Archive for the Mission Statements and Theory Category

The Robbery Rule

Posted in Mission Statements and Theory on August 10, 2010 by danboxing

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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Best Boxing Ratings Ever

Posted in Mission Statements and Theory with tags on June 4, 2010 by danboxing

So this is my first foray into publishing my rankings and blogging seriously in general.  Hope it works out!  So here’s kind of what this is all about.  I love Ring Magazine.  I think their weekly rankings are the best out there.  But every once in a while I’ll see a boxer that I think is completely mis-rated.  Occasionally I’ll even write them about it.  And when I do, I have noticed that they actually tend to take my advice the next week.  It makes me think I might know what I’m talking about sometimes.  Anyway, I don’t know where this is all going to end.  I guess I dream of being followed by boxing fans everywhere, and eventually being asked to become a real boxing journalist or a part of the Ring ratings panel or something.  Time will tell.  But hell, if all I get is a universally ignored blog where I can put my thoughts down for my own later consumption- so be it.  I can live with that.

I intend to get these rankings correct right out of the gate, so I’m going to take it slow.  I’ve got Heavyweights ready to go now, and will publish new divisions as I complete them.  In addition to ratings, I’ll probably publish my thoughts and reports of fights whenever the mood strikes me.

Now for my philosophy.  I generally follow two sets of rankings.  First and foremost, the Ring.  I think their policies are top notch, but occasionally I think they make mistakes, and they never publish anything beyond a top 10.  Secondly, Boxrec.com.  They don’t have bias or human error because they do it all by computer.  On the other hand, they lack common sense sometimes, and I think they often misrate fighters that change weight classes.  So here’s what I’m going to do: whip up my own rankings, from scratch.  My basic policies are going to be as follows:

1) Rankings are based on accomplishment rather than potential.

2) In most circumstances, results from the 5 years immediately preceding the rating week will be almost exclusively focused upon at the expense of earlier accomplishments.

3) Recent results may be emphasized over older results.

4) True champions are recognized outside the ratings and can only win their championship by winning a fight between the #1 and #2 contenders in that division, or defeating a reigning champion.  Like the Ring, exceptions will be made in some cases for fights between #1 and #3 contenders, where because of some extenuating circumstance, it is acceptable to pass over the #2 (such as when he has recently been defeated by the #1 or manifests a clear unwillingness to fight the #1).  Unlike the Ring, there will be a clear policy for stripping champions in extreme circumstances (to avoid a Zsolt Erdei-like champion).  A champion may vacate his title by relinquishing a corresponding Ring title, permanently moving to a new weight division, or retiring.  In addition, if a champion fails to defend his title for two years within the division, or to fight a top-10 ranked contender in the division within 30 months, he may be stripped at my discretion.  Provided there have been no intervening champions, a former divisional champion who relinquished or was stripped of his title during the prior 3 years can fill a vacancy by fighting the existing #1 contender without needing to re-earn a ranking.

5) All current Ring Magazine champions will be recognized, as I view them all as legitimate.

6) Any ranked non-champion who has not fought in the division for at least 1 calendar year will be dropped from the rankings unless he has a fight scheduled on Boxrec.com as of the beginning of the rating week.  Regardless of the quality of his opposition or whether he wins or loses, he will be eligible for re-ranking immediately following his next fight, though any re-ranking will depend on his relative merit at that time without reference to his prior ranking.  A fighter who has fought in a non-title (WBA, IBF, WBC, WBO) bout within two pounds of the division’s weight range within the calendar year may be treated as active in the division at my discretion.

7) An unranked fighter may be allowed to fight for a vacant championship if he was dropped from a #1 or #2 spot in the same division for inactivity or changing weight classes within the previous 6 months, but only if his record at the time of the bout would still merit a sufficient ranking despite the inactivity and any subsequent developments in the division if the rule that led to his being dropped did not exist.

8) A fighter may hold multiple rankings and multiple belts, provided he continues to meet the requirements to keep each of them.

9) Victories over insignificant opposition (generally those lacking at least 150 points on boxrec.com, but potentially varying by division) will typically have little or no effect on the rankings, except that they will allow a fighter to be considered active in the division.

10) Accomplishments in a different division will only be marginally considered for purposes of ranking in a given division.

If I come up with other principles as I go along, I’ll be sure to mention them.