Was Joe Cortez the worst referee in the history of boxing?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Perkin Warbeck, Jul 27, 2022.

  1. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 26, 2009
    Wyatt Earp probably holds the distinction of being known as the worst referee of all time after the highly disputed Bob Fitzsimmons-Jack Sharkey fight he officiated in San Francisco.

    Sharkey went down from what he claimed was a low blow. Fitz claimed it was a legal body blow (solar plexus punch) and Earp ruled Fitzsimmons the winner. He had previously refereed some fights (legal or otherwise) under the London Prize Ring rules and this was his only one under the Marquis de Queensbury rule set.

    Earp was basically run out of town. The verdict and ridicule of Earp went nationwide. Previous to this, Earp was known regionally for the gunfight in Tombstone but it had not been nationally publicized — more in Arizona and California. After the bout, Earp gained infamy for his refereeing and was painted as an outlaw gambler who possibly/probably took a bribe to fix the fight. There were scathing editorial cartoons and he became a household name for this long before his reputation as a gunfighter became widely known.
  2. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti Boxing Drunkie Full Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    It's hard for anyone to top the Darwinian attitude of Ruby Goldstein.

    Maybe Jersey Joe Walcott for sheer incompetence. Or Wyatt Earp for be corrupt enough that the BBBoC would probably take some form of action against him. But ultimately I don't think ****ing up the event or result is nearly as big as letting people take punches they shouldn't (which he did consistently), and getting someone killed.
  3. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    He was pretty solid to begin with, from what I can recall. But, in the early '00s, he started to lose it a bit, in my opinion. 'Nice connections' probably kept him in the job a little longer than he should have been, but it wasn't much longer before he would retire, anyway.
  4. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti Boxing Drunkie Full Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    Howard Foster also deserves mentioned here. A particular lowlight was his stoppage of Froch Vs Groves 1. Beyond the actual question on if it should have been stopped, the way he stopped it was horrible.
    Cecil likes this.
  5. channy

    channy 4.7.33 banned Full Member

    Feb 2, 2015
    Didn't he ref the Tyson Douglas fight?

    I thought he was quite fair in that one, despite the long count crying from team Tyson.
    Holmes77 and Richard M Murrieta like this.
  6. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Liston was good, but no "Tire Iron" Jones Full Member

    Jun 30, 2005
    The Ottke ref, Earp, Walcott, the guy who allowed Ingo to keep walloping Machen, presumably Greggains...likely a few I missed. But those would be some of the contenders.
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  7. Philly161

    Philly161 "Fundamentals are the crutch of the talentless" Full Member

    Oct 25, 2020
    His fights are always a mess, I will say that about Cortez.

    I think mercante Jr has some really bad performances too.

    Tho to be fair to all of them a lot of these high profile guys will ref hundreds or thousands of amateur and pro fights. Everyone has some bad nights at work.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2022
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  8. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    Gregains anybody?
    cross_trainer likes this.
  9. highlander

    highlander Active Member Full Member

    Sep 26, 2017
    richard steel but for one fight, the stoppage of taylor vs chavez with TWO seconds left!
    Richard M Murrieta likes this.
  10. Seamus

    Seamus Proud Kulak Full Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    Yes, he stopped Duran Joppy when Roberto had his guy in his sights!
    Richard M Murrieta likes this.
  11. RingKing

    RingKing Boxing Addict Full Member

    Feb 21, 2008
    Joe Cortez is an idiot. Every time I see the Tyson vs Holmes fight, I'm reminded how much of an idiot he is. Just watch as he jumps on Larry Holmes' chest after he gets knocked out by Tyson. Never mind that Holmes needs all the air he can get, and you have idiot Cortez practically sitting on his chest trying to T-bag him.
  12. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    Arthur Mercante Jr was not as good as his legendary father, Arthur Mercante Sr who refereed the second Patterson vs Ingo title bout on June 20 1960. Mercante Sr also refereed The Fight Of The Century between challenger Muhammad Ali vs champion Joe Frazier on March 8 1971.
  13. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    My two favorite referees were Arthur Mercante Sr and England's Harry Gibbs, both were no nonsense.
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  14. Pimp C

    Pimp C Free The Guys! F 12 & Goofies Stay Dangerous! Full Member

    Jun 23, 2005
    Cole is horrible
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  15. BCS8

    BCS8 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Aug 21, 2012
    Who was the guy that refereed Ottke / Reid?

    reid got warned for hitting ottke too hard.
    cross_trainer likes this.