Who is Michael Gallagher?
Michael Gallagher, who is a five-star AIBA referee and judge, was one of the officials in Evgeny Tischenko’s controversial heavyweight win over Vassily Levit three days ago.
Kazhakstani boxer Levit was clearly on top during the bout, and nearly stopped Tischenko in the final round, but Gallagher and his fellow two judges ruled that Tischenko was the victor.
All three of them awarded the fight to the Russian by a scoreline of 29-28, which led to boos from the crowd in attendance, which only died down at the request of Levit.
The result of the fight is one of the things that form the ongoing investigation by AIBA into its officiating, which has led to seven judges being sent home from the Games.
It isn’t the first time Gallagher has been involved in controversy at this Olympics either, after he called off a fight between Murodjon Akhmadaliev and Alberto Melian in the first round.
Akhmadaliev knocked Melian to the floor and Gallagher, who was referee, called off the fight, claiming Melian was unfit to continue.
The Argentine countered after the fight, stating he was trying to explain to Gallagher that he didn’t have his mouthguard in, and that the referee was unable to understand what he was saying.
Gallagher, who is from Omagh, was named AIBA’s referee and judge of the year in both 2011 and 2012, as well as earning the title of World Amateur Boxing Referee of the Year in 2012.
He is highly respected in the boxing community and is widely regarded as one of the best boxing referees and judges in the world.
Gallagher has been chosen to officiate fights across the world. He also officiated at the London Olympics in 2012, however he was forced to withdraw early after he was admitted to hospital.