Doing Damage: Judging Boxing–What Makes it Hard
Posted by tjs9261 on June 3, 2012
We have our criteria for scoring:
1 Clean Punching
2. Effective Aggressiveness
4. Ring Generalship
And last time we went over the fundamentals and to some degree the body mechanics of the four punches. How hard can this judging thing be? I mean, all you have to do is see who lands more and with more damage, write it down and hand your scorecard to the referee at the end of the round, right?
If you’re lucky and the two boxers are nice enough to cooperate and give you an easy round. The problem is fighters make things hard.
Consider these questions:
How many jabs equal a cross?
What about body shots that do little damage–how are they scored?
What About aggression that does almost nothing?
What about light jabs that land?
What about sloppy punches that land?
Ugh…there are no absolutes that answer these questions. Now, you can be smug and say “I know it when I see it.” or “You can just tell.” or “That’s what judges get paid the big bucks for.”
There are other stumbling blocks like evaluating power vs. quantity, lack of activity, an abundance of activity and a wide disparity in fighting styles.
When rounds are close, sublime and complex, judges need to be able to have a clear rationale for their judgment. Not everyone will agree but a judge should have a very clear rationale for why his or her score is rendered.
I believe the way to do this is to breakdown the actions of the fighters to their most fundamental components and make a very close examination of their body mechanics. What they do, how they do it and the effect it has should determine what the score should be.
We can do this by making a close assessment of the fighters’ styles and what they are attempting to accomplish and how they are succeeding at that.
Watch round 4 of Ayala v. Tapia. It is very close–how would you call it and what criteria would you site?
This program is going to examine a group of pro boxers who competed throughout the 90′s and into the 2000′s. Hector Camacho Sr., Greg Haugen, Julio Cesar Chavez, Pernell Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor, Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad were all great fighters and many of them faced each other. They all had different styles, some more similar than others. We can look at what fighters had success and failures in this group and through that process examine the bio-mechanics that made them successful. it will be an excellent means to illustrate the minutia that goes into winning a close round.
A quick sketch of the fighters:
Hector Camacho- Speed, Defense, Suspect Power
Julio Cesar Chavez– Will Take 3 to Land 1, Power
Greg Haugen- Busy, Unsophisticated, Tough, Persistant
Pernell Whitaker—Speed, Defense, Suspect Power
Meldrick Taylor- Speed, Power, Too Much Heart For His Own Good?
Oscar De La Hoya- Straight ahead with power and speed
Felix Trinidad–Similar to DLH but maybe with less versatility?
What variables on the scoring criteria and the idea of damage come into play when these fighters are matched?
Check out this interesting article analyzing Mike Tyson’s speed and style.