Boxing Esoterics 101

By Wrigley Brogan on September 11, 2018
Boxing Esoterics 101
Judges cannot deny science, although they claim they are being objective. (Wrigley Brogan)

Many judges, cornermen, and fans do a pretty decent job of getting the winners correct. I am not so sure about television commentators…

How do three judges often get three different scores from the same fight? The scoring may be close, a point or two, but a wide separation is not uncommon, especially from one of the three judges. Something looks suspicious. Eyewitness accounts of an accident are no different. Have ten people describe the same incident and one may get ten different accounts. There may be a physical explanation for such discrepancies although fans may view a lopsided score in boxing as incompetence or underhanded, a way to see that the “right” boxer wins.

People often ask me how I saw a fight. Because I am a professional photographer, they think I might have an objective and closer view. I do have a closer view, right down to expressions and every drop of sweat and blood. I know better than to give an opinion about the winner. I do not see a fight any differently than anyone else. I may be the least qualified to judge a fight because I am concentrating on the pictures. But, through research, I understand why people may have different opinions, and it all started with photography.

Forty years ago, when I started photographing fights, getting a decent shot was difficult. I thought it was inexperience. I tried to watch each boxer and wait for a decent shot. I usually missed. I tried to analyze the problem. Self-reflection is the surest way to success. More people in boxing should try it. I noticed something very curious. I could not simultaneously see both fighters clearly. Most people do not think of the problem, we think we see everything clearly. Not so. Our eyes dart all around a scene and our minds piece the image together.

As a photographer I knew that everything we see is upside down. Our mind turns it right side up. I did not know how it pieced together a composite. After further research on vision I discovered that humans only have three degrees of sharp vision. To illustrate this hold your arm straight out and spread your fingers apart. You can see your thumb clearly or you can see your little finger clearly, but not both at the same time. Knowing this problem greatly improved my photography.

I started photographing one fighter at a time. For one round I shot only fighter A. For the next round I photographed only fighter B. I also switched between the boxers during the rounds, but only concentrated on one of them at a time.

Judges, whether they know it or not, have this same problem. They cannot deny science, although they claim they are being objective. They may spend more time watching one boxer over another, or, subconsciously are predisposed to watch one over another.

For this same reason a certain boxing team, because they have been concentrating on their fighter, will claim their fighter has won the fight when he has not. There is no way to get around this problem except to be aware of it or hire chameleons, with split visions, as judges.

Except for people who have graduated from the Helen Keller School of judging, many judges, cornermen, and fans do a pretty decent job of getting the winners correct. I am not so sure about television commentators. Their problems are not with vision, but with words. At least, that’s the way I see it.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles


This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. thrashem 05:26am, 09/12/2018

    Pure Psycho-babble!
    I’m a scientist, photographer, boxed and was very athletic. I get most fights right 90%. The ones I don’t get is, when the fight is so lopsided, there is only one winner and they give it to the other guy. This is corruption. When fights are close, you better know your stuff or call it a draw. The latest fight, Niete vs Palicte decision was a joke!
    In the USA boxing rules judges cannot be judged on their decision, only the referees decision can be , in the event of a stoppage.
    People who are watching it on TV have the best seat in the house. I don’t believe the judges do.
    Commentators don’t call the fight anymore, they act a space fillers, while we watch and try to pick something out that was significant. Most of them pick their fighter and try to tell you how good he is throughout the bout.
    I believe in order to make decisions easier. If there is a 10 punch differential in any round, called it even. No 10 point must! This would help the aggressor and get rid of the runners (favourites).

  2. Your Name 01:07pm, 09/11/2018

    Steve Farhood does as good a job or better than any judges I have ever seen. Atlas was pretty decent as well. What commentators are you talking about?

Leave a comment