Sulaiman Talks Bad Judging

wbc-logoBoxing is a unique sport, different than baseball with runs scored, football with touchdowns, basketball with baskets scored, soccer with goals scored, and so we can go with every sport where mathematics instantly show who is winning and by how much. Even in gymnastics and diving, which are subjective sports as boxing is, the judges announce their scoring after every dive and gymnastic performance. But no, in boxing there are no such ways. There are people living still in the 19th or 20th Century who object to tell athletes and the public how are they doing. Is that right? I personally believe that it is not; leaving scoring in hiding is against fairness. It may wrongly show bias and corruption, when it does not exist. It is terrible against boxers who think that they are winning, when judges have them losing. It does not belong to the 21st Century.

The great problem in boxing today, in addition to leaving the scores in hiding among very few people, are the 10-9 scoring rounds. Some commissions have the unbelievable ruling of NO even rounds, so, even rounds are 10-9. The rounds that are barely in favor of one boxer, almost even, is also 10-9. A slight difference, or a clear difference, an overwhelming difference, or even a real beating, judges also score mostly 10-9 rounds. Well, what is worse? Even with the absurdity of a knockdown, some judges have scored still a 10-9. This is a huge problem in boxing that no one has dared to touch as of today.

The WBC has tried several different approaches through the years. First it was the implementation of the 10-point must system, since back in 1963. Following it was the designation of ring officials guidelines, and the effective aggressiveness principle. Next, it was the organizing multiple clinics in different countries and at all WBC conventions. Following, we came with taking away from referees the responsibility of scoring – before 1975, referees were also one of the three judges. We also emphasized and strongly recommended the scoring of 10-8 rounds on all those that were overwhelmingly one sided, but it has not been followed – most are afraid to do it. I have been informed of a research by friends at HBO about a sensitive coverage on the gloves to detect and transmit the power of punches, and we sympathize with the idea, not as a basis, but yes as a future complement. Those gloves would score all types of rabbit punches, back punches, kidney punches, elbow or arm punches – but what about the clean punches? The Leonard and Holmes excellency in boxing? The excellent boxing not allowing the puncher to punch, or the puncher not allowing the boxer to box?

Boxing is today very far away from most developments of the 21st Century. Specifically, we have left computers back at home or the office. Everything today is with computers – my eight year-old grandchild is a master of the iPad !! Practically all done today is by computers, but not in boxing – we are still living in the 19th or 20th Century. It is because of all of the above that I have been studying, since two to three years ago with a computer specialist, a device for judges in coordination with one main computer. It will be taken to the WBC 50th Anniversary Convention in Cancun for demonstration. The key being the taking away from judges any mathematics. Leave that to the computer. The judges are still extremely important, and the only representatives of justice in the whole arena. I deeply respect and support them. But I would like them only to tell me via the judges’ device, how did he see the round? Did anyone win by a hair, slightly, clear, overwhelmingly, or by a beating? Let judges tell us how they saw a round and let the computers make the calculations – that is why they were invented. The 10-point system will continue by the computers.