Saturday, May 05, 2007

Floyd Over Oscar

Floyd clearly won that fight. The judge who scored the fight for Oscar was wrong. Fighters have to hit their opponents to win; Floyd landed more punches than Oscar. I think Floyd won the second half of the fight without a doubt. My scorecard: 117-110 for Floyd Mayweather.


bean said...

I don't see how you can keep track of all of the punches. I tried it once during an IFL fight but got to into the fight and lost track. I need to get cable again so I can watch those bouts...

Thomas Jackson said...

The way I do it is to look at exchange patterns. An round is easy to score If the two fighters trade punches equally in exchanges and only one fighter is hurt; I score the round for the guy who is less visibly hurt by his opponent's punches. A round is also obviously easy to score if only one fighter is landing in most of the exchanges; I score the fight for the active fighter. Rounds are easy to score--provided that there are no knock downs--if most exchanges result in one or two punches landing from one fighter, followed by a retreat and no retaliation; I score the fight for the fighter landing punches. Another hard to score round for some judges comes about when one fighter is clearly landing more punches in the exchanges, but he is obviously more hurt each time his opponent strikes him. I usually score these rounds for the guy landing more punches: if you want power punches to pay off on my card, knock your opponent down. Knockdonwn rounds are easiest to judge.

For the second half of the fight, Floyd closed distance, landed one or two punches, and retreated with nothing coming back from Oscar. Oscar won rounds when he advanced under the jab, and landed his own punches more than Floyd did. When Oscar stopped throwing the jab and backing it up in the seventh round, he started a suicidal strategy of covering up and looking exclusively to counter-punch a quicker, straighter-punching, very good defensive fighter in Floyd Mayweather. The only punches Oscar landed for most of the fight were slapping punches with the thumb and heel of his hand to the kidneys in clinches: two non-scoring punches. Back hands and slaps don't count in boxing matches, and kidney punches are outright illegal.

By just observing and maybe counting exchanges, I can tell who wins most rounds. 90% of the time or more, my card agrees with the compubox numbers. Compubox numbers are generated by trained fight observers, punching different keys for landed jabs, landed power punches, missed jabs, and missed power punches. The computer counts the punches, and generates the ratios you see on HBO, and ESPN. Showtime doesn't have compubox, so my cards are a bit harder to verify, but like I said: I'm about 90% accurate. For almost all of the other 10% of rounds, the punch difference is easily explained by judging against the fighter who is obviously hurt by punches in that round.

MMA scoring is totally different: if you want to win an MMA match for sure, stop your opponent. Decisions invariably start arguments between judges who like to score for strikes, for takedowns, for controlling the clinch, or for submission attempts: all of which are equally important to winning MMA matches. If the match is anywhere near competitive, decision wins are almost worthless wins.