We currently have a big problem in boxing. The decisions after the final bell have always had issues, so much so that there is always discussion on how to change the current decision making on determining a winner.
It has gotten so bad that I believe we need to push the reset button. It seems that the pendulum has swung all the way to one side.
In all sports there’s always a reset button. For example in football (and in most sports) the NFL reviews it procedures every year and sometimes makes drastic changes to try to better the game especially when a bad call or decision is made which eliminates a team from the playoffs which should have never been eliminated because of an error in judgment.
The problem in boxing right now is not just the judges, it’s everybody – it’s our complete mindset. We are actually to blame for the increase in bad judging.
When a decision is made that we think is awful, we blame it on the judges. But let us review the sport and look at our mindset and the boxing industry’s mindset including the networks, journalists and the broadcasters.
Let’s take an example:
Saturday May 11, 2019 Julian Williams fought the undefeated unified Jr. Middleweight (154 pounds) champion Jarrett Hurd.
First off let me say the decision was correct, William’s completely outclassed Hurd and won a unanimous decision. The issue is we mentally go into a fight knowing the fighters, knowing what they can do and judging their current performance by past performances.
Hurd normally starts off his fights a little bit slow, but we also know he’s undefeated and the best in the world at 154 pounds. Round One -Williams clearly landed the more crisp hard shots on Hurd and easily won the round.
Now you hear the broadcasters talking in between the round about who won the round.
Keep in mind these are professional analysts including former boxing champions who know the game better than most. Two out of the three broadcasters said that Hurd won the round which doesn’t make any sense. The third broadcaster who thinks Williams might have won the round is too shy to say anything and says it was a close round when in reality it wasn’t even close -Williams clearly won the round.
This is a micro example of why we need as a boxing industry to push the Reset Button. If we can’t agree that a challenger, a boxer who simply dominated the round and landed the crisper better shots won the round because we base winning on name recognition and who he’s facing and what we expect. How can we think the judges are going to be more accurate?
The boxing game is a very difficult game and some fights are very difficult to judge, but 9 times out of 10 fights are very clear in terms of who the aggressor is, who is landing the harder crisper shots and who is doing more damage. In the case of the Williams verse Hurd fight some journalists actually had Hurd winning the fight.
One issue is looking at the boxing stats in between rounds, for example once the boxing stats came out a couple of rounds later, One of the broadcasters change their mind and said, “ow Williams might have won round one”.
Boxing desperately needs to mentally push the reset button and learn how to judge, Judging has nothing to do with past performances and who the champion is and who the A-side is.
When a judge determines the winner of a round it should be based on three full minutes of performance, Not what he did in his last fight, not his name recognition and certainly not what he did in the first 30 seconds or last 30 seconds of the round.
Judges, broadcasters and journalists have to stop being more like robots and do their Job.
Just like a judge a professional broadcaster/analyst should not need punching stats in between rounds to make his/her decision on who is winning, like I said if stats is that important, let’s get a google robot to do the job.
Boxing Needs to Push The Reset Button