Calgary’s athletic commission has finished a review of their referee’s performance during the Kim Couture / Sheila Bird fight on July 8th, and you’ll be shocked – absolutely shocked, I say! – to find out what they’ve concluded:
“As standard practice, debriefing meetings are always held amongst commission members and officials following any supervised combative sports event held in Calgary,” read a statement from the Calgary commission on Thursday. “The committee discussed the call made by the official for the Couture vs. Bird bout. It was determined that a formal review would be conducted of the circumstances surrounding that call.
“After an in-depth investigation, the Calgary Combative Sports Commission members rendered a decision to support the official, Mr. Len Koivisto. No further action or investigations into the officiating of Mr. Koivisto will be required by the Commission.
“Mr. Koivisto has been involved in the combative sports industry for close to 40 years, the last 23 in various officiating capacities. He is a well respected boxing referee (nationally and internationally) and has officiated MMA (nationally) for several years in various jurisdictions in close to 400 matches without incident. He has always taken his ring official’s duties very seriously and conducts himself with a great deal of professionalism.”
I suppose we should be happy that a review even happened at all. That’s more than what normally happens in most circumstances like this. I don’t think anyone wanted the ref’s head on a platter or anything, but a small acknowledgement that he misread the finish of the fight and could have done better would be nice. It’s athletic commissions’ refusal to admit to obvious fuckups like this that make MMA fans jaded about the whole process.