the entire year in Australia now.

    Fifteen rounders then were also used for Commonwealth titles and not uncommon; instead of a lack of competence, familiarity or commission etc, look instead to the type of town Sydney was.

    The Police Commissioner (of NSW) then was either Fred Hanson or Norm Allen, and under the premiership of Sir Bob Askin, Sydney (and NSW) was about as corrupt as you could get. If you were in, you could and did get away with murder, if not, you were either quickly locked up or worse.

    The 'recount' by the Police Commissioner was understandable - probably the cream of Sydney society and underworld had bet on Fammo. For context, Sydney's huge SP booking network, then run by the powers that be under NSW Police protection and Askin's acquiesce was in full flight. Gambling was huge then in Australia, completely illegal and entirely run by criminal networks largely controlled by corrupt state police.

    Given that, my guess is the powers that be wanted the ref to pick a winner at whim, and that scribbling numbers down on a scorecard was a mere formality. I doubt they'd even have to tell Pep how things were wanted to be done - I got a laugh when Sugar Shane Mosley came to Australia a few years back and was complaining about Aussie wild west practices. I'd have let the commissioner 'correct' my scorecard too, if they wanted a W what was Pep going to do...and I like they way he sticks with the story all the way through. T'was a very different era.
     
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  5. ChrisJS

    ChrisJS Well-Known Member Full Member

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    They had the British rules of the referee is the sole judge. Even a draw would have been a whacky card. I asked Harada if he ever felt bitter about the decision and he said not at all and that it’s in the past and can’t be changed.
     
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  6. ecto55

    ecto55 Rural Australia Full Member

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    Called an older friend who fought/taught/ref'd & judged, asked him about the Harada-Fammo fight and ran my theory re. SP betting / gambling influencing the decision past him. I read some of the passage re. Pep's scorecard and was told, bluntly, that "the Jap lost the fight because he lost the fight". Make of that what you will.