Cokin’s Corner, Monday 3/4/19
UFC vs. boxing on Saturday night. The MMA card here in Las Vegas had 12 fights with widely available betting action. The boxing card in Brooklyn had just one fight available, and that was the main event.
Making matters worse, the title fight in Brooklyn ended up being scored as a draw.
No matter how much boxing fans beg to differ, the sport has fallen miles behind the UFC in terms of popularity. Yeah I know, the occasional boxing megafight does huge numbers. But those happen so infrequently they’re hardly worth mentioning. So boxing keeps slumbering along with casual fans knowing next to nothing about almost every boxer on the planet.
There is a solution available. It’s radical, but when you’re losing the race at such an enormous level, radical ideas are called for. Here’s mine.
First, open scoring. I know traditionalists will cringe at this, and some will point to a very brief and failed experiment many years ago, I believe in New Jersey. Small sample, and therefore inconclusive.
The fact is, and I dare any boxing fan to dispute this, the sport is rife with controversial decisions. Actually one might argue they’re the rule rather than the exception on almost every competitive fight. Open the scoring and let’s see how the fight is being scored. This accomplishes two things. One is that it could well alleviate some of the controversy as the judges are almost certainly going to really focus on the task at hand if their round by round scores are being seen live as opposed to after the fight is over.
The second idea, and this is the other benefit of open scoring, is overtime. There can be no overtime provision with the current scoring. By the time all the scores are tabulated, the fighters have cooled down and there’s simply no way to send them being into the ring for an overtime round.
But with open scoring, everyone would know within seconds if a fight was tied after the final round. if that’s the case, one more round is fought and we get a winner and a loser rather than a throughly displeasing draw. And by the way, the excitement level would be tremendous.
Virtually every major sport is continuously on the lookout for ways to improve their game, especially from the audience vantage point. The NFL makes rule changes almost every season. The NHL has done some terrific tweaking in recent years and the results have been highly positive. Basketball has never been accused of standing still.
But boxing clings to its past and it’s simply not debatable that the sport is not even remotely close to being as popular as it once was, and it’s getting worse. Changes don’t always guarantee success, but it’s a better policy than standing still. My ideas might not be attractive to many, but I’ll submit they’re better than no ideas at all.
I pushed my Southern Miss play on Sunday, although I placed an extra half unit on the Golden Eagles money line that missed. The hockey game was also a push as I decided to go the -1 route with Nashville and the Predators were one goal winners in the shootout.
Monday will probably be a blank for me. So the free play today is merely a light opinion that should not be treated as anything more than that.
Florida Gulf Coast -1.5