Scoring in Boxing, what's the solution? Simply make it about clean and effective punching
Sep 23 2014 3:35 PM
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Scoring in boxing has always been a subject of criticism and controversy, Al Bernstein discusses how fights should be scored: simply make it about clean and effective punching.

Comment on this video

deepwater2 says:

That's the main idea. The other stuff is secondary.

oubobcat says:

Absolutely, clean effective punching is the main criteria in scoring a round. The harder and cleaner the punch that lands the more weight it should carry.

When I score a round, I am not looking for ring generalship. I think that is nonsense to be honest. If you are effectively setting your opponent up and moving them where you want to move them, then you have a much better chance at landing the cleaner more effective punches. However, if despite the fact you are in control of “ring generalship” yet you don't land effectively and your opponent does you lose the round. Period.

Now debates come in with fights like Algieri-Provodnikov and Canelo-Lara. In both those fights, one fighter landed harder punches but fewer and the opponent landed more shots but not as clean and not as hard. I give more weight to the harder punches landed and also score clean body shots almost as equally as head shots. In each of those fights I had the fighter landing the harder shots (Provodnikov and Canelo) winning by comfortable margins. This is professional boxing and clean hard shots should carry much more weight than punches that clearly don't have the power or impact behind them.

The Commish says:

When I score a round, I am not looking for ring generalship. I think that is nonsense to be honest. If you are effectively setting your opponent up and moving them where you want to move them, then you have a much better chance at landing the cleaner more effective punches. However, if despite the fact you are in control of “ring generalship” yet you don't land effectively and your opponent does you lose the round. Period.

Now debates come in with fights like Algieri-Provodnikov and Canelo-Lara. In both those fights, one fighter landed harder punches but fewer and the opponent landed more shots but not as clean and not as hard. I give more weight to the harder punches landed and also score clean body shots almost as equally as head shots. In each of those fights I had the fighter landing the harder shots (Provodnikov and Canelo) winning by comfortable margins. This is professional boxing and clean hard shots should carry much more weight than punches that clearly don't have the power or impact behind them.[/QUOTE]

In other words, you are penalizing any non-puncher who goes in against a puncher.

What happens in any fight, be it boxer vs. boxer, puncher vs. puncher or boxer vs. puncher, you have three judges all watching the same fight but from different angles. Anybody can score a one-sided round. But a two-sided round? Extremely close. Competitive. Go to the bank with this: Two of the judges will have the round scored for one fighter, while the third judge goes the other way. Just a few of those close rounds in a fight will lead to a split decision.

That flurry to the body you just saw may have given the round to the fighter who landed the body shots. The judge across from you missed them, however. The referee was standing between the fighters and the judge. He can't score what he can't see. A round or two of that and you've got a split decision or majority decision coming up.

I used to tell me judges “Just watch the round. Concentrate for 180 seconds each round. Watch the entire picture. When those 180 seconds have ended, tell me which fighter you would have rather been. If you concentrate on the fight and nothing else, you will be able to correctly tell me who won each and every round.”

Effective aggressiveness. Ring generalship. Those are two terms used so often as tools in scoring a boxing match. They sound impressive and important. However, just watch the round. Concentrate. I am sure, if you know anything about boxing, you'll be able to tell us, after those 180 seconds, who the winner was. Then, when your scores are added, your score will be most reflective of the fight you just watched. The other two judges may not agree with you, and neither will many of us here on The Sweet Science, but at least you'll know that the score you gave is indicative of the fight you just watched.

Scoring a boxing match. It's really quite easy.

Go tell that to the judges who consistently get it wrong!

-Randy G.

The Commish says:

[QUOTE=oubobcat;65319]Absolutely, clean effective punching is the main criteria in scoring a round. The harder and cleaner the punch that lands the more weight it should carry.

When I score a round, I am not looking for ring generalship. I think that is nonsense to be honest. If you are effectively setting your opponent up and moving them where you want to move them, then you have a much better chance at landing the cleaner more effective punches. However, if despite the fact you are in control of “ring generalship” yet you don't land effectively and your opponent does you lose the round. Period.

Now debates come in with fights like Algieri-Provodnikov and Canelo-Lara. In both those fights, one fighter landed harder punches but fewer and the opponent landed more shots but not as clean and not as hard. I give more weight to the harder punches landed and also score clean body shots almost as equally as head shots. In each of those fights I had the fighter landing the harder shots (Provodnikov and Canelo) winning by comfortable margins. This is professional boxing and clean hard shots should carry much more weight than punches that clearly don't have the power or impact behind them.[/QUOTE]

In other words, you are penalizing any non-puncher who goes in against a puncher.

What happens in any fight, be it boxer vs. boxer, puncher vs. puncher or boxer vs. puncher, you have three judges all watching the same fight but from different angles. Anybody can score a one-sided round. But a two-sided round? Extremely close. Competitive. Go to the bank with this: Two of the judges will have the round scored for one fighter, while the third judge goes the other way. Just a few of those close rounds in a fight will lead to a split decision.

That flurry to the body you just saw may have given the round to the fighter who landed the body shots. The judge across from you missed them, however. The referee was standing between the fighters and the judge. He can't score what he can't see. A round or two of that and you've got a split decision or majority decision coming up.

I used to tell me judges “Just watch the round. Concentrate for 180 seconds each round. Watch the entire picture. When those 180 seconds have ended, tell me which fighter you would have rather been. If you concentrate on the fight and nothing else, you will be able to correctly tell me who won each and every round.”

Effective aggressiveness. Ring generalship. Those are two terms used so often as tools in scoring a boxing match. They sound impressive and important. However, just watch the round. Concentrate. I am sure, if you know anything about boxing, you'll be able to tell us, after those 180 seconds, who the winner was. Then, when your scores are added, your score will be most reflective of the fight you just watched. The other two judges may not agree with you, and neither will many of us here on The Sweet Science, but at least you'll know that the score you gave is indicative of the fight you just watched.

Scoring a boxing match. It's really quite easy.

Go tell that to the judges who consistently get it wrong!

-Randy G.

oubobcat says:

I wouldn't say I am penalizing the non-puncher. If the non-puncher lands the cleaner more effective punches, I will give the round to that fighter. I did score Broner-Malignaggi for example for Malignaggi.

This is professional boxing though too. So yes a punch that lands with more authority should carry more weight than a punch that lands with less authority in regards to scoring the fight. Using the Canelo-Lara example, to me Canelo's body shots carried much more weight than the jabs Lara landed. In some rounds though Lara landed enough of those jabs and lighter shots and Canelo not enough of the body shots to give Lara the round. In the majority though I believed that Canelo's harder punches had more effect and were enough to offset the volume of lighter punches landed by Lara.

To me, it comes down to what Max Kellerman often says on HBO in regards to this matter. And that is “Which fighter would you have rather been in that round?”

The Good Doctor says:

There is no way to make this beyond a little murky because the term clean and effective punching is subjective in itself. Within the term clean and effective punching belies the timing, power, result, placement, and pace of a punch. Clean and effective punching means a lot of things to a lot of people. I am sure if I asked for the definition of clean and effective punching from 10 people, you would get 11 (yes 11) different answers.

As for the ring generalship thing, I believe it matters but you do not have to have it to win a round or a fight. If you look at Algieri-Provodnikov, Algieri had very little ring generalship. He fought off of his back foot and was escaping Provodnikov for alot of the night. In Cotto vs. Margarito II, Cotto fought 85% of the fight off of his back foot but completely dominated every round.

And even with that, you can make the argument that Cotto and Algieri were in control of the ring and the pace because they were making their opponent chase them.

I like the idea of “who would have I have rather been in that round” but there have been some instances where the guy who won the round was not who I wanted to be.

I also think all of this subjectivity is what also makes the sport great.

Radam G says:

I think that technology should start judging the game. Remove all the judges and the referees and often-wrong punch counters and let active lasered-eyed robots count the punches and impact of them and do the refereeing and judging.

The technology is here. Holla at scientists of the G Fam. Holla!

The Commish says:

[QUOTE=Radam G;65362]I think that technology should start judging the game. Remove all the judges and the referees and often-wrong punch counters and let active lasered-eyed robots count the punches and impact of them and do the refereeing and judging.

The technology is here. Holla at scientists of the G Fam. Holla![/QUOTE]

Or, like the movie “Real Steel,” starring Hugh Jackman, we can start using robots to do the fighting. We can also employ three laser cameras at different positions around the ring to photograph every moment of the bout and analyze/compute every punch, it's power and effectiveness.

If a machine dies…it dies. The American Medical Association (AMA) won't care. The Machinists Union might, but that's about it.

Until then, we will have to go with real, live humans, both in the ring doing battle and at ringside keeping score with their primitive brains.

How barbaric!

How fantastic!

-Randy G.

Radam G says:

[QUOTE=The Commish;65368]Or, like the movie “Real Steel,” starring Hugh Jackman, we can start using robots to do the fighting. We can also employ three laser cameras at different positions around the ring to photograph every moment of the bout and analyze/compute every punch, it's power and effectiveness.

If a machine dies…it dies. The American Medical Association (AMA) won't care. The Machinists Union might, but that's about it.

Until then, we will have to go with real, live humans, both in the ring doing battle and at ringside keeping score with their primitive brains.

How barbaric!

How fantastic!

-Randy G.[/QUOTE]

They don't have primitive brains. Just they are full of knucklehead syet. The human brain is powerful and more perfect than any creation.

Humans — based on origin of societies and upbringing — just will not be honest because of the brain wanting to glue with homies because of preceed danger. And homies want to go along to get along, so they often dumb themselves down in Western societies.

But in Asian societies — not corrupted by Western cultural behaviors — dishonesty and thieving are so disgraceful that a person will commit suicide. How many Asian judges make bad decisions?

Maybe about .0005 percent who will than commit suicide. Don't bring up Roy Jones Jr, because it was African and European-scoring judges that robbed him in Korea way, way back in 1988. The Asian judges got it right. [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLqjK3ddSy0 Holla.

deepwater2 says:

[QUOTE=Radam G;65375]They don't have primitive brains. Just they are full of knucklehead syet. The human brain is powerful and more perfect than any creation.

Humans — based on origin of societies and upbringing — just will not be honest because of the brain wanting to glue with homies because of preceed danger. And homies want to go along to get along, so they often dumb themselves down in Western societies.

But in Asian societies — not corrupted by Western cultural behaviors — dishonesty and thieving are so disgraceful that a person will commit suicide. How many Asian judges make bad decisions?

Maybe about .0005 percent who will than commit suicide. Don't bring up Roy Jones Jr, because it was African and European-scoring judges that robbed him in Korea way, way back in 1988. The Asian judges got it right. [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLqjK3ddSy0 Holla.[/QUOTE]

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