Boxing needs a clear winner

Jerod Bruner

Let me say this right away. I’m not a boxing fanatic or even a real fan, for that matter.

However, I have seen some of the more recent pay-per-view boxing events and am growing tired of seeing these bouts decided by split judgments.

Last Saturday night’s fight between Felix Trinidad and Oscar de la Hoya is a prime example.

I thought the fight was about as satisfying as ordering drive-thru, only to find out when I get home, I was given the wrong order.

People aren’t paying upwards of $50 to watch a fight on TV that ultimately ends in three people sitting next to the ring deciding who the winner is.

It is especially bad when the judges don’t even agree, which seems to be the current trend in big-name fights.

Not only does this lead to controversy, but it means a rematch and another $50 to see the same two people try to decide what should have been decided in the first place.

So, if I were on the Nevada State Athletic Commission, since most of the big fights take place in Nevada, these would be my ideas to make boxing more pay-per-view friendly. After all, where do you think the multi-million dollar purses get most of their funding from?

My first idea would be to give the boxers something to fight for by regulating the money awarded to the fighters. If I made the rules, the winner would pretty much take everything, giving the opponents some incentive to not just prance around the ring.

A boxer typically spends months and months of running, sparring and preparing for a fight. My guess is they aren’t going to want to lose if they’re awarded just enough money to buy an after fight meal at Denny’s.

My second idea for the commission is to do away with round limits, making the fight last until there is only one fighter standing. No more playing it safe in the late rounds of a match because there is no way of telling how many rounds the fight will go.

For instance, I doubt de la Hoya would have pranced around the last four rounds on Saturday if his multi-million dollar purse would have been on the line. Fortunately for him, he still collected his money, but if that loss equaled a sandwich and fries, I bet his comments after the bout wouldn’t have been so encouraging.

De la Hoya, who said later he thought he had it in the bag, wouldn’t have even needed to contemplate whose side those judges were on. He would have had to continue trying to knock Trinidad out, and after all, isn’t that what the majority of people are paying to see?

My last idea is structured towards an interactive pay-per-view audience, actually allowing the audience to play a part in the fight. I say let the people at home pick celebrity judges from the crowd to decide who the winner, if my no round limits idea doesn’t fly, would be.

If I had my choice of celebrity judges they’d be: (1)Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura – the guy has been everywhere and seen plenty of fighting in his day; (2)New York Jet’s linebacker Brian Cox – he grew up fighting on the streets and if the fans don’t like his decision, he’d probably take them all on one-by-one; and (3) Judge Judy – she’s seen it all, just ask her, plus she’s used to settling fights.

If this group can’t tell you who won a fight, then it might finally be worth the money to see a rematch.

Jerod Bruner is a senior in journalism from Ames, and can easily knock out Glass Joe.