Franchise Thoughts: Olympic-Sized Diappointment, Roach's Idea a Winning Gamble and More

As you may have been able to tell from the lack of activity around here for the last two weeks, the BoxingWatchers have been on vacation! Sadly, there were no fights in Atlantic City during the time the Watchers spent at the Jersey Shore, but there was plenty of boxing on TV thanks to CNBC's six hours of daily coverage from the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Ah, but what sounded like heaven for a fan of the sweet science turned out to be anything but. After the first few days of competition, it became clear that the scoring system used in Olympic boxing make the sport almost unwatchable.

Much has been written about the system and its flaws by better writers, so I won't go into detail except to say this: the judges rarely awarded points for body punches and never gave out multiple points for consecutive clean punches landing in combination. That means that the bouts basically boiled down to who could land the most single shots to the head. Add in the fact that the fighters who are in the lead routinely run for the entire final round and it's a bad scene the whole way around.

Jim Gray spoke to the head of USA Boxing yesterday during CNBC's coverage, and he made a good point that simply replacing the scoring system with one used in professional boxing isn't necessarily the answer, since we all know pro fights have their share of scoring controversies. But something needs to be done, because it almost turns one of the greatest sports in the world into a farce.

Oh, and lest anyone think this is a bitter dose of homerism since the U.S. team has been an unmitigated failure in Beijing, I should say that I saw equally horrendous scores in fights that did not involve American fighters. Kevin Iole wrote a good piece on how to fix Olympic boxing for the intro to his mailbag earlier in the week.

Meanwhile, in slightly happier boxing news, Dan Rafael of ESPN.com wrote in his blog yesterday that Freddie Roach had a clever idea for saving De La Hoya-Pacquiao: split the purse 60-30 and have 10 percent reserved for the winner of the fight. The gambler in me loves that idea. I'm sure the gambler in Manny loves that idea. Will Oscar? Probably not, but we can hope.

Fellow BoxingWatcher Spartan117 thought the fighters might have a problem with the possibility of getting screwed out of the 10 percent by wacky judging - and let's face it, 10 percent of this fight will be a lot of money. I don't think that's a problem though, as you could simply say the winner only gets the extra money if he wins by KO or a unanimous decision, which usually aren't screw jobs (except for Bernard Hopkins fights!). Any other outcome would split the total pot 65-35, which is probably where the compromise would end up settling anyway.

I'm a fan of merit-based pay, and the UFC does something similar by granting win bonuses to its fighters. There's really no reason it can't at least be given some serious consideration, and if it helps a deal for the fight to get done, I'm all for it.

1 comment:

uatu said...

when it's all said and done Manny still needs Oscar more than Oscar needs Manny.