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Re: The WBC's Open Scoring System

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WORLD BOXING COUNCIL NEWS

March 29, 2012 – Mexico City.

From WBC President Dr. José Sulaimán:

The World Boxing Council ratified during its 49th Annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, in December 2011, the highly successful open scoring rule, which has been working efficiently around the world since 2006.

This rule has been used in the USA only a few times, once in Arkansas, several times in Puerto Rico, and this year the State of Texas has used it in two WBC championship fights.

The WBC adopted a resolution to accept optional forms of open scoring, including the notification of the official scores after the 4th and 8th rounds only to both corners, which was precisely the procedure that Texas adopted during the Chavez vs. Rubio fight and the Morales vs. Garcia fight.

The WBC has always respected the laws of its 165 affiliated countries and the autonomy of all the boxing federations and local commissions, as the regulations and policies of the local commissions where the fight takes place are the ones that rule on that specific event.

Over the years the WBC has instituted many innovative reforms that, as many new things, were initially controversial.Most, if not all of them, have gained acceptance and are currently viewed as improvements to boxing. The most notable WBC initiatives that fit that description include, but are not limited to: (1) reduction of all championship bouts from the historic 15 rounds to 12 rounds; (2) having the official weigh-in one day before the fight; (3) establishing 30 and 7-day weight limits to prevent precipitous and excessive last-minute weight loss; (4) anti-doping testing; (5) the fourth ring rope; (6) the attached thumb gloves; (7) mandatory annual exams; (8) pre and post fights medical exams, and many more.

The WBC, as a historical leader in instituting innovative reforms in boxing, recognizes that: (1) the Association of Boxing Commissions has a position on open scoring, as set forth in a recent e-mail from the ABC President to the ABC membership; (2) each commission, as the representative of a sovereign jurisdiction, has the ability and responsibility to undertake and conduct an independent examination of a proposal such as open scoring in boxing and then act according to their policy decisions; and (3) open scoring is an issue regarding which the opinions of reasonable people can vary.

The WBC has a long list of anecdotal evidence, including quotes from fighters, managers, trainers and commissioners from around the world, including many from the U.S., who fully support some form of open scoring. The following are some of the most notable quotes received on March 26, 2012:

“I'm all for it! It would help me out if I knew how my fighter was doing while the fight was still going on. I can't tell you how many times I thought my fighter was doing enough to win but the judges see it otherwise. By the time they announce the scores it's too late. I think open scoring is a real good idea.” – Floyd Mayweather, Sr., trainer.

“I think open scoring is a great idea, why not? Especially the way the judges are now a days. There are so many fights that seem to have an obvious winner but then the judges go the other way. I think open scoring would really help fighters during those kinds of matches. I would support the decision to bring open scoring into a match with any of my fighters.” – Miguel Diaz, cutman and trainer.

“I've got no problem with it. It's a lot better than being surprised. It would really help out with my fighters if I knew what was going on. Actually, you know what, the more I think about, open scoring could become a valuable tool to me as a trainer. I think it's a good idea.” – Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, trainer and manager.

The WBC will send a representative to the upcoming ABC annual convention who will be available to present important information and data compiled since it has been using open scoring all over the world. Further, the WBC will issue periodic updates on the WBC’s continuing efforts to implement and test its open scoring program internationally and in the U.S., and on the program’s results.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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