Olympics Change Boxing Weight Classes... But That's Not What Really Needs Changing

I'm going to go on a bit of a rant here. Consider yourself warned.

One of the boxing-related stories that broke over the holiday weekend was that the IOC was consolidating weight classes for the 2012 London Olympics. There will be 10 divisions instead of 11 in order to keep the total number of boxers the same but allow women to compete for the first time.

I'm all for women getting a chance to fight. They should enjoy the same right to punch each other for self and country.

Since I thought it was the more the merrier when it came to the Olympics, I'm a little confused as to why that chance had to involve less men boxing. Taking away from one gender to give an opportunity to another smacks of Title IX, a controversial way for doing something similar with college sports here in the U.S.

But that's secondary to the real issue with Olympic boxing, which is its ridiculous scoring system. Until the IOC or the AIBA or whoever has the power to do something about it, boxing at the Games will continue to be somewhat farcical.

Here's a quick rundown of the pros and cons of the current Olympic scoring system:

Pros: Boxers have a chance to come from behind, even in the final round
Cons: Everything else

Particularly galling is the judges not scoring body punches. Boxing without being rewarded for body work isn't real boxing, it's... well, it's whatever they have in the Olympics.

Since the Games are one of the few events that still has the power to capture huge chunks of an increasingly fractured audience, boxing could really benefit from a higher profile every four years. Unfortunately, I can't even get non-fans to watch Olympic boxing for five minutes before they decide it's silly, and that's largely because the scoring doesn't reflect what they see with their own eyes.

Next time I see a headline about changes being made to Olympic boxing, the scoring system better be what I read about when I click on the headline.

Rant over. I feel a little better getting that out of my system.

Posted by The Franchise


George o said...

boxing is beauty sport but there are many weight

jessica rohms said...

OT : Shoulder injured Manny Pacquiao is now recuperating after his surgery to correct the injury. You can still check his awesome videos of Manny doing his training at Manny Pacquiao Official Youtube channel.