Fights can go to the judge’s cards, and those decisions can be controversial if not downright infuriating.
If you’re a conspiracy theorist, you’ll loudly declaim that “the fix was in.” If you’re a manager, you may opt for the “they don’t like my man” argument.
Is it the scoring system that’s to blame? The fighter for not putting on a dominant performance or finishing?
Quite likely, it’s a little bit of both.
The real solution lies with a willingness on the part of the parties involved to consider changes to the system.
In the bad old days of combat sports, at least in New York State, fight cards were not judged or decided at all. That’s right, state law prohibited judges decisions entirely. Fight fans were left to grab the morning papers to consult the columns of the various writers on the beat to settle their bets and arguments. It was thought that this system would prevent corruption.
It just brought the newspapers into the game, and they played by the same rules. The dirtier elements of the fight game were simply extended to the Fourth Estate.
I have a little proposal I like to put forward.
Live scoring. Display the judge’s take after each round, live. In addition, I’d love to see a system similar to Compustrike (and I’ll bet they’d love to provide it) displayed live as well.
Lightweight Jeremy Stephens was the unfortunate victim of the latest of these controversies , dropping a split decision to Melvin Guillard. Stephens seemed clearly to be ahead in the fight right up until the moment the result was announced.
“I pushed forward the whole fight, dropped him a couple times, and I never got hurt or put on my back,” Stephens said following the fight. “I wish he came to stand in the middle and fight. Regardless, I won.”
Jeremy Stephens Post-Fight Video Blog: