The World Boxing Council announced Friday that it is implementing a new method for judging the effectiveness of its judges — and will be doing so in real time.
“Basically, it’s a system that is aimed at evaluating ring officials,” said Mauricio Sulaiman, the head of the WBC. “We’re doing live evaluations, live scoring by judges working in other countries, judging that fight on television, some judges working on site.
“And this will create a full evaluation of every single title fight, and the performance of judges is evaluated and graded. That will lead to a more complex, a more realistic accountability of actions and performances of ring officials,” said Sulaiman, who made it clear that these five select judges, whose scores are not official in any real capacity, will be handing in their cards as the fights take place.
“It is not the same to evaluate a fight after the fact,” said Sulaiman. “So when you evaluate a controversial fight, controversial scoring, the judges who evaluate it, already know the result.”
And these tallies will be gathered just as they would in a real fight, after every round is completed.
“It’s a live platform where each individual has a PIN to enter into the system, and we confirm who will be doing such an evaluation. We have 50 judges in the pool and 15 referees, all over the world,” Sulaiman said.
While this new system will only be used for WBC title fights, the pool of judges that can participate do not have to be WBC-accredited officials. “We want to be inclusive in this process,” said Sulaiman said, adding that they will use five official judges for their title bouts in jurisdictions that will allow for it, beginning next year.
When asked if the scores of the five unofficial judges will be broadcast as the fights are taking place, Sulaiman said: “We are contemplating a diversity of outlets for that information to go out, because it’s unofficial, but it’s five real top-notch officials scoring the bout.”
So what happens to a judge who has a scorecard that is highly contentious and debatable?
“We can all have bad nights in life,” Sulaiman said. “What we usually do is, they have a report to fill out after every fight. The (WBC) supervisor also fills out a report. We constantly get feedback on the judges and reference their performance. So if there’s something really, really bad, we have even met in person and gone over the situation and reviewed it, think about it and talk about it.”
Sometimes the offending party will get demoted to doing preliminary fights for a period of time. Some have even lost their standing with the organization as a championship judge. This new system — and ramifications — will only apply to WBC judges. Regardless, Sulaiman is hoping that this will work as a more transparent way of grading his officials and to bring about more palatable results to the public.
“One of the main matters is to bring accountability to the the performance of officials,” stated Sulaiman. “They have to be accountable.”