“Rhythm is everything in boxing. Every move you make starts with your heart, and that’s in rhythm or you’re in trouble.” – Sugar Ray Robinson
FAIRFAX, Virginia — In simple analysis, let us explain why amateur boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velas Jr. and professional fighter Manny Pacquiao lost on points in championship duels many Filipino fight fans thought they won.
Bulgaria’s Daniel Petrov Bojilov outclassed the Philippines’ Velasco Jr., 19-6, for gold in the five-round light flyweight finals of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, but many Filipino fans called it a “The Robbery in Atlanta”.
It was not.
The five feet and two inches tall Velasco was simply clobbered by five feet and six inches tall Bojilov under the old International Boxing Association (AIBA) scoring system.
Many punches thrown by Velasco landed accurately, but not all of them could be translated to points. Bojilov may have thrown lesser punches as compared to Velasco, but many of them were enough to be translated to points.
Before the computer system was changed on March 13, 2013, each judge in amateur boxing gave an individual score for each boxer. The score given to each boxer would be taken from three out of five judges either by similar score or trimmed mean.
The computer scoring system has been abandoned, with amateur boxing instead using the 10-point must system, similar to professional boxing.
The scorecards in the Manny Pacquiao versus Jeff Horn for the 12-round WBO welterweight tussle in Brisbane on July 2 read 117-111, 115-113, and 115-113 all for Horn, who statistically landed far fewer punches than Pacquiao.
But CompuBox showed Pacquiao was statistically more accurate.
The controversy lies on the fact that CompuBox isn’t necessarily always dead-on accurate with its punch-tracking and not all fans know this.
In a 10-point must system, three judges, facing the ring from different angles, decide in every round to award 10 or 9 points to each boxer.
The decision to award 10, 9, or 8 points is anchored on the following: effective hits, defense, ring generalship, and knockdown.
A fighter who goes down from a legitimate punch but survives in one round gets an automatic 8 and his rival gets an automatic 10.
A dominant boxer in every round gets 10 and his rival gets 9.
A 10-10 score for each round is allowed, but judges are discouraged from giving an even score. They have to find a winner in each round.
Computer statistics, or the CompuBox records used by those who protest Pacquiao’s defeat to Horn, are not always the metric basis to determine the winner in a professional bout.
This explains why Oscar De La Hoya defeated Pernell Whitaker in 1997: 115-111, 116-110 and 116-110; Floyd Mayweather won over Jose Luis Castillo in 2002: 116-111, 115-111 and 115-111; Felix Trinidad beat De La Hoya in 1999: 114-114, 115-113 and 115-114; Whitaker drew with Julio Caesar Chavez in 1993: 115-113, 115-115 and 115-115, among other controversial fights.