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ABC takes stand against open scoring

The Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) has sent the letter below to its membership of state and tribal combative sports commissions from the United States and Canada.

Dear Members:

At a recent sanctioning organization’s annual meeting, it was stated that open scoring would be used during championship boxing matches held, regardless of the location of the contest.

The purpose of this writing is to remind our ABC member commissions, that a committee headed by Jim Erickson (Mille Lacs) studied this issue for an entire year while gathering information from promoters, contestants, sanctioning organization and other interested parties. The committee members included Joe Mason (CO), Pat Pannella (MD) and Bernie Profato (OH). After the committee’s presentation of the information gathered, open scoring was overwhelmingly rejected by the ABC membership.

It should be noted that this vote marked the second time that the ABC debated and then rejected the concept of open scoring.

It had been suggested at the aforementioned sanctioning body meeting that the scores of each of the three judges were to be announced after the 4th and 8th rounds of the bout. Further, it was stated that if a commission refused to allow open scoring, the sanctioning body’s assigned supervisor would be instructed to signal each corner and indicate the scores of the judges.

The ABC has multiple and significant concerns with regard to open scoring.

Below please find a cursory list of examples;

1) Boxer A receives an accidental head-butt and (4) rounds have been completed. Boxer A who received the cut knows he is ahead on the cards so why would his corner persons try to fix the cut? The corner person could just let the cut get worse causing the referee or doctor to stop the bout and the injured boxer will win.

2) Boxer A is well ahead in the bout it could turn into a track meet with boxer A becoming very defensive. Any trainer who knows his boxer is well ahead on points would always instruct his boxer to use the jab and MOVE – do not engage – your opponent needs a KO or at least a knock-down (to get a 10-8 round) to win. O n the other side, would boxer B (knowing he can’t win without a knock-down) chase him around the ring, throwing wild punches in a desperate attempt to score a knock-out?

3) Boxer B is well behind so it’s possible he could just quit because he would know he was well behind and there was little or no incentive for him to continue.

4) Would the referee knowing one boxer is well behind on points be more prone to stop a bout?

5) Fans that see a score could become very vocal or even worse hostile and judges could be intimated to score a round in a certain manner. This would be particularly true when the home town boxer is behind and the crowd becomes increasingly loud and hostile.

6) Fight strategy could be drastically altered after the scores are given at the conclusion of the 8th round.

In conclusion, the ABC strongly encourages its member commissions hosting championship contests to advise sanctioning organizations that open scoring will not be used.

Notice should be provided prior to the weigh-in so there are no miscommunications. Any representative of the sanctioning group who attempts to provide the scores of the judges during the contest should be immediately removed from the ringside area.

The ABC will invite each sanctioning organization to appear at our annual meeting for further discussion of open scoring. The ABC meets next year July 23 – 25, 2012, at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort in Clearwater, Florida.




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