The Manny Pacquiao – Jeff Horn fight on July 1st, 2017 had many calling the fight a robbery of Pacquiao, and is another black-eye for the sport of boxing. This comes at a time boxing is offering more high level fights on FREE TV, to try to bring popularity back into the sport.
Many call the sport fixed and that could not be further from the truth. Maybe fights were fixed in the 1950’s but certainly not today. I can imagine that there has been a fighter who has thrown a fight because of money, but that happens in every sport, and it is the exception, not the rule. This fight was not fixed.
I absolutely hate when folks who are not boxing experts, but fans or sports commentators who don’t really know the sport, cry foul. It brings me to the question or debate that should be out there – What about open scoring? The concept of each fighter knowing if they are winning or losing each round.
I have some friends who have been champions, against open scoring, but let me explain why it is so important. Most fights, of which I would say 90 plus percent of the fights that end in a decision, not a knockout, could have debate on who really won the fight. When I say debate I am not saying 50/50 decisions on every fight, but 80/20 or 70/30 on who really won is common.
After all, boxing is objective scoring. Unlike baseball, or football where there is an actual score there is no debate on what the score is. Much like gymnastics, boxing scoring, outside of knockdowns or knockouts, are objective and up for debate. In boxing – most fights, depending on who is judging the fight, could have a different outcome than what the boxing fan may think.
I watched the fight without hearing commentators, who may prejudice the score. I watched the morning after the fight, hearing that Horn had won, hearing Pacquiao was robbed. I also watched some rounds more than once. I scored the fight 116-113 with Pacquiao winning.
I thought Pacquiao was more effective with his punches and command of the fight. Horn was sloppy and charges in like a bull often getting countered. That said, Pacquiao showed why he should retire. His offensive instincts are gone and that quick second of thought makes the counter punch not effective. Either way, Pacquiao in my opinion won, and Horn although aggressive, was not effective, throwing looping punches that he didn’t land.
I score fights taking into account (1) ring generalship, which includes the fighters ability to dictate the pace of the fight, (2) effective punching, which includes short and hard punches, as part of a game plan to wear down a fighter, so body punching is just as effective as clean head punches, (3) defensive ability including blocking punches as well as avoiding them from hitting the body, by ducking or laterally moving. This scoring normally favors a boxer puncher.
Others score fights with the aggressor scoring points more than the ring generalist. Often the fighter who comes straight forward, even taking punches as they are coming forward just to land a punch themselves, is favored by this type of judging. This judging will favor a guy who doesn’t get backed up by the opponent, even if they are getting outclassed in style. When taking this type in mind, I scored the fight 117-112 with Horn winning.
Which brings me to the subject of open scoring. Just think about it. Each fighter gives there heart and soul to win a fight, and based on who the judge is, they never really would have a fair chance to win a fight. If you have different styles of judges, one could actually be able to predict a win for a fight better than others,
With open scoring if Pacquiao knew he was losing, would he have given more effort to knock Horn out in Round 10, instead of taking the round off. Without, he is losing a fight he is thinking he is winning. We need to have more debate on this subject. Understanding that a fighters record dictates a fighters future earnings, knowing if you are winning or losing and taking matters into your own hands to win a fight, a true champion will always find a way to win. And don’t we want a champion to always fight like a champion.