Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez 3: A Retired Judge's TakeHot
Well-respected, retired judge Chuck Giampa paid a visit to Zute's Boxing Talk last week to give his opinion of the scoring controversy in the aftermath of Pacquiao vs Marquez III.
Chuck Giampa, once one of the top boxing judges in the world, had an illustrious career and participated in many memorable championship fights including Holyfield vs Bowe and Holyfield vs Tyson II. He has served as a judge for over 120 world championship fights in addition to many regional and international title fights in Europe, Asia and South America.
Giampa was adamant that Juan Manuel Marquez beat Manny Pacquiao comfortably. His score for Pacquiao vs Marquez III differed quite a bit from the three official scorecards handed in November 12 as well as some, if not most, of the press reporters at ringside. And according to Giampa, even the score of 114-114 is unacceptable because it indicates Pacquiao did enough to retain his title.
Giampa scored the fight in favor of Juan Manuel Marquez 116-112.
Those who felt the fight was close or could have gone either way often suggest most fans do not know how to score a professional prize fight but Giampa was a seasoned judge, having scored some of the biggest fights in the last thirty years.
So why did Chuck see a different fight than the judges?
Manny Pacquiao, as usual, displayed excellent footwork in this bout. His footwork is exemplary and Giampa believes its possible some judges can be mesmerized by it. Giampa asserted he never let a fighter's superior footwork influence his judging. "The footwork doesn't mean anything (with regards to scoring a bout)," stated Giampa.
Chuck further explained a boxer's superior footwork only means something if he is using it to better position himself to land effective shots, counter punch and cut off the ring. If a fighter doesn't do those things, his footwork may be aesthetically-pleasing but should have to effect on judging.
"This is not Dancing with the Stars, this is boxing," said Chuck.
"The main thing you look at is effective aggressiveness," said Giampa. And while Manny Pacquiao was pressing the fight and was far more aggressive, Giampa believes Marquez's counter-punching limited Pacquiao to simply that - an aggressor.
Points are not awarded for aggression - They are awarded for effective aggression. According to Giampa, an effective aggressor would have been able to mitigate Marquez's counter-punching and land more punches of his own.
"When Manny did land a good shot, Marquez would come back with one or two more and a few times he stopped Pacquiao in his tracks... that was not effective aggression."
Those who believe Pacquiao won will also cite his superior work-rate. According to official fight statistics from CompuBox, a program that counts and categorizes punches in boxing matches, the more aggressive Manny Pacquiao threw and landed more punches than Marquez and even connected on more power-shots (or non jabs).
While CompuBox metrics serve as good information and are nice to show to viewers, judges don't see them during the fight and, as a result, don't take them into consideration in scoring. In addition, CompuBox metrics - even if accurate - can be misleading.
"(Compu Box) Punch stats do not take into consideration what (punch) is effective." Chuck felt Marquez's' punches where "clearly more effective."
Only in amateur boxing, where a clean jab is worth as much as a hard punch that generates a knockdown, does landing more punches justify a win.
Champion's Benefit of the Doubt in Scoring
Lastly, many who argue Pacquiao deserved a win or draw will assert that a champion must be more decisively beaten to have his title taken from him and that the champion must be given the benefit of the doubt in rounds that are very close. Although its not an official rule, it's a philosophical notion that's infiltrated the sport almost as long as its existence.
Giampa, himself, disputed the old-age notion saying, "Technically he is not the champ anymore when the bell rings. He literally gives his belt up - They are fighting for the belt."
According to the famed former judge, the notion of giving the champion the benefit of the doubt when assessing close rounds was dropped in the 1950's and that all judges should know that the champion is, literally, not the champion anymore when the fight starts. "We (were) taught that in Nevada for years."
Chuck is very passionate about how judges should approach their work and was puzzled by the scoring of Pacquiao vs Marquez III.
"I honestly don't know what these judges were watching.... I will be interviewing the judges."
Chuck Giampa Today
Chuck now writes for The Ring. His articles, written from a judge's standpoint, focus on topics and subject matter that relate to officiating in the sport. He also holds seminars for judges on a consistent basis.
Giampa has appeared on Zute's Boxing Talk multiple times and has always given us straight talk. As an esteemed former judge with years of 'high- profile' fight experience, Giampa's opinion must be respected, even if challenged.
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