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Avoiding Bad Decisions in Boxing

BY Joe Dwyer ON March 27, 2005
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What is the most common complaint among boxing fans? Bad Decisions!!!

The Florida State Boxing Commission recently held a three day seminar for Referees, Judges and Ringside Physicians at the Sheraton Suites in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Executive Directors Jason Penley and Max Parker Jr. mandated attendance by officials working in the state. In the boxing session conducted by Peter Tremeterra and Michael Pernick, both world-class officials, participants viewed more than 50 rounds of boxing, discussing their scoring and conclusions after each round. The importance of accuracy in scoring, as well as the detrimental effect that poor scoring has on the future of boxers and the game, was emphasized.

When boxing fans disagree with a decision they assume it was the result of corrupt officials, when it was in fact a just decision, which is all the more reason that an effort needs to be made to instruct the viewing public as to the criteria used in judging a fight. Promoters would do well to include a scorecard in the fight program listing the key points that are used in scoring a bout:

(1) Clean Punches

(2) Effective Aggression

(3) Ring Generalship

(4) Defense

If fans were to keep a running score as the bout progresses, it would peak their interest in anticipating the decision.

Scoring was discussed in depth, with particular emphasis on the Ten Point Must System, which is used almost worldwide. Widely discussed was the redundancy of scoring 10-9 in both clearly and narrowly winning a round. Further emphasis was placed on the scoring of 10-8 rounds, especially where dominance rather than a knockdown was the determining factor. The objective of these training sessions was to achieve uniformity in scoring bouts.

This was by far the most intensive and informative training seminar of the many that this writer has attended. It was an outstanding presentation by Tremeterra and Pernick.

The Referees’ Training segment followed with input from Jorge Alonzo, James Warring (former IBF cruiserweight champion), Armando Garcia, Brian Garry, Frank Santore, Tommy Kimmons and Max Parker Jr., each a topnotch referee. They explained their styles inside the ropes. They also shared tips they felt were helpful in maintaining a smooth flow of action in the ring.

Additional presentations were made relating to Mixed Martial Arts, specifically the medical aspects as they relate to trauma, neurological concerns, post-fight exams, as well as evaluating the timing of a fighter’s retirement.

The Florida State Athletic Commission is to be commended for their efforts in improving the performance of officials in attaining the best possible scoring, which will serve the best interests of the fighters as well as the fans.

Many states - New York, New Jersey, California and Nevada – as well as several Tribal Commissions, conduct training sessions for their officials. The International Professional Ring Officials (IPRO) will conduct their Annual Training Seminar at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas on June 29-30. IPRO will do certification for the World Boxing Council (WBC) as well as the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC).

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