North Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Scores Professional Boxing

5/23/2019 3:47:21 PM

On Wednesday, North Las Vegas Justice Court Judge Natalie L. Tyrrell listened to the state prosecutor detail how a defendant broke the law. She then sent the case to the District Court. On Saturday, Judge Tyrrell observed a young fighter bob and weave to avoid an onslaught of punches. She then scored her card as a professional boxing judge.

North Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Natalie L. Tyrrell North Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Natalie L. Tyrrell

Tyrrell says, whether sitting outside the ring or on the courtroom bench, a judge must weigh all of what she sees and hears before deciding. Both jobs require knowledge and understanding.

“I record fights so I can critique them and practice scoring at home,” said Judge Tyrrell. “Some rounds are hard to score because not everyone sees things the same way. Practicing gives me confidence when I am the one scoring.”

Judge Tyrrell became an amateur boxing judge in 2007 following talking with boxing referee Joe Cortez. During their conversation, Cortez, who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2011, spotted her interest in the sport. He suggested she become a certified boxing judge through USA Boxing.

“I scored amateur boxing for 10 years as a volunteer,” said Judge Tyrrell. “Boxing does wonders for kids with misdirected anger issues. Without it, some of them might be in our criminal justice system.”

Judge Tyrrell has served North Las Vegas as a Justice of the Peace since 2001. She has focused her career on assisting youth in the community. The judge hosts the annual Kids in the Court program and last week presided over a mock trial with fifth grade participants from C.P. Squires Elementary School, an at-risk school in North Las Vegas. She has worked with the school for the past 18 years.

“I am proud of Kids in the Court,” said Judge Tyrrell. “The students have fun while they are learning. I have received much positive feedback from school staff and parents. It is exciting to hear the students talk about setting new goals for themselves.”

 Tyrrell Fight

The Nevada Athletic Commission appointed Judge Tyrrell as a professional boxing judge in March 2018 after they invited her to shadow other professional judges. She started at the bottom and has scored many undercard fights, which occur in rapid succession before a title fight. During a recent card at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, the Showtime Networks scheduled nine bouts before broadcasting the last three fights. Judge Tyrrell said she judged two of the earlier fights. Few people were in the stadium and most of the fighters were too new to be recognized. Despite their lack of notoriety, she said undercard fights often explode with action.

Tyrrell Ringside

“Sometimes it can get very competitive. I will be scoring punches landed on a boxer’s body,” she said. “However, one blow by that boxer might outweigh what the other boxer did throughout the rest of the round.”

Las Vegas boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. hosts fight nights at Sam’s Town on weekends throughout the year. Judge Tyrrell says they are often new fighters, but Mayweather puts together an exciting card. She looks forward to these boxing events.

“For a small amount of money, the audience sees a great card with exciting fights,” she said. “There are eight fights on the boxing card and most of them will have a lot of action.”

Judge Tyrrell is not the first Nevada judge to work in professional boxing. Former Washoe County District Court Judge Miles Lane was a former boxing referee and professional boxer. He served as referee for the 1997 fight between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield referred to as “The Bite Fight” after Tyson bit off a part of Holyfield’s ear. Judge Lane served two terms as a judge in the Second Judicial District Court.