Richard Green (referee)

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Richard Green (c. 1937 – 1 July 1983) was a professional boxing referee who officiated several notable bouts such as Ali-Holmes in 1980, however he is most known for the lightweight world title fight between defending champion Ray Mancini and challenger Duk Koo Kim.

Background[edit]

Green was a native of Louisiana and a Golden Gloves boxer in the 1960s.

Career as Referee[edit]

Green presided over several notable fights. One of these was Muhammad Ali's loss to Larry Holmes in 1980.[1]

Green officiated two high profile fights in 1982. Early in the year he refereed Wilfred Benitez's fight against Roberto Duran for Benitez's super welterweight title. Later he was the referee in the Ray Mancini's first round knockout of Arturo Frias, a win that gave Mancini the WBA lightweight championship.

On November 13, 1982, Green was assigned to work Mancini's second defense of that title, a match against the Korean contender Duk Koo Kim that was televised across the nation by CBS. The fight ended when Green stopped it after Kim was knocked down early in the fourteenth round, but Kim had taken a severe beating from Mancini throughout the fight and collapsed in the ring shortly thereafter. Four days after the fight Kim died of massive brain injuries.[2][3]

"The Kim-Mancini bout proved to be a watershed in boxing, triggering a series of major changes to the sport. Championship bouts were reduced from 15 to 12 rounds, the standing eight-count was introduced" and fighters had to undergo more stringent medical tests before a match.[4]

Green's last fight was a USBA Heavyeight Championship fight on May 20, 1983 that saw Greg Page defeat Renaldo Snipes in a twelve round decision. Forty-two days later Green was found dead in his North Las Vegas home from an apparent suicide. It is not clear how much of an effect the Mancini-Kim fight had on Green's decision to take his own life.

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