Boxing Referee Dismissed After Decision Questioned

A CTN boxing referee has been fired after facing accusations that he unfairly awarded a victory to a Cambodian boxer fighting against an Australian, officials said Feb 2.

Meas Sokry was removed for allegedly awarding the televised Jan 25 fight illegitimately to Chey Kosal, who was in the CTN ring with visiting Australian fighter Daniel Smyrk, said Mar Serey, manager of CTN’s sports programs.

“We had to remove him because he made a real mistake,” Mar Serey said. “Our boss, our sponsors and the foreign boxers are not happy with him and they don’t want to see him work as a judge anymore.”

CTN officials have reviewed the footage of the fight in Phnom Penh, and decided that Meas Sokry, 57, counted out Smyrk too quickly in the third round, Mar Serey said.

After Chey Kosal broke Smyrk’s groin protection with a kick, the Australian stopped fighting because he needed to replace the guard, Mar Serey said. But instead of allowing this, the referee quickly counted him out and awarded the fight to Chey Kosal, Mar Serey said.

CTN asked the Cambodian Ama­teur Boxing Federation to remove Meas Sokry from the CTN boxing committee, which it did on Jan 30, Mar Serey said.

Meas Sokry, who has been a referee since 1984, said his decision was completely legitimate.

“I never betray my own conscience,” he said. “Gold is never afraid of the fire.”

He also said that some have falsely claimed he took a bribe in return for his decision. He added that he has prayed in front of the Royal Palace for Buddha to provide proof that he is not corrupt. “I am not a corrupt person,” he said.

Chey Kosal, 25, said he was unable to comment on the referee’s decision because he was concentrating too much on fighting at the time.

But he added: “Based on my skills, I can beat [Smyrk].”


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