blog Monday, 03 June 2013

Mickey Vann: Being the referee when tragedy strikes is hard

The IBF convention tainted by sadness

I’VE had a quite eventful week this week. I spent a week in Berlin at the IBF convention. It was good to have one in Europe as a lot of the time they are held in South America or the States and it is a bit of a drain on our monetary reserves. The different organisations have one every year, so with the cost of hotels, flights, and all the other bits and bobs it can be expensive, so it is important to save the fees received for any appointments to put towards the outgoings of such trips. If one doesn’t put in an appearance, one doesn’t receive any appointments, but even if one goes, one doesn’t always receive any appointments, so suffice to say one is severely p****d off!

It is also a lesson in public relations, getting reacquainted with old friends and making new ones. The trip was, however, tinged with both pride and sadness. I was asked to referee a German championship at welterweight, on a promotion for Ms Eva Rolle. There were two German judges and Ian Scott from Wellington , New Zealand who had travelled over for the convention. The venue and facilities were superb, and run with the precision one expects in Germany. The fight was between Alex Mengis and Stefan Worth, both unbeaten as professionals. It was an absolutely awesome contest, with first Alex, and then Stefan taking charge. At the end of the seventh round Alex was ahead on the scorecards. Coming out for the eighth round Alex stiffened Stephan’s legs, but he fought back and all of a sudden he landed with an almighty left hook. Alex fell back, and his head bounced off the ring canvas. I waved it off immediately and called in the doctor. Medical assistance was administered before he was taken by ambulance to a hospital in a coma. He recovered consciousness the next morning, but complications had set in, and he was put into an induced coma until the swelling to the brain could be reduced. 

I have never been in this position before, and although no blame was attached to my handling of the contest, I found myself evaluating my performance and wondering if there was anything I could or should have done differently. I had a worrying time getting to sleep that night but as I said after the tragic death a few weeks ago of Michael Norgrove, this is the name of the game; we are aware it can happen but we never believe it will happen to us, and despite knowing the risks we still carry on.
When I was fighting I did the same and I wouldn’t have stopped because of a "Might happen to me" thought. I will keep you informed on the hoped-for progress of Alex.

Back to the convention, and we have just had the final meeting of the convention to decide the location of next year’s site was voted for, the choices were, Atlantic City, Montreal, Mexico, Bangkok, Korea, or Santiago California. I reckon I am going to have to save my pension, hope for a couple of reffing jobs, or call on Ronnie Biggs for some lessons on train robbery techniques!

Well what about Carl Froch's performance? I couldn’t watch it in Berlin as the hotel weren't screening it. Marcus McDonnell and his wife went shopping to try and find a bar that were showing it but no luck. It seems all Germany were in front of the TV or at Wembley for the soccer final. I was thinking 50 or 60,000 Germans in London – it’s a good job it isn't 1943, Hitler would have had a birthday! I spoke to a couple of guys who said they watched it on the hotel computer, and of course they said the scoring was a bit contentious ( I know you can get e-mails on a computer but moving pictures, what will they think of next?!)

Well on my way to the airport, back home to my beloved England. Talk to you all next week.

Author : Mickey Vann


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