Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic Boxing Follies

By Scottg

I have been watching the Olympic boxing on one of the offshoot NBC cable channels and when I saw the scoring I was amazed. First let's look at how it's done. Per it goes some thing like this:
The fighters fight four two minute rounds using 10 ounce gloves with the white main hitting area.
An electronic scoring system registers a point whenever three or more judges press the button for one boxer within a second of each other. No point is awarded for a hit unless three of the five judges agree. When two boxers trade blows in a flurry of infighting, where no full-force punches can land, the judges wait until the end of the exchange and award a point to the boxer who got the better of it.At the end of the bout, when each judge's points have been totaled, the boxer awarded the most points by a majority of the judges is declared the winner.
If two boxers end up with the same number of points, the judges decide a winner by assessing such factors as which of the two took the lead and showed better style.
If the judges determine those factors to be even, they turn to which competitor showed better defense. Punches to an opponent's arms do not score points. Punches that are judged to have no force behind them do not score points.
Now I know we had problems in the past with the eastern block countries always voting for an eastern block boxer etc. but, after watching no less than six fights today I can honestly say that the system that they came up with to "fix" the bias problem is really lacking. The results of the scoring are fights that ended up 8-3, 6-2, 8-2 and even 3-1 in a fight between a Chinese fighter and Tunisian fighter. Now these are the low end but I can't imagine fighting for 4 rounds and scoring just 3 or even 1 punch. I saw fighters land beautiful combinations and counter punches but the scoring wouldn't change because 3 of the 5 judges didn't hit their button at the same time. And yes I saw better fighters that landed more effective punches lose more than once. If you get a chance to watch any Olympic boxing this time around do so, it is a treat to see young talented fighters give it their all in a win or go home style tourney for their country. But, as you watch the scoring unfold keep in mind it amateur boxing.


brian said...

In '76,at least part of the Olympic boxing trials were in Michigan;I saw Ray Leonard basically use the competition for non-sparring partners.The '76 team is the one I measure Olympic boxing with;obviously there have been some teams since,that would give the '76 team an argument.I really haven't followed Olympic boxing for a while for reasons stated in Scott's post.

Randy De La O said...

I haven't caight too much of the Olympics this year, bad timing for me and minimal coverage by NBC. But I have followed some of the news and the judging seems to be controversial, as it has been in the last couple of Olympics. Check out this asticle

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen Olympic fighting in a long time either. I didn't know they did it that way now but it's no wonder Joe Tessitore has been denouncing it every chance he gets on Wednesday and Friday Night Fights.

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