I bought this magazine at the time and still have it somewhere. But I had forgotten the profound remark author Pat Putnam makes early in the article about how the 10-point-must scoring system is only good "when correctly applied."
His point that rounds 6 and 7, wherein Leonard damaged Hearns badly (but without scoring any knockdowns) were scored identically (10-9) to rounds 1 and 2, where Hearns had merely a slight edge, actionwise, is spot-on. And irks me to this day about the 10-point-must system, or maybe just the problem is boxing judges. A guy getting pounded or nearly KO'd on his feet still losing the round by only 10-9 seems totally unfair when 10-9 is also scored for rounds with barely any edge at all. Which is still, unfortunately the norm today.
Interestingly, there was a similar issue with the Leonard-Hearns #2 draw, where many people thought Hearns should have won, as he had scored two knockdowns. However, I recall vividly that the guy who looked like he was going to get KO'd was Hearns--twice--when Leonard hurt him on his feet badly-- worse than Ray was hurt while himself tasting the canvas. Even Leonard's generously saying years later that Hearns won doesn't dissuade me from this view.
Anyway, far from encouraging more action, more power shots, and more chance-taking in pursuit of KOs, the 10-point-must system discourages these things-- since fighters know that winning a round barely earns them the same credit as having the opponent out on his feet, with most judges. Why work to do more than "win barely"? Thus we have fighters like Mayweather Junior, who are content to fight snoozefests. (I am therefore surprised that he KOs so many fighters, but of course his opponents are just not elite fighters.)
Analagous to the AMs where scoring a standing count may result in not a single score. In the past if a fighter scored a standing count he was most likely guaranteed the round.
Did this change (only for a time) between then and now??
I should have been more precise. If a rd was in anyway close then it was almost a given that the round went to the fighter who scored the standing count. However, if the other fighter fights back well and "wins" the round, he may give himself a chance of having that rd scored in his favour. I am speaking not just about the Olympics, but general tournaments. Tournaments I myself competed in, national and international.
This is a big difference between the current system where scoring a standing count may count for nothing, AND, your opponent, if he is hurt, gets a rest. I think the AIBA may have, or already have, brought in a rule whereby a fighter who scores a count will get two points added to his score.
It is not perfect, because sometimes a referee can give a count for an innocuous shot, or even a shot that barely lands. Then there are the scores of quality body shots that raely ever get scored in the amateur game. They almost always count for nothing other than hurting and breaking an opponent down.
Last edited by walshb; 12-31-2011 at 10:39 AM.