How to Score a Boxing Match (for beginners)
Hi there, I’m Mike Gales for Everlast
Nutrition. In this video, I want to take a look at how to score a boxing
match for beginners. This is a perfect topic right now because it seems that
there’s been some pretty controversial decisions as of late. Don’t worry
we’re not going to get super detailed or too technical here but just enough to
give beginners an idea of how the system is supposed to work. This way, for the
next big fight, you guys can grab a pen and paper and you can score the fight
round by round for yourselves. Honestly, that does make the fights a little
more entertaining and fun to watch. In the recent past, amateur boxing was
scored using a computer scoring system. That was meant to tabulate the clean
punches that were landed every round. That has since been replaced with a
10-point must system. That is the judging system that’s been used for
professional boxing bouts since the mid 20th century. That is going to be the
focus of this particular video. Before we get to the whole 10-point must
system, let’s first take a look at how the judges are supposed to be judging each
round. Basically there are four criteria. The first being clean
punching. That’s pretty straightforward. They’re basically looking to see who’s landing the cleaner shots. Especially the harder and cleaner
shots. Number two is effective aggressiveness. That’s a guy who’s
being aggressive. He also has to be effective and not simply walking into a
barrage of punches. Sometimes that could be a little tricky to the
untrained eye. A guy can still be effectively aggressive without throwing
a ton of shots. Sometimes you’re going to get a pressure fighter like the great
Joe Frazier. He was always in an aggressive posture and he’s making his
opponent continuously feel uncomfortable. Even though he’s not always throwing
shots, he’s causing his opponent to move to get out of the way. Because of that,
his aggression is always effective. Next up on the list is ring generalship.
That is the guy who’s basically controlling the ring and the pace of the
fight. I like to describe this basically as the guy that’s imposing his style on
the other guy. A little side note. I love getting together with my boys and
watching boxing. We often score the fights round by round.I love to
watch Bernard Hopkins fight. Once in a while my friends will score a round for other guy. I ask him, why did you just do that? Bernard Hopkins
controlled that round masterfully. Sure he didn’t see in 20 million punches but
he also didn’t get hit either. Most importantly, that round went exactly andI mean exactly how Bernard Hopkins wanted it to go. His ring
generalship is so good that he’s always able to make the other guys fight his
fight. He’s like a puppet master in there and
lo and behold, a few rounds later the other guy is tiring and Bernard Hopkins
starts to dominate. His ring generalship is just that good. The
fourth and final criteria is defense. You could get a guy like “sweet
pea” Pernell Whitaker, who is just so defensively dominant that if he makes
even great fighters look like novices because they can’t touch him. These
are the four criteria that you’re supposed to be judging each round on.
Clean, hard punching should carry the most weight. Those are the ways to get
points to win yourself the round. You can also lose a point during the round
due to a foul. Usually the referee will give you a warning, but if
that fighter persists to break the rules, then the referee is going to notify the
judges that they’re to deduct one point. These are the most common causes
for the record take away a point. The fighter has delivered an illegal blow.
Like a low blow, a headbutt, a shoulder butt, an elbow forearm or a kick.
Hopefully we’re not going to see a kick in this summer super fight because it is
boxing after all and you’re supposed to make contact with your fists.
There’s also holding and hitting hitting behind the head or hitting an opponent
when he’s down. Then there are illegal moves like wrestling, grappling, throwing
and tripping. There’s also not fighting. The stuff like excessive clinching and
holding, running, refusing to engage or chronically throwing out your mouthpiece
to stall for time. Of course there’s no biting, especially not to the ears.
You now vaguely know what causes fighters to lose points.
You also know the four criteria that the judges are looking for to decide a
winner for that round. Remember that’s clean punching, effective
aggressiveness, ring generalship and defense. For a beginner, I have my own
simpler method to score each round. I like to think of it as an old-school
video game, where we have two players. They each have a health meter. That
health meter is basically going to tell me pretty much who’s winning that round.
Now right here, player two is landing clean shots and he’s also the aggressor.
By the judging criteria he is winning the round. Landing shot after shot, shot
after shot. Then player one landed his punches. Now at the end of the round,
the question I ask myself, is right there and then if I had to make a choice, who
would I rather be? I would obviously rather be player one.
Even though player two has landed more punches, player one landed the truly
significant blows. Those blows significantly drained player 2’s health
meter. So in that case, I’d rather be player one. So I would score the
round for him. Now back to the 10-point must system. That basically
means that the winner of the round must, yes he must receive 10 points. The only
way he won’t receive 10 points, is if he commits a foul. So the judges must give
10 points to at least one fighter for that round.
Hence the 10-point must system. Let’s look at some common ways of scoring using a 10-point must system. Remember the judges must award at least
one fighter 10 points. If a judge thought the round was dead even, he could give both fighters 10 points. That’s a 10/10 round. If there was a
clear winner for that round then he gives that fighter a 10 and the loser a 9.
so that’s a 10-9 round. If there was a knockdown during that round, that
fighter usually automatically wins the round. That’s one point for winning
the round and 1 point for the knockdown. So that’s a 10-8 round. You may also see
a 10-8 round even without a knockdown. That’s only if the fighter was supremely
dominant but that’s pretty rare. If there are two knockdowns in a round, then
that’s a point for each knockdown and a point for the round. So that’s a 10-7
round. On the rare occasion, if there’s three knockdowns and the three knockdown rule is not in effect, you get the idea, that’s a 10-6 round. Finally you may
have a fighter who wins the round 10-9 but let’s say he also commits a foul and
loses a point. Well in that case, now you have a 9-9 round. At the end of every round, the judges turn over their scorecards. If there
is no stoppage and the fight goes the distance, then the score cards will be
read and a decision of who won the fight will be revealed by the ring announcer.
Let’s quickly look at some common decisions. A unanimous decision is when
all three judges call the fight for the same fighter. A split decision is you have one
judge scoring for one fighter, one judge scoring for the other fighter and then
the third and final judge sides with one fighter to break the tie. So that’s two
out of three judges for the same fighter. A majority decision is when you have two
of the three judges score the vote for the same fighter while the third judge
scores about a draw. Then you have a draw which is a tie. You can have one judge scores the fight for one fighter, a second judge scores the fight
for the other fighter and the third judge scores the fight a draw. You can
have a majority draw where two of the three judges score the fight a draw. Next,
just to give you an example, let’s go over the scoring of a six round fight.
Here we’re going to have a six round fight with Mike Gales versus Michel
Gales. Yeah my mom used to call me Michael.
Anyway, Mike versus Michael. You can get these type of scorecards online for
free, just print them up and use them. Round one. Mike clearly wins this
round with clean and effective punching. So at the end of the round it is a 10-9
round for Mike. Round two it starts out like round one. Mike is boxing well
but ouch he walks into a left hook and hits the canvas. He’s up at the count of
seven and he finishes the round. Well, that’s a 10-8 round. One point for
the round and one point for the knockdown. So a 10-8 round for Michael.
Round three. Michael jumps all over Mike to finish
him off. He’s overzealous and now he gets caught with a huge uppercut and
gets floored. He barely makes it up before the count. Mike patiently stalks
him and drops him again at the end of the round with a body shot.
Michael’s pretty tough and he struggles back up to his feet and just barely
finishes the round. Now you have two knockdowns in that
round. So for Mike it was a 10-7 round. Round four. Michael now is much more
cautious. He works well from outside behind his jab. He’s just
pumping that jab in Mike’s face. He tries to dig Mike to the body a few times. He
catches him low the ref warns him. “buddy keep them up”. 20 seconds later, in
the heat of an exchange, one of Mike’s punches goes low below the belt.
This time the ref deducts a point from Michael for hitting the family
jewels. Michael wins the round 10-9 but
that low blow is going to cost him. It’s really a 9-9 round. Round five.
It’s been like a Rocky movie, going back and forth. Both
fighters look exhausted. Not too much is happening. You can’t really decide a
winner for that round. That round was pretty even. So we’re going to score this round
10/10 an even round. We move on to the sixth and final round. Mike has
just never seemed to fully recover after being hit to the groin. That low blow
seems to have just snapped all of his energy. Michael out works him to win
the final round. Michael wins the final round 10-9 You can see at the far end, boxes on
either side, we’ve been keeping track of the net points. That’s what we’re
going to use to declare a winner by decision. On this card we have Mike
winning the fight 56-55. So it was a close fight and you can just see how the
difference of a point here or there can really shape the decision. For example, if
that even round was scored for Michael then we had a draw or if the referee
didn’t take a point from Michael then we also had a draw. Sometimes those super
close rounds where there isn’t a clear victor can really impact the fight, because the
other judges may disagree with you. Judging can be a little subjective, so
those close rounds sometimes can sway a decision one way or the other. One final
note is that here we scored a six round fight but you can scored eight, ten or
twelve round fight the exact same way. At the end of the fight, you just add up all
the points together and voila you have your decision. Now that you basically
know how the 10-point must system works, the next time you get together with your
friends to watch the big fight, you can print up up some score cards. Then grab a
pen and score the fight for yourselves. Sometimes you’re going to be
surprised that scoring the fight round by round, sometimes gives you a different
perspective of the fight, rather than scoring the entire fight as a whole. Anyway try and score the next big fight for yourself. Then compare your
scores with your friends and with the official judges scorecard. You’re
going to find that it does make the evening a little more fun and
entertaining. This has been Mike Gales for Everlast Nutrition. If you like
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