EVEN the best referees will have their brushes with controversy during a long career. It’s inevitable given the subjective nature of scoring and the extreme partisanship shown by some fans. Turn back the clock 40 years to this week in 1979 and one of Britain’s finest third men was at the centre of a contentious decision that gave rise to some of the ugliest scenes ever witnessed in British boxing.
Sid Nathan was the man in charge of a British featherweight title clash between reigning champion Dave Needham of Nottingham and his Warley challenger Pat Cowdell. Both boxers were first-class: Needham a slick southpaw and Cowdell a superb box-fighter and clinically precise shot-picker. This eagerly awaited Midlands derby took place in Pat’s neck of the woods at Wolverhampton Civil Hall.
Subscribe now to keep reading
We're chuffed you’re enjoying our website, but I'm afraid you need to be a subscriber to read this story.
As a subscriber you'll get access to all online content, including weekly issues - you can opt for digital only or print and digital - plus an online archive of weekly digital editions back to January 2012.
You'll also be helping to support our editorial independence so we can continue to get to the heart of the stories that truly matter to you, the reader. Every subscription we secure will go directly to ensuring that Boxing News retains its voice for many years to come.
If you're not ready to subscribe there are plenty of free articles on the site you can enjoy by registering
To enjoy premium content such as this story, and to get the weekly issue you will need to subscribe
Got an account? Sign in