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Thread: Let's talk about Boxing Judges

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    Default Let's talk about Boxing Judges

    We always talk about and compare boxing referees, which is great. We rank them... we praise them... we dump on them as needed. Cool.

    But how about boxing judges?

    For all the lousy decisions, outright robberies, inept judging, obviously biased and/or corrupt judges that we've always had and continue to have... as far as I know there isn't enough conversation about judges. We only talk about judges immediately after yet another lousy decision. Then we forget... and life goes on until the next horribly judged fight. We hold fighters and referees accountable forever. But we seem to have a short memory span when it comes to lousy judges. Even those who continue to give us lousy scoring after lousy scoring. Why is that?

    Well... I'd like to do my bit in rectifying the situation, even if it's just starting a new thread on Saddo's.

    A cursory look on the Internet, brought me to this site:

    https://boxeoguide.com/judges

    It's a database on boxers, but also has a tab for judges. Click on that tab, and you get a list of professional boxing judges, along with their country of origin, # of fights worked, a rating, and a column called "Different." I read the "ratings" explanation on the judges FAQ section, and frankly it kind of sucked. But at least I found somewhere where an attempt (albeit a half-assed one) is made to rate judges. The "Different" column I have no earthly idea what it means.

    Other than that, I haven't found anything else.

    Why is it so difficult to find info on how judges are rated/ranked? Does anyone know of another site?

    Well-known professional boxing judges make about $1,500/fight on regular fights, and $15,000 for main events. Some of these high-profile judges make $300,000/year in salary.

    Their work is the most determining factor in fights that go the distance. A lot hinges on their accuracy and consistency.

    So why oh why is there so little transparency and accountability on their work??

    Let's discuss.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Boxing Judges

    https://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/...-boxing-afford


    Here's an ESPN article written after the 1st GGG-Canelo fight. They go off on Adelaide Byrd. Yet nothing happens. Adelaide Byrd continues to be a professional boxing judge. She, along with CJ Ross, might as well show up to Canelo fights with pom-poms and T-shirts saying "I (heart emoji) Canelo."

    CJ Ross of course is a disgrace to boxing... and Adelaide has always been the consistent outlier in professional fights, not to mention a huge pro-Canelo bias.

    Why isn't there a well-publicized rating/grading system for professional judges?

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Boxing Judges

    For all of its spaghetti at the wall ratings, boxrec has a pretty extensive listing of judges and refs from first fight worked to very last. Not sure if it rates them similar to fighters but it's interesting to sort thru events worked..how many times working same fighter, venue etc and see some patterns. I've always found it odd that the same officials can work in different capacities. One card the judge and others some work as a ref maybe. Yet they are cloaked as a judge and with some refs you would swear it was them who we're supposed to focus on. Some refs loooove the camera (looking at you Cole, Cortez and Jack Reiss). I've said it before and yet again...all judges should be introduced ring center exactly as the refs are. Put a face on them. HBO came close with listing judges and 'big' fights worked. You're a professional, if the scrutiny gets to you may be time to do something else.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Boxing Judges

    Quote Originally Posted by Spicoli View Post
    For all of its spaghetti at the wall ratings, boxrec has a pretty extensive listing of judges and refs from first fight worked to very last. Not sure if it rates them similar to fighters but it's interesting to sort thru events worked..how many times working same fighter, venue etc and see some patterns. I've always found it odd that the same officials can work in different capacities. One card the judge and others some work as a ref maybe. Yet they are cloaked as a judge and with some refs you would swear it was them who we're supposed to focus on. Some refs loooove the camera (looking at you Cole, Cortez and Jack Reiss). I've said it before and yet again...all judges should be introduced ring center exactly as the refs are. Put a face on them. HBO came close with listing judges and 'big' fights worked. You're a professional, if the scrutiny gets to you may be time to do something else.


    BoxRec has quite the extensive database. But no ranking system for judges that I could find. Fighters get ranked ad nauseum. If I had a dollar for every p4p list out there... etc, etc. Refs may or may not get ranked... but they're front and center in every barroom discussion about boxing. Yet judges work in relative anonymity. Don't screw up too badly... collect your check... and go home. Kind of an odd setup, given the criticality of their work.

    These guys/gals decide anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of fights (depending on whose stats you believe); and yet there is little to no accountability. Fans (and some of the media) bitch and moan at particularly bad scoring cards... then the din predictably dies down in a few days or weeks. Ho-hum. Another day at the office. Any other profession... you get thrown out on your ass if you're consistently incompetent or biased.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Boxing Judges

    Quote Originally Posted by TitoFan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Spicoli View Post
    For all of its spaghetti at the wall ratings, boxrec has a pretty extensive listing of judges and refs from first fight worked to very last. Not sure if it rates them similar to fighters but it's interesting to sort thru events worked..how many times working same fighter, venue etc and see some patterns. I've always found it odd that the same officials can work in different capacities. One card the judge and others some work as a ref maybe. Yet they are cloaked as a judge and with some refs you would swear it was them who we're supposed to focus on. Some refs loooove the camera (looking at you Cole, Cortez and Jack Reiss). I've said it before and yet again...all judges should be introduced ring center exactly as the refs are. Put a face on them. HBO came close with listing judges and 'big' fights worked. You're a professional, if the scrutiny gets to you may be time to do something else.


    BoxRec has quite the extensive database. But no ranking system for judges that I could find. Fighters get ranked ad nauseum. If I had a dollar for every p4p list out there... etc, etc. Refs may or may not get ranked... but they're front and center in every barroom discussion about boxing. Yet judges work in relative anonymity. Don't screw up too badly... collect your check... and go home. Kind of an odd setup, given the criticality of their work.

    These guys/gals decide anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of fights (depending on whose stats you believe); and yet there is little to no accountability. Fans (and some of the media) bitch and moan at particularly bad scoring cards... then the din predictably dies down in a few days or weeks. Ho-hum. Another day at the office. Any other profession... you get thrown out on your ass if you're consistently incompetent or biased.
    As with most things it seems to boil down to the local State commissions per the training, certification and assignment for judges. Ideally a judge, fighters, refs etc start in amateur program to simply garner experience. I may be wrong but local commissions do the assigning but that can be accurate because how often do we here of promoters and even fighters "objecting" and things get moved around other officials get brought in. But a huge problem is also..how many States don't even have commissions . Very rarely are there any public repercussions for shitty scores. Last year there was a ray of hope in what should be the norm when one of the judges in the Mykal Fox v Mastre robbery was actually suspended for 6 months. But really it was for her racist tweets they found, fans, when they dug into her history. Not so much for the asinine score she handed in. I dunno man, as with many things in the gloriously brave but assbackwards sport it's left to the fans to churn the outrage when bad calls are made. A "robbery" card may end the night for a judge..but it follows and dictates the literal livelihood of a fighter when the lights go dim and the camera turn off. Same with refs. I remember years ago I started keeping a run of "shit judges" as a sig at the bottom of my profile. It helped that I wasn't working much at the time because that took time. But man, it became literally too long just 6 months into keeping track and ran out of room. Individually we can all track bad judges. Think of a robbery..a genuine robbery..and go thru their history. Really is revealing what you come across. It's also on fans to stop yelling ROBBERY at every competitive close call result. You see more and more of it now. Sure if we dig around there are more than a few shitty judge threads we're sitting on.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Boxing Judges

    Boxing is a business. Big stars like Alvarez keep the paydays coming for everybody involved from promoters to the Vegas guys in red jackets working for the Nevada commission. It's in everybody's interest that the guys who generate the revenue continue to win so they're always going to get the decision unless they lose almost every round. Look at the Bivol scores for instance. Every judge gave Alvarez the first three or four rounds. Impossible that happened without the judges doing what they know they're there to do which is if at all possible give Alvarez the win. Somebody who scored that fight accurately would never judge a top level fight again because they did not understand their job.

    Same with prospects getting derailed. Imagine some new Mexican or Hispanic-American prospect coming along who already has lots of fans and a talent for generating headlines and content and looks to be a future huge revenue generator for everybody involved. The guy has an off night against some old veteran or is exposed a little but basically loses. If you judge that accurately and the prospect loses that's you off the list of judges who get hired because you didn't do your job correctly.

    Boxing is an entertainment business first and foremost. Upsets in the ring are bad for business and it's the judges' job to minimise the upsets and that's all there is to it.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Boxing Judges

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirkland Laing View Post
    Boxing is a business. Big stars like Alvarez keep the paydays coming for everybody involved from promoters to the Vegas guys in red jackets working for the Nevada commission. It's in everybody's interest that the guys who generate the revenue continue to win so they're always going to get the decision unless they lose almost every round. Look at the Bivol scores for instance. Every judge gave Alvarez the first three or four rounds. Impossible that happened without the judges doing what they know they're there to do which is if at all possible give Alvarez the win. Somebody who scored that fight accurately would never judge a top level fight again because they did not understand their job.

    Same with prospects getting derailed. Imagine some new Mexican or Hispanic-American prospect coming along who already has lots of fans and a talent for generating headlines and content and looks to be a future huge revenue generator for everybody involved. The guy has an off night against some old veteran or is exposed a little but basically loses. If you judge that accurately and the prospect loses that's you off the list of judges who get hired because you didn't do your job correctly.

    Boxing is an entertainment business first and foremost. Upsets in the ring are bad for business and it's the judges' job to minimise the upsets and that's all there is to it.

    Boxing is a competitive sport. Money... and greed... have obviously turned it into big business. Yes, Canelo is in a privileged position, which he's been in almost from the start. TV saw a "handsome", red-headed Mexican who would pull in a large part of the huge Hispanic market... including the women... and they've brought him along carefully and gingerly since Day One. And yes, judges are "encouraged" to keep the gravy train going. Canelo has been the beneficiary of more shady decisions than probably any other boxer in history. Bivol was (almost) a prime example. A complete shutout of Canelo... and Bivol got the decision by incredibly narrow margins. Which is why I only half-jokingly say that the judges were in tears when they turned in their scorecards.

    I'm not disagreeing with anything you said. I'm just adding the perspective that boxing will eventually just end up shooting itself in the foot. I'm not an MMA fan, but I'm glad MMA exists... if only to provide an alternative to those fans who get sick and tired of the "big business of boxing." See, the thing is... not all of us are ok with everything you've put forth. Some yes. Some don't mind being dragged by the nose ring through the circus that is boxing today... with Canelo sitting untouchable on a golden throne... and young punks like Ryan Garcia caring more about jawing and posing for Instagram than actually going through the normal growing process in professional boxing. To some boxing "fans" today, it's ok to have fixed decisions, bought judges, marinated fights, endless catchweights and rehydration clauses, incessant jawing and little actual fighting, Instagram posting, soap opera back-and-forths between fighters, etc, etc. They could care less about the boxing of the past. So they see nothing wrong with what's going on.

    It's too bad, really. Eventually I might turn to MMA as well.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Boxing Judges

    Quote Originally Posted by TitoFan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kirkland Laing View Post
    Boxing is a business. Big stars like Alvarez keep the paydays coming for everybody involved from promoters to the Vegas guys in red jackets working for the Nevada commission. It's in everybody's interest that the guys who generate the revenue continue to win so they're always going to get the decision unless they lose almost every round. Look at the Bivol scores for instance. Every judge gave Alvarez the first three or four rounds. Impossible that happened without the judges doing what they know they're there to do which is if at all possible give Alvarez the win. Somebody who scored that fight accurately would never judge a top level fight again because they did not understand their job.

    Same with prospects getting derailed. Imagine some new Mexican or Hispanic-American prospect coming along who already has lots of fans and a talent for generating headlines and content and looks to be a future huge revenue generator for everybody involved. The guy has an off night against some old veteran or is exposed a little but basically loses. If you judge that accurately and the prospect loses that's you off the list of judges who get hired because you didn't do your job correctly.

    Boxing is an entertainment business first and foremost. Upsets in the ring are bad for business and it's the judges' job to minimise the upsets and that's all there is to it.

    Boxing is a competitive sport. Money... and greed... have obviously turned it into big business. Yes, Canelo is in a privileged position, which he's been in almost from the start. TV saw a "handsome", red-headed Mexican who would pull in a large part of the huge Hispanic market... including the women... and they've brought him along carefully and gingerly since Day One. And yes, judges are "encouraged" to keep the gravy train going. Canelo has been the beneficiary of more shady decisions than probably any other boxer in history. Bivol was (almost) a prime example. A complete shutout of Canelo... and Bivol got the decision by incredibly narrow margins. Which is why I only half-jokingly say that the judges were in tears when they turned in their scorecards.

    I'm not disagreeing with anything you said. I'm just adding the perspective that boxing will eventually just end up shooting itself in the foot. I'm not an MMA fan, but I'm glad MMA exists... if only to provide an alternative to those fans who get sick and tired of the "big business of boxing." See, the thing is... not all of us are ok with everything you've put forth. Some yes. Some don't mind being dragged by the nose ring through the circus that is boxing today... with Canelo sitting untouchable on a golden throne... and young punks like Ryan Garcia caring more about jawing and posing for Instagram than actually going through the normal growing process in professional boxing. To some boxing "fans" today, it's ok to have fixed decisions, bought judges, marinated fights, endless catchweights and rehydration clauses, incessant jawing and little actual fighting, Instagram posting, soap opera back-and-forths between fighters, etc, etc. They could care less about the boxing of the past. So they see nothing wrong with what's going on.

    It's too bad, really. Eventually I might turn to MMA as well.

    MMA is basically UFC and those guys can afford to put compelling fights on and not worry about who wins and loses because they own both guys. They can have a really popular champion that does big numbers when he headlines a PPV and keep putting him in with the best challengers because if he wins he further improves his commercial worth and if he loses they have a new superstar who beat him. They can also make him rematch the new champ after a comeback fight or so or even straight away because they've got him under an airtight contract and there's only one belt per weighclass and nowhere else for him to go.

    This allows them to produce a compelling product with regular top level fights on every card they do. Boxing isn't like that, it's rival promoters and managers and boxers with their own interests and a wider infrastructure built and maintained around producing and then keeping the belts round the waists of the revenue generators. People have been predicting its demise for a lot longer than we've been around though and probably will be long after we're gone. I can see UFC getting bigger and bigger though.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Boxing Judges

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirkland Laing View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TitoFan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kirkland Laing View Post
    Boxing is a business. Big stars like Alvarez keep the paydays coming for everybody involved from promoters to the Vegas guys in red jackets working for the Nevada commission. It's in everybody's interest that the guys who generate the revenue continue to win so they're always going to get the decision unless they lose almost every round. Look at the Bivol scores for instance. Every judge gave Alvarez the first three or four rounds. Impossible that happened without the judges doing what they know they're there to do which is if at all possible give Alvarez the win. Somebody who scored that fight accurately would never judge a top level fight again because they did not understand their job.

    Same with prospects getting derailed. Imagine some new Mexican or Hispanic-American prospect coming along who already has lots of fans and a talent for generating headlines and content and looks to be a future huge revenue generator for everybody involved. The guy has an off night against some old veteran or is exposed a little but basically loses. If you judge that accurately and the prospect loses that's you off the list of judges who get hired because you didn't do your job correctly.

    Boxing is an entertainment business first and foremost. Upsets in the ring are bad for business and it's the judges' job to minimise the upsets and that's all there is to it.

    Boxing is a competitive sport. Money... and greed... have obviously turned it into big business. Yes, Canelo is in a privileged position, which he's been in almost from the start. TV saw a "handsome", red-headed Mexican who would pull in a large part of the huge Hispanic market... including the women... and they've brought him along carefully and gingerly since Day One. And yes, judges are "encouraged" to keep the gravy train going. Canelo has been the beneficiary of more shady decisions than probably any other boxer in history. Bivol was (almost) a prime example. A complete shutout of Canelo... and Bivol got the decision by incredibly narrow margins. Which is why I only half-jokingly say that the judges were in tears when they turned in their scorecards.

    I'm not disagreeing with anything you said. I'm just adding the perspective that boxing will eventually just end up shooting itself in the foot. I'm not an MMA fan, but I'm glad MMA exists... if only to provide an alternative to those fans who get sick and tired of the "big business of boxing." See, the thing is... not all of us are ok with everything you've put forth. Some yes. Some don't mind being dragged by the nose ring through the circus that is boxing today... with Canelo sitting untouchable on a golden throne... and young punks like Ryan Garcia caring more about jawing and posing for Instagram than actually going through the normal growing process in professional boxing. To some boxing "fans" today, it's ok to have fixed decisions, bought judges, marinated fights, endless catchweights and rehydration clauses, incessant jawing and little actual fighting, Instagram posting, soap opera back-and-forths between fighters, etc, etc. They could care less about the boxing of the past. So they see nothing wrong with what's going on.

    It's too bad, really. Eventually I might turn to MMA as well.

    MMA is basically UFC and those guys can afford to put compelling fights on and not worry about who wins and loses because they own both guys. They can have a really popular champion that does big numbers when he headlines a PPV and keep putting him in with the best challengers because if he wins he further improves his commercial worth and if he loses they have a new superstar who beat him. They can also make him rematch the new champ after a comeback fight or so or even straight away because they've got him under an airtight contract and there's only one belt per weighclass and nowhere else for him to go.

    This allows them to produce a compelling product with regular top level fights on every card they do. Boxing isn't like that, it's rival promoters and managers and boxers with their own interests and a wider infrastructure built and maintained around producing and then keeping the belts round the waists of the revenue generators. People have been predicting its demise for a lot longer than we've been around though and probably will be long after we're gone. I can see UFC getting bigger and bigger though.

    Regardless of the accuracy of these last statements, it's really a sad commentary on the sport of professional boxing.

    Think of the huge contrast in those other sports that pander and cater to the viewing public, knowing that THAT'S where the source of revenue ultimately comes from. It would be moronic for any professional sport to disregard the concerns of the viewing public. Yet that's exactly what the powers of be in boxing do. Why?

    Because unlike the fans of just about any other sport, the fans of boxing are beyond tolerant. People will watch big boxing fights regardless of how many fights are ruined by lousy judging... regardless of how many fights go unmade for years, because of ridiculous posturing... regardless of alphabet org shenanigans, coming up with new belts on a whim... regardless of the countless (cough) champions per weight division... regardless of this Side A and Side B bullshit that mostly occurs only in boxing... regardless of the unending coddling, cherry-picking, and just plain ol' lousy match-making being done.

    Regardless of all of that crap... boxing fans remain loyal. Like the girlfriend/boyfriend that gets shit on, abused, insulted, cheated on, etc... and always comes crawling back like a sick puppy.

    It's so bad, some fans (I've seen it here) have transitioned to the point where they're more interested in the financials of boxing than the sport itself.

    Excuse the rant. But some things must be said.

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    Default Re: Let's talk about Boxing Judges

    Being honest mma seems well on its way to mimicking many of the 'blackeyes' boxing has been wallowing in for over a Century now. Specifically judging over the last couple of years but it's been a problem from the early days. Fans and Dana decry judges all the time and yells for reform are all there. Same outrages, same heads exploding of fans make no mistake. They almost penalize 'effective' defense so much so they made a rule change. It's a little bit apples and oranges, 4 offensive weapons, ground game blah blah but they still use the very same sports commissions, same '10 point must system' and same ring (octagon) perspectives. The whole take down thing is heavily emphasized for points..it was literally all that separated Rose vs Carla Esparza 2 at ufc274 in one of the worst main events in recent memory.

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