Tuesday, March 31, 2009


A little sneak peak into my weekly boxing artcle. You guys get it a day in advance:

Commissioner of Boxing

I love boxing. If you are reading this, there is almost no doubt you love boxing as well. However, despite how we might all feel about the sport, I think we can agree it is not without some significant flaws. Granted no game is perfect, but I think boxing might have a few more black eyes (no pun intended) than most. It’s about time someone got around to cleaning it up.

Which is why…today…I am officially announcing my candidacy for Universal Commissioner of Boxing!

I know what you’re thinking. It IS a big step running for such a lofty post…ESPECIALLY one that is completely imaginary and is not likely to exist now or ever. But hear me out, I’m running on a platform with a couple of key points you might agree with me on:

1) One belt for each weight division. Basically the problem here is that there are too many boxing associations and organizations. Just off of the top of my head: WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, IBO, and IBA (Don’t even ask me what they all stand for). Each organization crowns its own champs, so at the end of the day you get multiple belt holders in each division. You have dilution of title, the term “champ”, and no universally recognized #1 fighter per weight.

So my first order of business, upon becoming the Universal Commissioner of Boxing, will be to dissolve all boxing organizations save my own. There will be one, and only one, recognized champion in each weight division.

A byproduct of this decree will be that each title bout will carry more weight because it truly will be for supremacy in that weight division. Hopefully, that will draw more interest to title fights.

2) A shot clock for Larry Merchant. I fully appreciate the man’s body of work and what he has done for boxing….but man does it take this guy forever to get a thought out! He had his day, but at this point he’s clearly lost his fastball.

From the time he starts speaking I could: take a shower, make a sandwich, start my laundry, and come back in time for sentence number two. He is like Al Leiter between pitches times ten.

Here is my proposal: 10 second shot clock for Larry. From the time he starts his thought he gets ten seconds to finish. If you get to the ten second mark and hasn’t completed his take an alarm goes off and it’s just like basketball: change of possession. The “ball” goes to Lennox Lewis, Lampley, or Max Kellerman to finish Larry’s starting thought. Kind of a real life version of finish that lyric. Could be interesting.

I already know Lennox’s answer to everything: “He’s winning the fight with his jab!”

3) Improved scoring system. For some reason boxing has gotten a bad rap for being “fixed” in some circles. I’m not saying every fight in the history of sport has been completely on the “up and up”, but I think no more or less than any other sport. I’d bet my life Ricky Hatton fighting in Manchester wouldn’t get near as many homer call as Duke gets playing at Cameron Indoor or the Red Sox get in Boston.

I think one of the main culprits, in boxing getting such a bum rap, is the balky scoring system. Its inefficiencies and lack of transparency (even to the fighters themselves) can lead to some questionable decisions in certain cases. This casts an unneeded shadow over boxing. I would replace the current 10-9 per round blind scoring system with a more proficient, transparent one.

My scoring system would be public. After every round the judge’s scores would be displayed to the fighters, to those in attendance, and those watching at home. The scores will be kept up on a scoreboard much like the runs are up per inning at a baseball game. No more secretly and suspensefully revealing the judge’s scores after the fight. The main advantage of this public scoring is that the fighters will know exactly where they stand after each round. It will be like other sports where the contestants know the score as they go.

Secondly, I would allow for a round to be scored a 9-9 tie. You need to be able to call a round even. Some rounds are truly too close to call. There are so many times I’ve been watching a fight and thought to myself “That round was so close…how the hell would you score that?” Results are often more skewed over the course of 10 or 12 rounds because a judge, who has to pick a winner each round, will be more inclined to favor a certain style in every close round. I believe tie rounds will lead to more efficient scoring in fights that go the distance.

A counterargument might be that having even rounds will lead to more draws. To that I would say 1) there is just as likely a probability of a draw in the current format given the duration of most fights is an even number of rounds 2) Draws do not wear black hats. Usually, they are exciting fights. I think that if a fight is truly contested evenly, then it is more than fitting to end in a draw.

4) Erin Andrews. If I’m elected Universal Commissioner of Boxing, I promise to name America’s Favorite Sideline
reporter as my second in command. Should be worth a few extra votes huh?

If you like what you’ve read here…. in lieu of write in votes, check me out daily on my blog:

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