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By Manny Piñol

Mon, 14 Nov 2011

In the face of the so-called "controversial" victory of Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao over Mexican boxing legend Juan Manuel Marquez in their third meeting in Las Vegas last Saturday, I suggested to GMA Channel 7 Sports Director Chino Trinidad that the video of the fight should be replayed, dissected round by round and analyzed to finally clear the air of confusion.

Last night, shortly after I arrived in Salinas, California from Las Vegas where I watched the fight live with my brother retired police colonel Patricio and several friends, I called up Chino to suggest that fellow journalist and television sportscaster Ronnie Nathanielsz, who was reportedly quoted as suggesting that Marquez won the fight, be invited as one of the panelists so that the fight could be intellectually analyzed.

I offered myself to be part of the panel and I hold the firm belief that Pacquiao won the fight.

Chino told me he will convince GMA Channel 7 executives to agree to the proposal and that if it is approved he will air it on Sunday.

The reason why I suggested this to Chino is because I would like to help clear the issue once and for all, in fairness to boxing fans who have been left confused following suggestions that Marquez may have won the fight. Also, it should be done in fairness to Manny Pacquiao who is now being crucified for doing the best he could against a great nemesis.

Dissecting and analyzing the fight on a round by round basis will also help educate boxing fans on the finer points of the judging and scoring of boxing bouts.

I believe that the confusion right now is mainly because of the boxing fans lack of deeper understanding on how boxing bouts are judged and scored.

Boxing is not scored like basketball where the goals are totalled at the end of the fight and the team with the most number of goals wins the match. No controversial scores mainly because the determination of the winner is a product of the exact science of mathematics.

Such is not the case in boxing.

With three judges at ringside to watch and score the fight and a referee in the center of the ring so make sure that no fouls are committed, judging and scoring in boxing is more complicated and involves a lot of human influence and interpretation.

In a 12-round championship bout like the Pacquiao-Marquez III, the fight is judged on a round by round basis with each round judged and scored independently of the other rounds under a 10-Point Must Scoring System. This means that the boxer who wins the round gets 10 while the loser gets 9

Under the existing boxing rules, the fighter who wins the round by virtue of more effective punches connected, gets a score of 10 points while his opponent gets 9 points. When there is a knockdown, the boxer who scores the knockdown gets 10 points while the loser 8 points. Two knockdowns would be scored 10-7 while three knockdowns would be scored 10-6.

The boxer who wins the round because he threw three more effective punches than his opponent will get 10 points and his opponent 9. If in the next round the other boxer comes back and pummels his opponent with 20 more effective punches but fails to score a knockdown will also earn 10 points and his opponent 9.

At the end of each round, the judges submit their scorecards to the referee who then turns these over to the boxing commission at ringside. The judges then focuses on the next round and would again judge and score this independently of the previous round.

At the end of the bout, the boxer who wins more rounds on points would automatically win the fight.

Aside from this general rule on the scoring of a boxing bout, there are unwritten rules in judging a fight. First, the boxer who is more aggressive will often get the judges' nod in a very close round.

The other unwritten rule in a championship bout is that the challenger is supposed to prove that he is better than the champion. If all that he could do is engage the champion is a tight fight, he will fail to convince the judges that he is fit to be crowned champion and that probably all that he would earn would be a draw.

And this brings us back to my proposal to Chino Trinidad.

I believe Manny Pacquiao won the fight fair and square. Anybody who believes otherwise is welcome to dispute my perception on the outcome of the fight.

Let us sit down and intelligently review the fight with the intention of clearing this confusion and of educating Filipino boxing fans on the finer points judging and scoring a boxing match.

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