By Harold Lederman
Professional boxing matches are almost universally scored on what we refer to as the ten-point must system. In this system, the winner of a round receives ten points, and the loser nine or less. Even rounds are scored ten points for each fighter, but judges try to avoid even rounds, and most of them will make a decision and choose a winner and loser in rounds. All world title fights are scored using this system, and most states use this system. Theoretically, each round is scored using four criteria. Each of these criteria is supposed to count for 25 %. The four criteria are:
We define ring generalship as who is controlling the fight, putting his opponent where he wants him, and using good movement in the ring. Effective aggressiveness means landing punches while you are moving forward. If you are aggressive and not landing punches, it doesn't count. All good judges will tell you that clean punching counts a lot more than everything else in scoring a round in professional boxing.
So now you know what to look for. At the end of each round, you write your score on a slip and give it to the referee, who turns it in to the person keeping a master score sheet. In this system, once you score a round, you can't change your mind. If Fighter A wins round one over Fighter B by a slight margin, you score ten points for Fighter A and nine rounds for Fighter B. If Fighter A scores one knockdown in round two and is winning the round, Fighter A gets ten points and Fighter B gets eight points. In round three, if Fighter A scores two knockdowns, he should win by 10-7.
Standing eight counts by the referee is scored the same as a knockdown. If the referee deducts a point for a foul from a fighter who has won the round, that round will have a net total of 9-9, since we must deduct a point from the fighter who committed the foul. Point deductions are strictly the domain of the referee, who does not score himself, but will instruct the judges to deduct points for infractions.
At the end of the fight, the points are totaled and the winner is the boxer who won on a majority of the scorecards. If Fighter A wins on two of the judges' cards, Fighter A is announced as the winner by split decision. If two judges score the bout a draw, and the third judge scores the bout for Fighter A, then the fight is a draw, since the majority of the judges scored it a draw. If two judges have it for Fighter A, and the third judge has it even, Fighter A is announced as the winner by majority decision.