Pod Index: A Review of Judging in 2012

By Boxing Analytics on January 10, 2013
Pod Index: A Review of Judging in 2012
Most of the ringside media and fans had Manny Pacquiao retaining his title. (Graphics24)

2012 will be most remembered for the decision in the Pacquiao-Bradley fight. But there were hundreds of championship fights. Here’s a few of them…

2012 was a memorable year for boxing judges. Of course it will be most remembered for the decision in the Pacquiao-Bradley fight. But there were hundreds of championship fights throughout the year. Here we take a look at a few interesting findings.

Most Inconsistent Decision of 2012

Brandon Rios vs. Richard Abril, April 14th at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Nevada for the WBA lightweight title. The total Pod Index for the match was 55.6%—tied for lowest out of all world title fights that went the distance in 2012. The final scores of the bout produced wild swings in a split decision victory for Brandon Rios. Judge Adalaide Byrd awarded the bout to Richard Abril handily, 117-111. But she was overruled by judges Roth and Trowbridge, who scored it 116-112 and 115-113, respectively, for Rios. The judges were in agreement in only four rounds. Byrd and Trowbridge were in the minority in three rounds each, while Roth was the odd man out twice.

Most Active Judges in 2012

#1 Levi Martinez, from New Mexico, scored 88 world championship rounds in 2012.

#2 Stanley Christodoulou, from South Africa, scored 81 world championship rounds in 2012.

#3 Duane Ford, from Nevada, scored 78 world championship rounds in 2012.

Most Talked about Decision of 2012

Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley, June 9th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada for the WBO welterweight title. The total Pod Index for the match was 66.7%. Most of the ringside media and fans had Pacquiao retaining his title, but Bradley walked away with a split decision. The WBO sponsored an unofficial re-scoring of the bout using five of its judges. All five awarded the fight to Pacquiao with varying margins.

Most Consistent Judges (2009-2012)

#1 Julie Lederman, from New York, holds a Pod Index of 89.4% over her 113 championship rounds scored over the past four years. According to the statistics, Julie demonstrates a high level of consistency in both somewhat competitive and less competitive bouts.

#2 Benoit Roussel, from Canada, maintains a Pod Index of 88.0% over his 73 championship rounds scored over the past four years. Perhaps most impressive is Benoit’s consistency during the most competitive fights, where he scores 17 percentage points higher than the average world championship judge.

#3 Manfred Kuechler, from Germany, sustains a Pod Index of 86.2% over his 116 championship rounds scored over the past four years. All of Manfred’s title assignments have taken place in Europe, where he proves to be very consistent across all types of fights, from the most competitive to the one-sided matches.

Ranking of All Judges (2009-2012)

Disclaimer: We are not claiming that judges with low Pod Index Scores are bad judges. The Pod Index is simply a measurement of round by round variation compared to other judges.

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  1. Trish 07:52am, 03/24/2013

    Way to go on this essay, hleepd a ton.

  2. FrankinDallas 05:41pm, 01/10/2013

    I am shocked, SHOCKED I say, that Gale Van Horn is ranked #103. I assumed he would be lower than that, somewhere around Hades.

  3. Bodyshots 12:33pm, 01/10/2013

    Thanks Matt. does make sense although (as you implied) it does result in an incomplete profile that i Do hope interested parties continue to build upon. as much as i resent math, i do believe in it’s cold objectivity, and with the hard work already done, i look forward to the analysis continuing. bottomline, something needs to be done to demystify the frequently inexplicable scorecards us fight-fans are compelled to swallow. it would be an unexpected relief to discover that it does break down to individual tendencies and preferences rather than the corruption that is most often cited. Thanks Again.

  4. the thresher 12:15pm, 01/10/2013

    The fact that this is bookmarked by Julie Lederman and Gale Van Hoy affirms and validates the analysis.

  5. the thresher 12:02pm, 01/10/2013

    Your dad is one helluva referee. I went to HS at Foster and Kedzie at North Park Academy. It’s no longer there and got absorbed by North Park University but we raised some hell in our day.

    I boxed at Rock Ola Stadium which has long since been torn down, but it was quite a place back in the 50’s. I would walk over to the place from my house on Hutchinson St. which was just across Central Ave. Man those were the days.

    Holy Cross was a part of the big and bad Catholic League. Very tough.

  6. Boxing Analytics 11:57am, 01/10/2013

    Thresher: Thanks for the kind words.  I will tell my dad you said hello.  I also boxed out of Portage park—had about 40 fights.  I was bad enough to where they closed the gym down shortly after I retired.  Same thing with my high school (Holy Cross) unfortunately.  :  )

  7. Boxing Analytics 11:31am, 01/10/2013

    Body: the value is to simply determine if a judge is seeing rounds the same as other judges.  If they are not, that could mean many different things.  It could mean the judge has their own style preference, or they have a different interpretation of how to score based on the 4 criteria, etc.

    The value is in pointing out how reliable the judge has been, and in theory, will be, in judging rounds like the “mainstream” of world class judges.  If the Pod Index is low, perhaps parties interested could dig in and find out the exact “why”.

    Make sense?

  8. Rick 10:56am, 01/10/2013

    Dude is there something wrong with your keyboard or what? What exactly is the point of all the excessive punctuation(??!!??!!??).

  9. Bodyshots 10:35am, 01/10/2013

    Thank You GEEK. one more question: what is the ultimate value of these results if not to apply a value to each judges scoring ability? the “round by round” variations must reveal something about each judge’s ability or it’s purely mental exercise(?), which is one of the primary reasons I get bored with math, i.e., what’s the point or purpose if not to reveal value and truths? Thanks Again.

  10. Galvaran 10:12am, 01/10/2013

    Can you imagine how much better judging would be if fighters got paid for each round they win?  Instead of getting a guaranteed purse fighters get “potential” purses based on a per round dollar amount.  Judges would be held more accountable since their scoring would have a direct effect on a fighter’s paycheck.  Fights would probably be much better too, no more running around just to survive tactics.

  11. Geek 10:05am, 01/10/2013

    Bodyshots,

    Pod does not stand for anything.  It is the first 3 letters of the author’s last name.

    The metric does not attempt to identify the best judges.  As is noted in the disclaimer:

    Disclaimer: We are not claiming that judges with low Pod Index Scores are bad judges. The Pod Index is simply a measurement of round by round variation compared to other judges.

  12. the thresher 09:50am, 01/10/2013

    Those judges in the Kid Blast fiasco and the Cunningham robbery should be inducted into my Boxing Hall of Shame.

  13. Bodyshots 09:49am, 01/10/2013

    Btw, I’m mathphobic so I’m not entirely clear what “POD” stands for or whether the numbers identify the best judges/judging in the sport. Could a geek please step in and clarify? Thanks!

  14. the thresher 09:48am, 01/10/2013

    Matt, you are making a name for yourself among the top guys in boxing. Say hello to your dad for me. We grew up in the same neighhood and both fought out of Portage Park but he was better for sure.

  15. Bodyshots 09:46am, 01/10/2013

    Excellent topic for an article! about time somebody did the responsible thing on behalf of the sport and applied an objective and scientific rubric to evaluate these judges and their frequently inexplicable scoring. the most amazing outcome? that a woman (?!?) and the daughter of Lederman (?!?!?) is the most consistent (fair? objective?) Boxing judge of them all (?!). what’s this world coming to!?

  16. rothlessfraud 07:39am, 01/10/2013

    Are Roth & Ford still allowed to judge? It won’t be long, boxing will succumb through their way of judging.

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