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From the Judges Chair First in a Series

As boxing judges we certainly have scored rounds 10-8 when one fighter has beenknocked down from a clean punch, gets up and survives the round. But it is not so common to score 10-8 without a knockdown.

Although the scoring of a 10-8 round minus a knockdown is not discouraged byinternational boxing organizations and by state commissions, there seems to be a dearth of such scoring.

“I don’t think they’re scored enough,” said Greg Sirb, executive director of thePennsylvania State Athletic Commission and former head of the American Boxing Commissioners (ABC).

“I see more 10-10 rounds,” added Sirb. I´m from the school that 10-10 rounds areallright. What I don’t like to see is a 10-10 round followed by another 10-10 round. I don’t like to see two or three in a fight. That tells me that a judge doesn’t want to make a decision.”

Sirb believes that in order to score a round 10-8 sans the knockdown, a fighter must bedominating. “And if the other guy does nothing he should be penalized.”

Steve Farhood, Showtiine commentator and former Ring Editor, also feels there isn’tenough 10-8 scoring when one fighter has clearly outmatched the other over the three- minute time frame.

“Too few in my opInion,” said Farhood. “1’m for the liberal use of the 10-point mustsystem. It’s as if judges are hesitant to score that way. I think they need to be encouraged to be more liberal. if that’s the case, we’ll have fewer bad decisions.”

HBO scoring analyst and former New York State boxing judge Harold Lederman alsoagrees that many judges rarely score a round 10-8 unless there is a knockdown.

“if one guy wins really; really decisively and his opponent doesn’t punch back, it should bescored 10-8. But if the other guy punches back, I’ll go 10-9.”

Teddy Aflas, ESPN’s Friday Night Fight analyst, takes a somewhat different view.

“If the ropes hold up a fighter and he doesn’t go down I have no problem at that pointmaking it 10-8,” Atlas said “I think good judges do give 10-8 rounds arid they do give thought to it when it’s that dominant.”

Atlas says he doesn’t necessarily rubber stamp a round 10-8 even when there is aknockdown 

“If a fighter gets caught and his legs are okay and he’s able to get up quickly without any residual effects I may stil score it 10-9. On the other side, with no knockdown, I have given 10-8 rounds.”

A typical Atlas scorecard generally contains at least one 10-10 round each week, a scorewhich most commissions frown upon

“I’m not afraid to give a 10-10 round,” said Atlas “Judges don’t give enough evenrounds. It can be called for”

“If it’s that close of a round I’m almost flipping a coin,” added Atlas, “I try to go with myinstincts I think the judges are doing the same thing. I’m saying to myself that these judges aren’t going to make it an even round I don’t want a flip of a coin to influence my decision.”

Jerome Boyle, the Unit Chief of the Athletic Unit at the Mohegan Sun Casino inUncasvifle, CT says he’s seen as many 10-8 rounds without the knockdown as he does even rounds.

“I would say they’re just as prevalent as 10-10 rounds,” said Boyle. “I would like to seemore 10-8.”

(Glenn Feldman has been a boxing judge in the State of Connecticut for 14 years and hasjudged 35 world title bouts)