Last week, Christopher “Bing” Scoles attended the New Zealand Boxing Championships, as he does most years.
But Scoles was not there to compete, as he was in 1983. This time the president of the Gore Boxing Club was there to judge in the championships, which wrapped up in Rotorua on Friday evening.
Scoles, who was ranked third-best boxing judge at last year’s nationals, said he judged fights in each weight section and age class at the champs.
“There were 87 bouts over four days, which all consisted of three rounds,” he said.
“There were some good fights, but it was the New Zealand champs, so of course there would be,” he said.
“There are five judges for each fight as well as a referee.
“Overall, there were about 14 judges.”
Scoles began boxing when he was young. He won the Ted Morgan Cup in the New Zealand welterweight (69kg) championship in 1983 and attended the Oceania championships in Taiwan in 1994.
After retiring from competitive boxing, he was invited to become a judge.
Since then he has judged in several national competitions.
As a judge, he got to catch up with people past.
“There were a couple of guys I fought with who were training there [at the champs],” Scoles said.
“There was even an old fighter I used to judge who now coached women boxers.”
Judging was a great way to remain connected with what was his passion, Scoles said.
Gore Boxing Club coach Russell Newton said there were not many boxing judges in New Zealand and the club was lucky to have Scoles.
“He’s a recognised judge and has been judging for a long, long time now,” Newton said.
“There are not many judges about. There is a very small group of them .. and with the years of experience he has had, it’s pretty great.”