WBA’s Idea To Bring In New Scoring System A Good Idea: Proposed Half-Point Scoring Makes Sense

By James Slater – Earlier this week, invaluable news outlet Fightnews.com reported on a story that says the WBA will soon bring in a new system of fight-scoring that the organisation hopes will cut short the seemingly growing number of controversially-scored bouts.

The WBA is planning to bring in a system whereby if a round of a fight is close, the winner, instead of receiving a 10-9 tally, will only receive a score of 10-9.5. If, however, fighter A wins the round big (but doesn’t score a knockdown) he will win by the old way of 10-9. Naturally, if either fighter does score a knockdown, he will win the round 10-8.

This idea, in my opinion, makes sense – at least on paper. The WBA will soon implement the new system in European and NABA and PABA title fights. Presumably, if the system is proven to work, world titles will follow.

Think of all the close, crucial rounds you’ve seen in big fights, where the fighter who won a certain round by a full point barely deserved to. The judges has to obey the rules and either score these rounds even or give it to one of the fighters by a full point – even if the fighter deemed to have scraped the three-minutes landed maybe one more punch or so than the other guy. The new system will make the job of the three judges (by no means an easy job) that much simpler and the end results would only lead to fairer results – that‘s the idea anyway.

Take the recent Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez third fight for example (or, while we’re at it, the even more recent Pacquiao-Tim Bradley controversy). In both of these fights there were nip-and-tuck rounds that were, under the old system, scored to the winner of the session by a full point. Had the many close rounds been scored by only a half a point margin, we might not have had the uproar we had after both 12-round points decision.

The proposed system will not totally eradicate bad, controversial and debatable decisions (What if a judge gives fighter A and fighter B the same amount of half-point round wins? We’d still have a close fight at the end, maybe a draw) but it’s at least worth a go. A fighter knowing he will only win a round by a half point if he’s lazy will surely work that much harder to secure the round by a full point.

This alone would stop fighters from coasting through rounds and this would, hopefully, lead to more action-packed fights with more punches thrown.