The Robbery Rule

I just want to announce a new policy that I’m going to implement and hold myself to with regard to decisions that are controversial or that I disagree with.  I call it my Robbery Rule.

As you know, a single win, loss or draw can have a huge impact on the way a fighter is ranked and viewed in general.  As you also know, judges often render questionable and downright dishonest/wrong decisions.  A major difficulty in compiling reliable rankings is figuring out how to treat these kinds of decisions.

My approach to this point has essentially been to respect the official result if I don’t know better, give it minimal deference if I disagree by treating it as a razor-thin victory or draw for the official winner, and to substitute my own judgment if I think it’s a completely indefensible robbery.

I’m now refining those standards somewhat.  I will only certify a decision as a robbery if every round I’ve marked on my card as close could be given to the official winner and that winner would still not win.  In the event of a robbery, I will substitute the result (ie draw or loss) that would have occurred had all the close rounds been given to the judge’s pick and rank accordingly.

Decisions with which I disagree, but which do not rise to the level of robbery as above stated will be given minimal deference, and essentially treated the same as a draw or razor-thin split decision.

As an example, I feel that this weekend’s Kotelnik-Alexander fight was a robbery.  I scored the fight 116-112 for Kotelnik, but since the judges gave the fight to Alexander, I apply the above rule and give all close rounds to Alexander hypothetically, leaving me with his best-possible score of 114-114.  This robbery has minimal effect for the way I’ll rank these fighters though, because I will treat the fight as a draw instead of a minimal-deference decision, which are practically indistinguishable from one another.

Contrast this with an earlier robbery, in which Beibut Shumenov was gifted a decision over Gabriel Campillo.  In that fight, Shumenov’s best-case scenario despite his win on the cards was a 117-111 loss, and thus my rankings reflect a solid win for Campillo.

Returning to the Kotelnik-Alexander example, if one more of Kotelnik’s rounds had been legitimately close, the robbery would have instead been a minimal-deference decision, since a 115-113 score could have been semi-reasonable.

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