For the second week in a row, ridiculous judging has caused consternation and outrage in two high-profile world championship contests.

Incompetent scoring in the Gennady Golovkin - Saul Alvarez fight in Las Vegas, which ended in a draw after the three judges returned wildly different results, caused global outrage. Rightly so. The fight was a closely contested thriller that received a slew of ridicule when the three officials returned completely contrasting scorecards, with one in particular making no sense whatsoever in the context of the fight.

Ditto Saturday night in Manchester, where New Zealand's Joseph Parker was awarded a 118-110 victory over Briton Hughie Fury by two of the ringside officials in a heavyweight world title fight, mirroring the the score in Las Vegas by heavily-criticised judge Adelaide Byrd, who has since been removed from the judging roster for a period by the Nevada Commission.

The 118-110 verdict meant that the judges scored ten of the twelve rounds in favour of the winner. In both fights, those scores barely reflected the contests.


Boxing is being hamstrung by poor judging and indeed, a longstanding, limited scoring system - which is always open to failure in unclear or close bouts, or simply those featuring contrasting styles of fighters. Such scoring can leave the entire sport of boxing exposed.

Judging a fight is a subjective process. In some ways the system itself - the 10 point must system - mitigates against the result in close or debatable fights where judges are scoring on either aggression or defensiveness, power and accuracy of punches or volume. The art of boxing is to hit and not be hit, and within these margins there are many grey areas. But the dangers of highly disputed scores is that that public will turn away. And they are beginning to do so.

There have been calls for the scoring system to be made broader, with additional half point scores for rounds to be introduced, or even five judges. Senior officials in the sport believe these alternatives may create greater complications.

Certainly, greater transparency is needed for the general public paying to see these major spectacles. There seems little acceptance by officials that there is a need to create change and instead just a ready acceptance that these things happen in boxing.

It is time for those in charge to listen, to modernise. It's time for boxing to get its house in order.