Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Really dumb things in boxing

Boxing and, by extension, the "mixed martial arts" we have seen so much of lately, would appear to be the only sports where nobody has a clue what the score is until it's all over. How dumb is that?

Further, it's been no secret that some "ring-side" judges over the years have gone back and changed their scores for earlier rounds in the fight later on. Only in boxing could this happen. What they saw "live" just minutes before has somehow changed in their minds when the fight is over. Amazing, not to mention a fertile ground for corruption.

It would be like keeping Olympic gymnasts' scores a secret until they're done with all their disciplines, then totaling them up covertly to -- presto -- here's your gold, silver, and bronze medal winners. How do you think that would fly?

Obviously, this sort of shadiness has never been allowed in all other sports. Baseball, football, basketball, hockey, tennis, golf -- you name it -- the viewer always knows EXACTLY what the score is throughout the contest.

So what would seem to be the problem with putting round by round boxing scores up on the scoreboard in the arena and hence able to be seen and known by those watching at home?

Fighters, their corner people, the fans in attendance, announcers, TV viewers, all would know who's ahead or behind, or if it's close. And it would certainly eliminate any pesky judge from changing his/her scorecard later (as if they'd been bought off by one side or the other to influence the outcome -- imagine that). If a guy is trailing by a bunch heading into the final round and needs a knockout to win, so be it. On that note, how many times have we seen matches where we just KNOW one guy has prevailed throughout, only to find out later the other guy -- surprise -- is given the win?

The entire premise has always been ludicrous.

Speaking of other dumb things in boxing -- how about the "ten point must system"? Boxing fans know that requires every ringside judge to award ten points per round to one fighter or the other. It's dumb. If they're both cruising through a round trying to save a little gas for later, why should one of them be awarded ten points? Instead of "must", make it "max". If it was a ho-hum round with little action, what's so terribly wrong with scoring it, say, 3-2, instead of 10-9?

Which brings up another dumb idea in boxing. Even guys that get pummeled and/or knocked down a couple times in a round typically always get awarded at least 8 points. Why should they? If a round was that lop-sided, score it 10-2, or 10-0, whatever. Hey, in other sports an athlete or team doesn't get points just for showing up for the next few minutes of play. They have to earn them. So again, what's the problem?

If a pugilist is getting his brains beat out after three rounds, the score shouldn't be 30-27, but rather 30-0. Good grief, we see shutouts pitched not only in baseball, but football as well. Throw in hockey. No points is no points. Even in tennis we've seen sets won 6-0. They don't give the one taking the pounding a couple games just to be politically correct. It is what it is. A beatdown. Sure, the "beatee" can sometimes come roaring back, even win. But you don't give them charity points along the way if they haven't earned them. It defies logic. Did I mention dumb?

On to more dumbness. The weight classes. Let's use three for examples, namely lightweight, welterweight, and middleweight.

In days of old, lightweights couldn't weigh more than 135 lbs. Welters no more than 147, and middles maxed out at 160.

Of course somebody saw the opportunity (see scam) to make a lot more money. The "junior" and "super" classes were created. These were "tweeners" of those three weight classes. A little too heavy for one, but not quite heavy enough to qualify for the next one, at least competitively. Every pound counts in boxing. Perhaps fair enough, but then the dumb monster raised its ugly head again.

A "super" lightweight weighs the exact same as a "junior" welterweight. A super welter the same as a junior middle. Yet they acted like these were ALL different weight classes. Throw in four or five boxing "associations" with all the pseudo weight classes and there's no end to the potential matches to be arranged. It's the same guys at the same weights, but called different names, while the shysters continue to peddle this nonsense on the public, at exorbitant pay-per-view costs, BTW.

And who is the dumbest of them all?

Those who keep clicking on and ponying up the $59.99, or $79.99 to watch what has become a hopelessly watered down sport for quite some time.

Don't believe that? Quick. Rattle off the lightweight, welterweight and middleweight champions of the world. Betcha can't. There's lot of them, plus their "junior" and "super" brethren.

And in the end, it's just plain dumb.

Couple that with the corruption, collusion, and all-around shadiness long associated with promoters of the sport and their invisible scoring system, and you have a cess pool that even politicians would turn their noses up at. How bad must THAT be?

The dumbest thing is recent years is apparently going to come to pass soon. A bout between former champ Floyd Mayweather and MMA super-star Conor McGregor.

The dumbness of this potential spectacle almost defies imagination.

But more on that later......

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