By Boxing Bob Newman
The final matter of business at the 51st annual NABF convention saw the judges seminar conducted by NABF president Duane Ford. The opening and prevailing theme was the use of social media by ring officials.
Major League Baseball of cracked down on their officials using social media and many feel the same will happen in boxing as far as judges and referees go. If a judge or referee is caught posting comments, mentioning a plum assignment they just received or posting photos with active fighters or promoters and managers, it’s certain they’ll be shelved from future assignments by commissions and sanctioning bodies.
“Focus” was also one of the words of the day, in terms of a judge’s preparation. Eliminating distractions improves focus. “Get your life in order,” warned Ford. By that, Ford exemplified things like straightening out marital issues, personal health, stress at work. Coming into a fight assignment with a clear mind, free of distractions, enables “focus” on the matter at hand- judging the fight.
The assembled participants then got their judging juices flowing by scoring various rounds which were projected on a jumbo screen. The rounds varied from ones in which both fighters hurt or dropped each other, rounds in which there was little from which to choose and rounds in which the flow changed back and forth within the round. The assembled participants of the seminar were broken into groups of 4-5 and the breakdown of their scores were read by a group spokesperson as to which fighter won the round, by what score and perhaps why the judges felt that way. After each round was discussed, the scores from the actual judges who scored the fight ringside were displayed on the screen and compared for discussion.
Another focal point for Ford was the word, “damage.” Damage has to have effect. It has to change the courses of a round, affect the fighter, cause a fighter to go into a defensive mode.
After several rounds of scoring and discussion, the ABC (Association of Boxing Commissions) Judges Exam was administered.