When does a knock down not result in a 10-8 round?
Former Nevada boxing judge Chuck Giampa, now a consultant who advises fighters, provides occasional analyses of officials and scorecards when he's not directly involved in an event. Here is his take on two rounds in the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight on Saturday in Las Vegas.
As one-sided as the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight was, there were two interesting rounds that call for an analysis.
Pacquiao scored a knock down in the third round. The HBO commentators and Harold Lederman scored that round 10-8 for Pacquiao because “Pacquiao knocked down Cotto.” Most fans and TV commentators automatically score a round 10-8 in favor of the fighter who scores the knockdown.
However, Judges Dave Moretti and Adalaide Byrd scored that round 10-9 for Pacquiao while Duane Ford scored it 10-8 for Pacquiao. Each of the judges' explanation of their score is what is important. Bear in mind that judging is very subjective and each judge's scores are based on that judge's philosophy.
Although two judges differed with the third judge in that third round, each was correct based on their philosophy and judgment.
The criteria for scoring a knock down is not based on the premise that the fighter who scores the knockdown automatically is awarded a 10-8. The correct criteria that is taught by Duane Ford in his ABC certification classes for boxing judges is:
If Fighter A is winning the round and scores a knockdown and continues to win the round after the knockdown, then Fighter A is awarded the round 10-8. However, if Fighter A is winning the round and gets knocked down by Fighter B, then Fighter B is awarded the round 10-9. The key is: Which fighter won the round without the knockdown? Thus, most fans and TV commentators are incorrect in automatically scoring a 10-8 round for a fighter who scores a knock down without taking into consideration who won the round without the knock down.
It may seem like a contradiction but all three official judges were correct in their scores for that round based on their philosophy. Moretti and Byrd felt that Cotto won the round without the knock down; hence their 10-9 score for Pacquiao. Ford stated that he thought that Pacquiao won the round without the knock down; hence his score of 10-8 for Pacquiao. It's important to understand that Ford's score was not 10-8 automatically because of the knock down. Each of these experienced judges scored that round based on which fighter won the round and then took into account the knock down.
The 10th round was also interesting. Moretti and Ford scored it 10-9 in favor of Cotto even though Cotto was losing 89-81 twice and 89-80 after nine rounds. Experienced judges are careful not to be lulled into scoring automatically. Moretti and Ford felt that Cotto out boxed Pacquiao in the 10th round and awarded Cotto the round.
The official scores after 11 rounds were: Byrd 109-99, Ford 108-99 and Moretti 108-100, all in favor of Pacquiao.
Just as each baseball umpire has his own “strike zone,” Class A judges have their philosophy based on training, education and experience.
Chuck Giampa can be contacted at [email protected]