Eight R&Js successfully upgrade to IBA 1-star

June 27, 2022 | by Matt Halfpenny


England Boxing would like to congratulate the eight international referees and judges who successfully passed the IBA 1-star Course at the Haringey Box Cup, held from 17th to 19th June.

The successful candidates were Keith Mills, Kamran Khan, Hillary Lissenden (all London) Liam Harkin, Gordon Bruce (UKAF), Craig O’Dell (Midland Counties), Simon Mullan (Eastern Counties), Les Bentham (Western Counties).

They were joined on the course by three R&Js from Scotland and two from Wales across an intense four days consisting of a seminar, written exam and practical assessments, inside and outside of the ring.

Candidates were assessed on a minimum of five referee and 10 judge appointments over the course of the weekend at the Haringey Box Cup, one of the largest in Europe.

England Boxing were very grateful to organisers Terri Kelly, Brian John, Dave Tipler for allowing the assessment to take place at the tournament.

“All candidates worked extremely hard over the assessment weekend, remaining professional throughout,” said Micky Norford, the Chair of England Boxing’s Technical, Rules, Referees and Officials Sub-committee.

“Now that they have passed, my advice to all is to continue to be a perpetual student, always strive for excellence, learn from those who have greater experience than yourself and help those who are on the way up.”

“These officials have given up years of their life to the sport we all love and have been recognised as some of the brightest prospects our countries have to offer. Their hard work and effort has paid off and we wish them the very best of luck as they embark on the first stage of their international career as a 1-star R&J.”

Hilary Lissenden was delighted to successfully upgrade and said: “I am really proud, of myself and all my colleagues from England, Scotland and Wales. It was amazing to have this opportunity to continue to learn and grow as a boxing official.

“I would like to thank England Boxing, the Haringey Box Cup team for hosting, and all the many experienced people who have been so generous with their time and support to me over a period of 10 years.

“The course was intense, professional and highly informative. Much gratitude goes to the two IBA instructors, Andy Caulfield (Scotland) and Zoltan Szalama (Hungary) who were extremely complimentary of the way in which the candidates received the feedback and the way in which they implemented the comments made to improve their performance.”

Kamran Khan added: “It has been an honour to be part of England Boxing for the past 12 years.

“I have been lucky enough to be mentored by some of the best officials in the world and grateful for their belief in me to achieve this 1-Star IBA qualification. I hope I can go further and help others too.

“I look forward to future appointments and will be proud to represent my country and hope to do so at the very highest level in boxing.”

Liam Harkin, said: “Undertaking the course has been quite daunting, but mostly self-induced pressure. Aspiring 1-Star IBA referee and judges should work hard to get noticed by getting out on the circuit at grass roots level and trusting in their ability once they are selected to attend the course.

“Having aspired to reach this level for a few years now, I feel a mixture of elation and relief, but I am already thinking about progressing and reaching IBA 2-Star.”

Officials who have aspirations of becoming an international referee must first become an England Boxing A Grade R&J first and then clock up a considerable amount of competition and championship experience.

The next A Grade upgrade will take place at the England Boxing National Development Championships 2022 finals in October. More details will be published later in the year.

If you have never officiated before but are interested in doing so, please click here to fill out an expression of interest.

You can also click here to find out more about becoming an official.