With so much on the line, every point and every round in boxing or MMA is crucial. There’s nothing worse than when the outcome of a match is decided by a questionable judges’ decision. In this article, I’ll explain how boxing decisions work and what the difference is between a majority decision and a split decision.
There are three possible results in boxing, which can be achieved through six possible decisions. As for the results, they can be either – red corner wins, blue corner wins, or a tie (draw).
When it comes to boxing decisions, there are three different types: unanimous, majority, and split. While a unanimous decision means that all three judges score the fight in favor of one fighter, a majority decision occurs when two judges pick the same fighter as the winner, while the third judge decides that the opposite fighter won. On the other hand, a split decision is when two of the three judges score one particular competitor as the winner, while the third judge scores for the other competitor.
Understanding Boxing and MMA Decisions
When all three judges score a fight for one side, it is called a unanimous decision. This is the most straightforward decision, as all judges agree on the winner. A majority decision is one in which two judges score a fight for one side, and the third judge scores it a draw. In this case, the fighter with the two majority scores is declared the winner. Finally, a split decision is when two judges score a fight for one side, and a third judge scores it for the other side. In this case, the fighter with the two majority scores is declared the winner.
Judges play a crucial role in boxing contests as they are responsible for determining the winner. If there is no knockout or disqualification, i.e. when both combatants are still standing after the last round, the judges choose the winner. They use a set of criteria to score each round, including effective aggression, clean punching, defense, and ring generalship.
Boxing scoring can be confusing for those unfamiliar with the sport. A fighter can win a round with a 10-9 score, and if they knock down their opponent, they can get a 10-8 score. If a fighter is knocked down twice in a round, the score can be 10-7. A fighter can also lose a point for fouling, such as hitting below the belt or headbutting.
MMA fighters don’t win points for knock downs. Instead, judges score MMA fights based on “the unified rules of mixed martial arts.” Criteria under these rules includes:
- Effective striking and grappling
- Octagon control (for the UFC only)
MMA scoring is a bit more arbitrary than boxing scoring. While both sports have had their fair share of bad judge’s decisions, they are more prevelant in MMA.
Majority Decision Vs Split Decision
When it comes to boxing and MMA, there are different types of decisions that can be made based on the judges’ scorecards. Two of the most common types of decisions are the majority decision and the split decision. In a majority decision, two judges score the fight in favor of one fighter, while the third judge scores the fight as a draw. On the other hand, in a split decision, two judges score the fight in favor of one fighter, while the third judge scores the fight in favor of the other fighter.
The main difference between these two types of decisions is that in a majority decision, the winner is determined by the two judges who scored the fight in their favor, while in a split decision, the winner is determined by the judge who scored the fight in their favor. This means that in a majority decision, the winner has a more convincing victory, as two out of three judges agreed that they won the fight.
In a split decision, the winner has a closer victory, as only one judge scored the fight in their favor. This can sometimes lead to controversy, as fans and analysts may argue that the other fighter should have won the fight based on their performance. However, it’s important to remember that the judges are the ones who ultimately determine the winner based on their scoring criteria.
In both types of decisions, the winner is determined by the number of points they scored during the fight. The judges use a scoring system to assign points based on the number and quality of punches landed, as well as other factors such as defense and ring generalship.
In conclusion, the majority decision and split decision are two common types of decisions in boxing that are determined by the judges’ scorecards. While the majority decision is a more convincing victory, the split decision can sometimes lead to controversy. Ultimately, the winner is determined by the number of points they scored during the fight, as determined by the judges.
Other Types of Decisions in Boxing
Aside from majority and split decisions, there are other ways in which a boxing match can be decided. Here are some other types of decisions in boxing:
- Unanimous decision: This is when all three judges agree on the same winner. It means that the fighter who won the match was the clear victor in the eyes of all three judges.
- Majority draw: This decision is the equivalent of a majority decision, but instead of two judges being in favour of one fighter, they are in favour of a draw, while the last judge decided in favour of one of the fighters.
- Split draw: This is when two judges score the fight as a draw, while the third judge scores in favour of one of the fighters.
- Technical decision: This decision is made when a fight is stopped due to an accidental injury, and the injured fighter is unable to continue. If the fight has gone past a certain number of rounds, the judges will score the fight up to that point, and the fighter with the higher score is declared the winner.
- Unanimous draw: This is when all three judges score the fight as a draw.
- No decision: This is when a fight is stopped due to an unintentional foul, and the fight has not gone past a certain number of rounds. In this case, the fight is declared a “no decision,” and neither fighter is declared the winner.
Each of these decisions can have a significant impact on a fighter’s record, and it’s important for fans to understand how they work. While majority and split decisions are the most common types of decisions in boxing, the other types of decisions can occur under certain circumstances.
Scoring System in Boxing
In boxing, the scoring system is based on a 10-point system. Each round is scored independently by three judges, and the scores are then added up to determine the winner of the fight.
The winner of each round is typically awarded 10 points, while the loser is awarded 9 or fewer points, depending on their performance. If a fighter is knocked down during a round, they may be given a score of 8 or even 7 points for that round.
In addition to scoring rounds, judges can also deduct points from fighters for various infractions, such as holding, hitting below the belt, or other illegal actions. These deductions can have a significant impact on the final score of the fight.
If a fighter is knocked down during a round, they may be given a score of 8 or even 7 points for that round.
At the end of the fight, if all three judges score the fight in favor of one fighter, it is considered a unanimous decision. If two judges score the fight for one fighter and one judge scores the fight as a draw, it is considered a majority decision. If two judges score the fight for one fighter and one judge scores the fight for the other fighter, it is considered a split decision.
It is worth noting that judges are encouraged to avoid scoring rounds as even, and to only use these scores if they truly feel it’s the correct appraisal of that round. This is to ensure that they are not overused and that a clear winner is determined in each round.
Overall, the scoring system in boxing is designed to reward fighters who are able to land the most effective punches and dominate each round. While it is not a perfect system, it is generally considered to be a fair and accurate way of determining the winner of a fight.
Role of Referee and Judges
In a boxing match, the referee and judges play a crucial role in determining the winner. The referee’s primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of the fighters and enforce the rules of the sport. They are responsible for starting and stopping the fight, counting knockdowns, and determining when a fighter is no longer fit to continue.
The judges, on the other hand, are responsible for scoring the fight. Typically, three judges sit at ringside and score each round based on the fighters’ performance. They use a 10-point must system, where the winner of each round receives 10 points, and the loser receives 9 or fewer points, depending on their performance.
When the fight goes the distance, the judges’ scores are tallied to determine the winner. If all three judges score the fight for one fighter, it is a unanimous decision. If two judges score the fight for one fighter and the third judge scores it for the other fighter, it is a split decision. If two judges score the fight for one fighter, and the third judge scores it a draw, it is a majority decision.
The judges’ scoring is subjective, and there is often controversy over close fights. It is not uncommon for fans and commentators to disagree with the judges’ decision. However, the judges’ decision is final, and there is no appeal process.
In conclusion, the referee and judges play a crucial role in determining the winner of a boxing match. They must remain impartial and enforce the rules of the sport to ensure a fair fight. While their decisions may not always be popular, they are final and must be accepted.
Impact of Decisions on Fighters’ Careers
When a fighter wins by a majority decision or a split decision, it can have a significant impact on their career. These types of decisions are often seen as less decisive than a unanimous decision, and can leave room for controversy and speculation.
For fighters, a win by a majority decision or a split decision can be seen as less impressive than a unanimous decision. It may also be seen as a sign that the fighter did not dominate the fight as much as they could have, and that they were not able to convincingly defeat their opponent.
On the other hand, a loss by a majority decision or a split decision can be seen as less damaging to a fighter’s career than a loss by knockout or submission. It may be seen as a sign that the fighter was competitive in the fight and put up a good performance, even if they did not ultimately come out on top.
For fighters who are competing for titles, a win by a majority decision or a split decision may not be enough to earn them the belt. Title fights often require a more decisive victory, and a fighter who wins by a close decision may need to put on more dominant performances in the future to earn a shot at the title.
Overall, while a win by a majority decision or a split decision may not be as impressive as a unanimous decision, it can still be a valuable victory for a fighter. It may not have the same level of dominance or finality, but it can still be a sign of their skill and ability in the ring.
Famous Boxing Matches and Their Decisions
Boxing has a long history of memorable fights that have been decided by split or majority decisions. Here are some of the most famous boxing matches and their decisions:
Evander Holyfield vs Lennox Lewis (1999): In their second fight, Holyfield and Lewis fought for the undisputed heavyweight championship. After 12 rounds, the judges scored the fight a draw, which allowed Holyfield to retain his WBA and IBF titles
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Manny Pacquiao (2015): This highly anticipated fight between two of the best boxers of their generation ended in a unanimous decision victory for Mayweather. All three judges scored the fight 118-110 in favor of Mayweather, who retained his WBA, WBC, and The Ring titles.
Sugar Ray Leonard vs Marvin Hagler (1987): In this middleweight championship fight, Leonard won by split decision after 12 rounds. One judge scored the fight 115-113 in favor of Hagler, while the other two judges scored it 115-113 and 118-110 in favor of Leonard.
Oscar De La Hoya vs Floyd Mayweather Jr. (2007): In this highly anticipated fight, Mayweather won by split decision after 12 rounds. One judge scored the fight a draw, while the other two judges scored it 116-112 and 115-113 in favor of Mayweather.
Juan Manuel Marquez vs Manny Pacquiao (2011): In their third fight, Marquez won by majority decision after 12 rounds. Two judges scored the fight 115-113 in favor of Marquez, while the third judge scored it a draw.
Canelo Alvarez vs Erislandy Lara (2014): In this junior middleweight fight, Alvarez won by split decision after 12 rounds. One judge scored the fight 115-113 in favor of Lara, while the other two judges scored it 115-113 and 117-111 in favor of Alvarez.
These are just a few examples of famous boxing matches that have been decided by split or majority decisions. Other notable fights include Bernard Hopkins vs Lamont Peterson, Vasyl Lomachenko vs Shawn Porter, and Gennady Golovkin vs Marcos Maidana.
Boxing Vs MMA Decisions
When it comes to combat sports, both boxing and MMA have their own unique set of rules and regulations. One of the most significant differences between the two sports is how decisions are made.
In boxing, fights can be decided by unanimous decision, majority decision, or split decision. Unanimous decisions occur when all three judges score the fight in favor of one fighter. Majority decisions happen when two judges score the bout in favor of one fighter, while the third judge scores it as a draw. Split decisions occur when two judges score the fight in favor of one fighter, while the third judge scores it in favor of the other fighter.
In MMA, fights can also be decided by unanimous decision, majority decision, or split decision. However, there are also other ways a fight can end, such as by submission, TKO, injury, disqualification, or referee technical decision.
In UFC 202, for example, Conor McGregor defeated Nate Diaz by majority decision. Two judges scored the fight in favor of McGregor, while one judge scored it as a draw. The final scorecard read 48-47, 47-47, 48-47 in favor of McGregor.
Overall, the winning criterion in both boxing and MMA is based on the final scorecard. However, the rules and regulations surrounding how decisions are made can differ significantly between the two sports.