CHANGE IN SCORING?
Hello Mr. Collins,
Watching a fight a few months back, it came to me that maybe the championship rounds, the 11th and 12th, should be two-point rounds. It would stop some fighters coasting when they have a lead and it would give their opponents more urgency to fight harder. I think it would make for more exiting fights. I would like to know your take on my idea and if there is anything else you would suggest to try to help this sport that we love.
I don’t think making it mandatory that judges score the final two rounds of a title fight by two-point margins would work. Regardless of which round it is, the scoring should reflect what happened in the round. It would be counterproductive to score a close round 10-8 just because it is the 11th or 12th round.
I am, however, in favor of a more liberal use of the 10-point-must system. Although judges have 10 points to work with, they seldom take advantage of it, instead scoring most rounds 10-9 or 10-8 (if there’s a knockdown). I’d like to see 10-9 reserved for only very close rounds and a 10-8 score when a fighter wins a round definitively.
Moreover, a knockdown shouldn’t automatically mean a 10-8 tally for the fighter who scored the knockdown, especially if it is a flash knockdown and the victim fights well before and after a trip to the canvas. Conversely, if it’s a solid knockdown and the fighter scoring it fights well throughout most of the round, it should be scored 10-7. I also think a fighter should be rewarded with a 10-7 margin if he hurts and dominates a round but doesn’t score a knockdown.
I could go on and on giving examples of better ways to use the 10-point-must system. Unfortunately, for reasons I don’t entirely understand, it has never caught on, even when commissioners, such as Larry Hazzard (in New Jersey), attempted to install such a policy.
DREAMING OF 3D
I am a huge fan of boxing and The Ring. My question is: “Will we ever get a special 3D magazine?” I have noticed how ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights are now in 3D and was wondering if the print magazine would ever do likewise.
Palm Springs, Calif.
That’s a fascinating concept, but I don’t see it happening in the foreseeable future for several reasons. Additional production costs would be a major factor, as would providing 3D glasses for the readers. Then there’s the simple fact that 3D is much more effective when the images are moving, as they are on TV and in the movies. But who knows? Technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, so it might possibly be a viable option down the road.
Why is it when Floyd Mayweather beats someone dominantly, people always seem to say the opponent was past his prime or it wasn’t a fair fight? But when Manny Pacquiao fights the same opponents, he is considered sensational and spectacular? I don’t think it is fair that Floyd gets criticized and Pacquaio does not. What is your opinion?
Most fights can be interpreted in many different ways. In this case, I believe postfight opinion has a lot to do with whether you are a Mayweather or a Pacquiao fan. There are, however, some objective criteria we can look at.
For example, let’s take Oscar De La Hoya’s fights with Mayweather and Pacquiao. Mayweather beat Oscar by a split decision in a generally boring fight, while Pacquiao brutally hammered “The Golden Boy” into retirement. In that case, it’s easy to understand why many fans enjoyed the Pacquiao-De La Hoya blowout more than the Mayweather-De La Hoya snoozer.
On the other hand, it would be correct to say that Mayweather knocked out Ricky Hatton before Pacquiao did, and I do not recall much criticism of Mayweather following that fight.
Finally, fair or not, I think Mayweather and Pacquiao’s personalities play a big role in people’s perception of them as fighters. If they are honest, even Mayweather fans would have to admit that it’s easy to understand why he rubs a lot of people the wrong way.
This is a great new feature! Three questions for you:
1. If we still had championship fights scheduled for 15 rounds rather than 12, how different would the boxing landscape be today? For example, over the last 20 years, are there any big fights you think would’ve turned out differently and any fighters in particular who you think would have a different legacy by being more or less effective over the longer distance?
2. Are there any plans to digitize back issues of magazines such as KO? I first bought an issue in 1988 and would love to grab the ones that I missed prior to that.
3. “Canelo.” My issue is not with the nickname, but the way that HBO didn’t acknowledge it as such on the Tale of the Tape in the Ryan Rhodes fight. He wasn’t listed as Saul Alvarez, Saul “Canelo’ Alvarez, or even “Canelo” Alvarez. It was just plain Canelo Alvarez, as if it’s literally the guy’s name. I have no problem with nicknames, but the Tale of the Tape usually makes the distinction and it seemed to be a little over the top to me.
1. I’m sure the truncated 12-round distance for title fights has changed the outcome of many bouts and careers. It can, of course, work both ways.
In many cases, the fighter who won the 12-round decision would have probably stopped the loser with three extra rounds. For instance, Manny Pacquiao’s 12-round decision over Shane Mosley would most likely have become a TKO victory with nine more minutes of action. On the other hand, you can’t help but wonder if Paul Williams could have stood up to three more rounds of getting clocked by flush punches from Erislandy Lara.
As an old-school guy, I preferred 15-round championship fights. Sadly, with the proliferation of alphabet titles, many challengers (and titleholders for that matter) are not capable of fighting hard for 15 rounds. For them, trying to go 15 rounds would increase the chance of death or serious injury.
2. Digitalizing of back issues of The Ring and KO will probably happen one day, but, currently, the expense far exceeds the demand.
3. Technically, you are probably correct. But of all of boxing’s problems, not correctly identifying a fighter on the Tale of the Tape seems a relatively minor sin.
During your first stint as editor of The Ring, you were involved in the launch of a ratings policy called “A Return To Sanity” in 1987, in which only the original eight weight classes were recognized, with one legitimate world champion in each. I backed this policy 100 percent, but sadly, in 1989 the magazine changed ownership and this policy was abolished.
If the magazine had not changed ownership and this ratings policy had continued, how do you think it would have developed? At the time, it seemed popular with fans and appeared to be gaining momentum. Do you think this policy would have remained to this day? Would any of the in-between weight divisions have ended up being recognized? By the way, I totally agree with your views in the multitude of alphabet belts that exist today — far more than in 1987!
As you have probably surmised, The Ring’s current Championship Policy is based, in large part, on the “Return To Sanity” policy of the late 1980s. If the magazine had not changed ownership when it did, I think the one-world, one-world champion philosophy that has been the guiding force behind both concepts would be more widely accepted. During the almost quarter of a century between our first attempt to fix what I consider boxing’s biggest problem and today, a new generation of fans and media have grown up under the reign of the alphabets gangs. The result has been a weird kind of brainwashing, and although there are plenty of fans (and fighters) who support our current policy, I strongly believe there would have been many more had a consistent policy been in place all along.
As far as recognizing the “in-between” weight classes is concerned, a lot would have depended on how successful the first attempt had been. Regardless, there’s no turning back, and while I still think there are too many divisions, right now The Ring is focused on spreading its current Championship Policy. Once that battle has been won, there will be time to weed out the superfluous weight classes.
Isn’t Vitali Klitschko the linear heavyweight champion? I thought when he fought Corrie Sanders it was for The Ring belt! He hasn’t lost since.
Yes, Vitali won The Ring championship, which had become vacant when Lennox Lewis retired,when he beat Corrie Sanders in April 2004. But Klitschko retired because of injuries after stopping Danny Williams in December 2004, and did not fight again until October 2008! Unlike the WBC, The Ring recognizes no such nonsense as “champion in recess.”
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