Relatively unknown Light-heavyweight boxer Vido Loncar’s career has come to an end. It isn’t because he got injured or because he retired, but because he let off his fists of fury on a referee in an unprovoked post-decision attack. In his fight at the European Youth Championships, the referee decided that the fight should be stopped in favor of Loncar’s opponent Algirdas Baniulis.
After the decision and before Baniulis was about to be declared the winner, Lancar dropped the referee and then proceeded to viciously punch him while he was on the ground. Baniulis didn’t do much to help, storming off as if Armageddon had arrived. Finally, security on the ground was able to reach and grab a hold of Lancars’ ankles and drag him out of the ring.
Croatian Boxing Federation’s Marko Marovic was heavily disgusted by what took place, “This is a disgrace to Zagreb and Croatia and has caused the sport of boxing major damage…All the hard work that we put into organizing this championship and raising the image of Croatian boxing has been destroyed in a few seconds.” The referee is now in a hospital recovering from “serious” but not long-term injuries.
Boxing officiation always carries a risk of danger and unfortunately, this is not the first time a referee has been attacked in boxing. The intensity and emotions of professional competition can compel a competitor to make a rash decision against an official that makes a call they don’t agree with. Nevertheless, it is an inexcusable offense. Vido Loncar and others who act out against combat sports officials harm the reputation of combat sports, sportsmanship as a whole, and do a great deal to undermine competitive athletics.