Hey Harold!: How to Become a Judge
Oct 19 2014 9:04 AM
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HBO Boxing unofficial scorer Harold Lederman answers a Facebook question to discuss how to become a boxing judge.

Comment on this video

Radam G says:

Wow! Maybe the old TV judge Harold-Led has something. We might be seeing so many terrible decisions because a lot of these pro judges came from the amateurs. So they've come from bad to worse.

The similaries that the judges in the amateurs and pros have are that their are too many dishonest cheats who will never be do right. Holla!

The Commish says:

[QUOTE=Radam G;66642]Wow! Maybe the old TV judge Harold-Led has something. We might be seeing so many terrible decisions because a lot of these pro judges came from the amateurs. So they've come from bad to worse.

The similaries that the judges in the amateurs and pros have are that their are too many dishonest cheats who will never be do right. Holla![/QUOTE]

Last Friday, on my SiriusXM show, Gerry Cooney & I had Greg Sirb, the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, on as a guest. Sirb has been in the position since 1990, longer than any other boxing executive.

We had him on to ask the question, “Why Are Judges Constantly Screwing Up and How Should They Be Dealt With?”

The 15 minutes Mr. Sirb gave us in his segment was excellent, but, unfortunately, way too short. We could easily put together a two-hour show on officiating. Actually, I think I will explore the possibility of doing such a show.

Sirb said he takes a look at new judges over the course of them scoring 50 fights. This is basically the same number of fights I had prospective judges score in my days on the scene at the NYSAC.

“Although I'll have them score 50 fights,” said Sirb, “I will usually know by the second or third fight if they have what it takes, especiaslly if those first couple of fights have some very close rounds.”

Everyone agrees on who won and lost a one-sided round. It's when the round is down-to-the-wire close that judges begin to disagree.

“That's when two judges score the round for Fighter A and the third judge scores it for Fighter B,” said Sirb. “I want to see how many times the judge was the odd man out, the one who scored it differently than the other two.”

Sirb said he keeps records on every one of his judges.

“If I see that a judge is constantly the odd man out in split decisions, I will make them come to fights strictly as a learning session. They must sit there and score every round of every fight. The other judges know why they are there. It can be a very humbling experience for them.”

And if thery keep being the odd man out?

“I won't renew their license next year,” said Sirb. “I did it to two judges in the last licensing year. They just weren't cutting it.” Rather than give them an opportunity to embarrass themselves, the commission and boxing by turning in an embarrassinbg score, I just don't renew their license.”

As far as work in the amateurs, Sirb likes judges to hasve had experience, “but maybe only a year or two. I don't want to take a judge who has been in the amateurs for 15, 20 years. They are set in their ways at that point.”

I always felt they same way.

Some of my best judges had little amateur experience. In particular, the names Julie Lederman, Steve Weisfeld, Ron McNair and Melvina Lathan come to mind.

Deepwater2 says he wants to apply as a judge in the amateurs.

I have a feeling he will make an outstanding pro one day.

Wonder if he'll be known as Deepwater2?

-Randy G.

deepwater2 says:

Thank you for the kind words. You are right , I don't want to spend too much time in the amateurs getting used to clicking the punch counters.

I do want to get used to being focused on a fight with people screaming behind me while I fill out the card properly, remembering to note the point deductions and such. The clinics and seminars will be very helpful to me so I can develop.

With hard work I think I can work my way up.

The Commish says:

[QUOTE=deepwater2;66722]Thank you for the kind words. You are right , I don't want to spend too much time in the amateurs getting used to clicking the punch counters.

I do want to get used to being focused on a fight with people screaming behind me while I fill out the card properly, remembering to note the point deductions and such. The clinics and seminars will be very helpful to me so I can develop.

With hard work I think I can work my way up.[/QUOTE]

This is where I wish I was still the head of the NYSAC. Knowing your passion for this sport, I have no doubt you will one day be a fine judge. I wouldn't hesitate giving you some practice fights to score, followed by a pro license, which I am sure you will do proud.

Can't wait until that day arrives.

-Randy G.