Six Judges And Instant Replay For The Fury – Usyk Fight?

By James Slater - 02/19/2024 - Comments

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman is suggesting the upcoming four-belt heavyweight unification showdown between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk should perhaps have as many as six ringside judges, this along with the use of instant replay video technology being in place. Sulaiman, speaking once again with Sky Sports, said that with additional scoring judges, a bad or controversial decision is less likely.

“Anybody can have a bad night,” Sulaiman said, referring to judges. “But if you have more officials then the possibility of a wrong score goes to the minimum.”

We have for certain seen some odd decisions over the years, along with some terrible decisions and, let’s face it, some good old, plane robberies. But would six judges working a fight iron out the problem? What’s that old saying, ‘too many cooks spoil the broth?’ If three judges cannot competently score a boxing match, then why should we trust six judges to do the job? Wouldn’t six score cards simply result in more confusion with a close, hard to score fight?

But Sulaiman is all about change, something he says boxing purists have a tough time with.

“Boxing is a sport in which change is very difficult to get. We’re purists, traditionalists, we don’t want changes,” Sulaiman said. “I will continue to make the proposal. Some like the idea, some of the people in the decision-making process. We will see. We had proposed to use five judges, or six judges. However that was not considered. It did not happen. I would still recommend [it].

“We do have a remote scoring system which is used for training and evaluating ring officials. They score live in the WBC system that we have developed. We have found through more fights done in this system that the more officials that score a fight, the less possibility of a wrong decision. Anybody can have a bad night. If you have one judge have a bad night and the two others get it correct, you still save the fight. You have two judges with a difficult fight and then one round can shift the whole result. But if you have more officials then the possibility of a wrong decision goes to the minimum. But we will see. That’s the only intention to make sure there’s no controversy. Now we have the biggest fight in 25 years in the heavyweight division. So we have to try to do our best.”

Just why Sulaiman is wanting to implement six scoring officials for a big fight, or for any fight, right now might be a question you ask. You will no doubt have other questions. But again, if three judges, for want of a better expression, ‘cannot be trusted,’ then why would six wise men or women sat at ringside be trusted?

It remains to be see if additional judges are brought in, for the Usyk-Fury fight or for any other fight. And would the other boxing organisations follow suit if this did happen? Sulaiman says he is terribly concerned about the possibility of the May 18 heavyweight unification clash suffering a controversy. “That in a fight of this magnitude would be absolutely unacceptable,” he said.

But to repeat, is additional judges the answer?