Discussion Boxing Scoring FAQ and Discussion

May 16, 2013
5,125
1,498
Las Vegas, NV
www.facebook.com
#1
I put together a brief overview and FAQ on Scoring, which sometimes can be confusing for newer fans of the sport. I hope it helps increase understanding and the quality of discussion at CHB on the topic. :good

If you are the TL;DR type, jump to the bottom of the post and reference the FAQ.

For a more detailed understanding, you may reference the Association of Boxing Commission's Judges Certification Handbook located Here:
http://www.abcboxing.com/documents/abcboxing_officials_certification_program.htm
There is a lot of great info there.

Professional Boxing matches are scored using the "10-Point Must System". This system assigns ten points to the winner of each round. The loser receives nine points for a close round, eight points if he was knocked down or dominated, and seven points if he was knocked down twice. If a round is even and neither boxer was knocked down, both boxers receive 10 points. If each boxer was knocked down once, the knockdowns are disregarded and the winner of the round receives 10 points, while the loser receives nine points.

Each round is typically scored by the following criteria:

Clean Punching - Punches landed cleanly in the legal scoring area of the other fighter on the knuckle part of the glove. Punches landed to the back of the head, the rear torso, or below the beltline are not legal. "Slapping" or "Backhanded" punches are not legal, and glancing or partially blocked punches should not be counted in scoring.

Effective Aggressiveness - When a fighter is moving forward, and in doing so scores more clean punches or damaging blows on his opponent.

Ring Generalship - If a fighter is able to control the pace and style of the fight and impose his style on the other fighter, he is winning in the Ring Generalship category. For example: A "brawler" will try to drag a "boxer" into an inside fight by moving forward and cutting off the ring, whereas the "boxer" will try to keep the "brawler" at a distance using his legs and his jab. It is important for the judges to understand the style of each fighter to properly score Ring Generalship.

Defense - A largely ignored category. Defense is the ability of a fighter to avoid being hit by the other fighter's punches by blocking, slipping, dodging, or staying out of range.

The boxer with more accumulated points at the end of the match is the winner of the match, as long as two of the three judges are in agreement. The four possible decisions of a bout that goes the distance are as follows:

Unanimous decision: All three judges score the same boxer as the winner.

Split decision: Two of the three judges score in favor of one boxer, who is declared the winner, despite the fact that the third judge ruled in favor of the other boxer.

Majority decision: Two of the three judges score in favor of one boxer, who is declared the winner, despite the fact that the third judge ruled the contest a draw.

Draw: If at least two judges have the match as tied, then a draw will be declared. Also, a draw occurs if one judge has one winner, another judge has a different winner, and the third judge has a draw.

A bout can also be stopped earlier than the scheduled duration due to Knockout (KO), Technical Knockout (TKO) or Referee's Technical Decision (RTD), which is a stoppage by the referee between rounds. Once a boxer gets to his feet after being knocked down, he must be approved to continue by the referee. If the boxer is unable to recover from the knockdown within ten seconds, his opponent wins by way of knockout. A referee can also choose to stop a fight at any point to protect a boxer from severe injury. In this case, the boxer loses by Technical Knockout. In the very rare case that neither fighter is able to continue (including the theoretical "double KO" scenario), the fight is declared a Technical Draw.

Fouls – (Knockdowns are deducted BEFORE fouls) such as head butts and low blows – inevitably occur during a bout. The referee must make a judgment whether the committed foul was intentional or unintentional. If an intentional foul occurs and the boxers are both able to continue fighting, the referee must take at least one point away from the boxer who committed the foul. If a boxer cannot continue due to injury from an intentional foul, the boxer who committed the foul is disqualified.
Unintentional fouls occur much more often than intentional fouls, though. Boxers who commit unintentional fouls receive a warning from the referee, who can deduct points from the boxer if he continues to commit fouls. Unintentional fouls that immediately end a fight can result in either a “no-contest” ruling or a declared winner.
A no-contest occurs if less than four rounds of the match have been completed. Neither boxer is declared the winner in a no-contest. If the fight has gone past four rounds, then a winner is declared. The winner, in this case, is the boxer who has the most points at the current stage of the match. A declared winner wins by “technical decision.” A “technical draw” could also occur if the boxers have the same amount of points at the time of the stoppage.
Here are a few questions I've seen come up:

Q:
Does a judge have to honor calls made by the referee (i.e. calling a knockdown that the judge saw was clearly a slip or docking a point without a warning)?
A: Yes. If a referee makes a call on a knockdown, the judge has to honor it on his/her scorecard. The same goes with point deductions for fouls called by the referee.

If fighter A scores a knockdown, but fighter B seems to win the rest of the round, is it scored 10-9 in stead of 10-8?
A: No. Fighter B would need to completely dominate the rest of the round to earn 9 points rather than 8. Not just "win the rest of the round."

Q:
Is there such a thing as an "even round?"
A: Yes. Although rarely used by professional judges, awarding 10 points to both fighters in an evenly contested round is perfectly legal and acceptable under the rules.

Q:
If both fighters are knocked down in the same round, how is the round scored?
A: If each boxer was knocked down once in the same round, the knockdowns are disregarded and the winner of the round receives 10 points, while the loser receives 9 points.

Q:
If "Fighter A" scores one knockdown, but "Fighter B" scores 2 knockdowns in the same round, how is the round scored?
A: 10-8 in favor of Fighter B. In terms of scoring, knockdowns cancel each other out. When Fighter A scored one knockdown, the score for this round went from 10-7 to 10-8.

Q:
If in a round with no knockdowns a fighter clearly wins the round but is docked a point for a foul, how is the round scored?
A: 9-9. An exception is only applied to the "10-point must" part of the system when the referee calls time and docks a point from a fighter for committing a foul (repeated low blows, intentional head butts, etc...).


This probably only covers a fraction of the rules of Boxing scoring. If you want to really get into the details, you can check out the link at the top of this post. Or just discuss it here!

Thanks to Booradly for RTD

Thanks to Havik for answering "Does a judge have to honor ref's calls?"

:hat
 
Last edited:
R

Rob

Guest
#2
Thanks for that mate.

I got a question. What happends in a round where niether fighter shows any of the 4 scoring criteria. I thinking of rounds in the Bellew v Chilemba & Froch v Dirrell fights. The agression from Froch/Bellew is not effective and there not landing clean punches, but Chilemba/Dirrell are on there bike, there not showing defensive skill there just running, and neither man is displaying ring generalship.

Can you score a round against a fighter for showing a lack of any of the 4?
 
May 16, 2013
5,125
1,498
Las Vegas, NV
www.facebook.com
#3
Thanks for that mate.

I got a question. What happends in a round where niether fighter shows any of the 4 scoring criteria. I thinking of rounds in the Bellew v Chilemba & Froch v Dirrell fights. The agression from Froch/Bellew is not effective and there not landing clean punches, but Chilemba/Dirrell are on there bike, there not showing defensive skill there just running, and neither man is displaying ring generalship.

Can you score a round against a fighter for showing a lack of any of the 4?
You're welcome! :good

Without actually looking at those rounds, they sound like 10-10 rounds to me, however, some judges may disagree that Dirrel/Chilemba aren't showing some ring generalship and defense by using their legs and the ring to stay out of range. Defense IS a scoring criteria, don't forget.
 
Last edited:
R

Rob

Guest
#4
You're welcome! :good

Without actually looking at those rounds, they sound like 10-10 rounds to me, however, some judges may disagree that Dirrel/Chilemba aren't showing some ring generalship and defense by using their legs and the ring to stay out of range. Defense IS a scoring criteria, don't forget.
There is a difference between running and just staying out of range and defence.

But can you score seven 10-10 rounds in a fight?
 
Jun 2, 2012
20,865
5,290
Team Fury
#5
:good cheers, but ive always wondered are judges bound to honour referee's calls on knockdowns? what if it was clearly a slip and everyone but the ref saw that, but he called a knockdown, do judges have to score that? im not saying they shouldnt as it would set a crazy precedent but always wondered
 
May 16, 2013
5,125
1,498
Las Vegas, NV
www.facebook.com
#6
:good cheers, but ive always wondered are judges bound to honour referee's calls on knockdowns? what if it was clearly a slip and everyone but the ref saw that, but he called a knockdown, do judges have to score that? im not saying they shouldnt as it would set a crazy precedent but always wondered
That is a great question. I have searched everywhere I could think of for an official definitive answer to this and I haven't been able to come up with anything. Furthermore, I remember Harold Lederman saying during an HBO broadcast that judges ARE required to honor the ref's call, even if the call appears erroneous. On the other hand, there was a recent Showtime broadcast where Al Bernstein stated flatly that Judges ARE NOT required to honor the ref's call and can score at their own discretion regarding apparently erroneous knockdowns. So what I'll do is throw this particular question back out to you or anyone else who might be able to find something official on the matter. If anyone has special insight on this or is able to find specific examples backing up one side or the other, your contribution to this thread would be greatly appreciated.
 
Last edited:
Jun 2, 2012
3,168
3
#7
My understanding has always been that judges ARE supposed to score KDs that the ref gives even if they feel it was a slip.
 
Jun 2, 2012
20,865
5,290
Team Fury
#8
That is a great question. I have searched everywhere I could think of for an official definitive answer to this and I haven't been able to come up with anything. Furthermore, I remember Harold Lederman saying during an HBO broadcast that judges ARE required to honor the ref's call, even if the call appears erronious. On the other hand, there was a recent Showtime broadcast where Al Bernstein stated flatly that Judges ARE NOT requured to honor the ref's call and can score at their own discretion regarding apparently erronious knockdowns. So what I'll do is throw this particular question back out to you or anyone else who might be able to find something official on the matter. If anyone has special insight on this or is able to find specific examples backing up one side or the other, your contribution to this thread woukd be greatly appreciated.
:good cheers mate, i guess if there's no official ruling then maybe they aren't required to but maybe are heavily encouraged to?
 
R

Rob

Guest
#11
Is there is a difference between running and just staying out of range and defense?

Can a fighter lose a round for being to negative?
 
#12
Here's my question.

Fighter A completely dominates a round, hurts his opponent on several occasions, but DOESNT score a knockdown. 10-8 yeah.

Fight A completely dominates a round, hurting his opponent on several occasions, AND SCORES a knockdown in the final 10 seconds of the round. Still a 10-8.

Very unfair in my opinion.

Thanks tho, good info there
 
May 16, 2013
5,125
1,498
Las Vegas, NV
www.facebook.com
#14
Here's my question.

Fighter A completely dominates a round, hurts his opponent on several occasions, but DOESNT score a knockdown. 10-8 yeah.

Fight A completely dominates a round, hurting his opponent on several occasions, AND SCORES a knockdown in the final 10 seconds of the round. Still a 10-8.

Very unfair in my opinion.

Thanks tho, good info there
You could actually make a case for 10-7 if it's already a 10-8 round and then there is a knockdown. You say "unfair", some will say "subjective."
 
Jun 4, 2012
572
162
#16
As has been my own understanding... however, I have never seen anything making this official. When I do, I will add it to the original post as a frequently asked question.
I found this, from the Association of Boxing Commissions:

Knockdowns

Judges shall deduct points for knockdowns only when they are called as such by the referee.

Point deductions

Judges may only deduct points for fouls when they are instructed to do so by the referee.
http://www.abcboxing.com/documents/abcboxing_regulatory_guidelines.htm
 

Chacal

Top tier
Jul 26, 2012
21,617
2,160
#18
It only makes sense that the judges rule what the ref says. The ref has the best view of what happens and if it's in any way subjective the judges are going to have to take the refs word for it.
 
#19
You could actually make a case for 10-7 if it's already a 10-8 round and then there is a knockdown. You say "unfair", some will say "subjective."
It's not subjective. Everyone pretty much agreed that Maidana was awarded a 10-8 round against Khan in the 10th, but if he would have put him down in the final 20 seconds, or still would have only been a 10-8.

I know there is a case that a 10-7 round could be scored, but I'm not sure that has ever been the case
 
May 16, 2013
5,125
1,498
Las Vegas, NV
www.facebook.com
#20
It's not subjective. Everyone pretty much agreed that Maidana was awarded a 10-8 round against Khan in the 10th, but if he would have put him down in the final 20 seconds, or still would have only been a 10-8.

I know there is a case that a 10-7 round could be scored, but I'm not sure that has ever been the case
You just said it wasn't subjective and then went on to make my counter argument for me.

Nobody would have argued if one of the judges had actually scored it 10-7. It would have been fair and the judges were free to do so at their discretion. But the knockdown didn't actually occur in that case, and so its a bad example.