Saturday, 16 August 2008

Punch drunk

I’M normally quite a calm person, but the Olympic Games has got me fighting mad.
The Frankie Gavin weight farce; Bradley Saunders’ statement that he is glad he lost so that he could go home (this from an “amateur” who has received around £140,000 in tax-payers’ money to help get him to Beijing) and the over-fussy referees are bad enough.
Now there is talk of women boxing at the Olympics ..... and don’t even get me started on that computer scoring system. It's enough to drive you to drink.
It must be disheartening for boxers, a real body blow, when they land half-a-dozen good punches and get back to the corner to find it’s still a 0-0 draw.
The scoring works like this. Three of the five judges need to press their buttons at the same time for a punch to register.
Body shots don’t seem to count - even though you can knock your man out with a body punch - and combinations are just too quick to register.
To score you apparently need to throw single jabs or, maybe, an upper-cut will count .....if you are lucky.The computer scoring system was introduced to stop biased judging. Cheating basically.
But a judge can, in theory, just delay pressing his button for a fraction of a second. That way the punch will not score - but it will still register on his scorecard at the end of the bout.
For me, it has not solved the problem. It has simply ruined amateur boxing as a sport.
Still, I suppose it’s better than Judo.......