Are Boxing Matches Fixed?

Biggest Boxing Cheaters in History (How Boxers Cheat)

Boxing is a tough and vicious sport from which you can expect almost anything. We and the fighters love it because of that. But what happens when fighters try to go outside the rules, what happens if they get caught, and which are the biggest boxing cheaters in history? That is the topic of this article, and we will give you all the answers you are looking for.

10. Low Blows

One of the most common scams boxers try is the usage of unlawful punches.

A low blow is considered to be a punch below the belt. Fighters tend to use this to their advantage since it’s sometimes impossible for the referee to recognize a low blow both in amateur and professional boxing. These punches cause severe problems for the opponent and can lead to the opponent losing the match if executed at the right timing.

One of the most popular scandals, including low blows, was Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko fight back in 2011.

Mares included a total of twenty-five low blows, which were not suspended by the referee and afterward led to Agbeko losing the match.

9. Punching after the bell

Sometimes boxers out of desperation try to throw punches after the bell, hoping it will help them gain an advantage in the leading rounds. However, this practice usually backfires and results in a point deduction for the fighter who tried it. 

There are many examples of boxers knocking out opponents after the bell, which usually causes controversy among the boxing fan community.

For instance, in the Barthelemy and Mendez fight, back in 2014, Barthelemy landed his

victorious punches just after the bell rang.

Since it was so close, and there wasn’t time to review this situation, Barthelemy was named IBF junior lightweight champion of the world.

However, later on, this decision was overturned and ruled as a “no-decision.”

8. Lacing

Lacing is another common way some boxers try to cheat. They focus on hitting their opponent with the bottom half of the glove, where the laces are located. This causes cuts on the opponent’s face and provides the cheater an advantage.

Boxers usually use this technique when they notice the opponent’s power and then rely on unconventional winning ways.

One of the most famous boxers of all time, Jack Dempsey, was accused of this cheating technique.

He was well known for his aggressive style and was often accused of cheating because he left his opponents unrecognizable after fights. 

This was especially the case in his 1919 fight against Jess Willard.

7. Headbutting

The most notorious scandals in boxing always tend to involve headbutting. 

Headbutting is very effective, and if a fighter gets away with it, it can cause cuts on the opponents’ forehead, and most times, the fight has to end.

One of the most famous boxers accused of headbutting opponents is Evander Holyfield.

Apparently, his headbutts were the reason why Mike Tyson bit his ear off. However, this horror event led Tyson into being disqualified, and Holyfield rushed to the hospital.

One of the most brutal headbutts in boxing history occurred in Holyfield’s fight against Rahman. Rahman’s forehead swollen massively and almost seemed like science-fiction.

He couldn’t continue, and stopping the fight was necessary.

Holyfield was declared the winner by split technical decision. 

6. IV Usage

When fight day comes close, many boxers struggle with cutting weight. 

This results in extreme starving and dehydration and has a massive impact on the fighter’s body.

So in order to restore much-needed fluids, boxers result in using the IV. These infusions are strictly prescribed. This is because they can hide away other hidden substances used within the IV.

Floyd Mayweather was accused of using illegal IV before his fight against Pacquiao.

This led to numerous reports and investigations against him. 

Afterward, it was stated that the substances Mayweather used were not prohibited, but injecting them intravenously was.

5. Padding Removal

Padding in boxing gloves serves the purpose of protecting both fighters and avoiding severe injuries. The scandal of removing padding from gloves has occurred in Luis Resto and Billy Collin’s fight in 1983. Resto’s trainer Panama Lewis removed glove paddings before the fight, which resulted in severe injuries to Collin’s face. The fight finished as a no-decision, and both Resto and Lewis were charged and even served a prison sentence. They were banned from boxing forever.

This fight ended Collin’s career, and a year later, he tragically died in a car accident.

4. Plaster of Paris

Adding mysterious substances and other materials under boxing gloves to toughen the knuckle has been recorded multiple times in boxing. This can cause severe injuries and even end careers.

This was the case when Antonio Margarito faced Miguel Cotto in 2008. No one knew what was going on at the time, but Cotto’s face was cut and bruised badly, and in the end, he lost the match to the underdog Margarito.

However, a year later, Antonio Margarito was found guilty of using forbidden substances, against Shane Mosely, in order to toughen his knuckles.

The substance Margarito used is called the plaster of Paris, and when it gets in contact with sweat, it causes the plaster to harden inside the boxer’s gloves.

Mosely’s trainer Naazim Richardson felt suspicious about Margarito’s knuckle wrapping and informed the commission. Margarito’s hands had to be rewrapped and later suffered a beating from Mosely and a one-year suspension.

When Cotto found out about the scandal, he requested a rematch against Margarito and won convincingly. 

3. Eye Burning Ointment

Adding eye-burning substances on gloves is one of the worst ways any boxer can cheat. It causes blindness and itching, giving the cheater an enormous advantage.

This was the case in one of the most legendary boxing matches between Mohammad Ali and Sonny Liston in 1964. 

Sonny requested his team to “burn his gloves,” which gave him a huge advantage. However, Ali was able to continue through the fight and was victorious.

This was the fight that made Muhammad Ali famous and later elevated his eventful career.

The glove burning theory has never been proved truthful.

2. Fixing

Fixing boxing matches has unfortunately been a part of the sport from the beginning.

Sometimes the other fighter is being bribed to lose a match, and sometimes even judges fall guilty of taking money to favor one boxer over the other. A prime example of this is Roy Jone’s 1988 Olympic final against South-Korean Park Si-Hun. 

In terms of skill, it was evident that Roy was the superior boxer, and no one had any doubt Roy would win. The match was full of controversial decisions in favor of the Korean. Which, in the end, resulted in Park winning and receiving an Olympic gold medal.

1. Dopping

One of the most usual ways of athletes giving themselves an extra edge before competing is doping usage. Doping can provide the boxer with many benefits such as endurance, easier weight loss, more testosterone, etc. That is why the USADA created a list of banned substances athletes can’t use in doping matters.

One of the most recent cases in boxers falling guilty of doping is Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. 

Just before his rematch against Golovkin, he tested positive for a banned substance. Alvarez was later banned from boxing for six months.

Stefano Secci, French Savate Boxing, and Martial Arts champion
Article by

Stefano Secci

Stefano Secci was born on the outskirts of Genoa. He began practicing sports at 11 by enrolling in a Ju-Jitsu class; from there, I have not stopped playing sports until today. At 16, he switched to French Savate Boxing, which I married and has remained my first and only true love. Our testing and reviewing method.
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