From North Carolina, experienced boxing judge Barry Lindenman explains how his role is to judge each round as it comes and not the fight as a whole. You can get a resume that works after judging well over 400 fights, the last one being WBA World light-heavyweight fight between Jean Pascal and Badou Jack in December 2019, the American judge passed on his knowledge to BBN firsthand.
By Barry Lindenman
"As a judge, we don’t score a fight, we score each individual round."
Many professional boxing judges are often asked by their “non-boxing” friends just how exactly do they score a fight. An astute judge would be quick to remind them that judges do not score fights; judges score rounds.
What exactly is meant by that is that each three minute block of time is viewed and scored independently of the others. Why do you think the referee picks up the scorecards at the end of each round? It’s because once a round is finished, it is finished. Only in that way can each round be scored separately in an unbiased, objective and fair way. The collective scoring totals of each round that is judged should not be of concern to a judge. That responsibility of tabulating the individual round scores from each of the three judges falls to the supervisor at ringside.
Now here is what I mean by the difference between a close fight and a close round. If a fighter wins a round (assuming no knockdowns, point deductions or complete dominance of his opponent), in other words, just a “normal” winning of the round, he or she should be awarded a score of 10-9. Although the “winning margin” of the round may be very slight, but in the mind of the judge, he or she did do enough to win the round. For arguments sake, say that fighter A wins all 12 rounds but he or she won each of these rounds by very close margins, then the judge’s score at the end of the fight would then be 120-108. The formula is as simple as ordering essays from EssayZoo.org.
The final score would imply a total domination by fighter A and would assume that the fight was not even close. However, to the keen eyes of the judges scoring at ringside, they would know that although fighter A won every round (not a close fight), he or she won each of the 12 rounds by very slight margins (close rounds).
Now take the opposite situation for example. Say fighter A and fighter B are taking turns at beating the crap out of each other and scoring knockdowns of each other in several of the rounds. Fighter A could have knocked down his opponent in 7 of the rounds and fighter B knocked down fighter A in the other 5 rounds. This would be a case where none of the rounds might have “close” in terms of scoring, 10-8 for fighter A or 10-8 for fighter B. However, when the final tally of the scores is read, the totals would be 110-106 for fighter A.
This scenario would be seen as a much closer “fight” than the previous example by virtue of the final score. However, as we have seen, the final score may not be the sole indicator of how close a fight may be.
The purpose of this comparison is simply to point out that the final score of a fight that goes to a decision may not be the only measure for just how competitive a fight may have been.
Close rounds may be harder for a judge to score, but a close fight does not necessarily mean that the rounds were close in terms of a judge’s scoring.
Also, fans have very short memories. They seem to think that the fighter who was winning the fight at the end, deserves to be judged the winner of the fight. Take the earlier example where Fighter A knocked down his opponent in 7 of the 12 rounds and Fighter B knocked his opponent down in the other 5 rounds. What if the 5 rounds where fighter B knocked down fighter A were the last 5 rounds as fighter A began to fade? Even though the judges would have still scored the fight for fighter A by virtue of the fact that he knocked down fighter B in each of the first 7 rounds, the crowd would see that fighter B was getting stronger at the end by his knockdowns of fighter A in rounds 8 through 12.
Fans would clearly expect that fighter B would be declared the winner of the bout due to the fact that they were the stronger fighter when the final bell rang. They would quickly forget the early dominance of fighter A during the first 7 rounds and the scoring advantage that he or she would have amassed. I can see such an outcome as one of those examples where the crowd would loudly object to the judge’s decision, even though they made the correct score in this case. This is precisely why I have to remind our “non-boxing” friends that, as a judge, we don’t score a fight, we score each individual round, objectively and independent of the other rounds.