Tuesday, November 15, 2011

FAST PUNCHERS (The argument in favor of using Hawk-Eye type technology in boxing matches)

By Siesta-friendly

Hawk-eye camera-based technology has been used in international tennis matches (including 3 Grand Slam events) and international cricket matches for a few years now. It’s already being developed for goal scoring accuracy in football. Perhaps it should be developed in boxing as well.

At the moment, there is an existing computer technology used in boxing to determine punch statistics – called Compubox – which the owner, Bob Canobbio, describes succinctly:

“The way it works is there are two operators. They share a laptop computer. They pick one fighter each. There are four keys for each operator. Jab connect, Jab miss, Power connect, Power miss. We call a non jab a power punch for lack of a better description. I know some people who really don’t really understand the program have said in the past, “How can a guy land 300 power punches and not knock the guy out?” Well we call it power punch because it sounds better than non jab.”[1]

Bob and Nic Canobbio Ringside (from http://compuboxonline.com/bio.php)

It would seem that at least half (the Mexican half) of the people who watched the Pacquiao-Marquez boxing match last November 10, 2011 thought that Juan Manuel Marquez won the fight hands down.  Maybe even half of the Filipinos who watched the match thought the same.

Yet, many doubters would have surely changed their minds following reports of the stats revealed by Compubox below (click to enlarge):

Who knew, right?  Marquez’s punches were so convincing and yet … well the stats speak for themselves. Pacquiao’s fists are apparently too fast for the non-ringside audience.

But, because the Compubox punch stats are inputted manually, perhaps camera-based technology can be developed so as to be officially accepted in determining points as has been done in international tennis and cricket matches.  Manual punching of stats depends on the concentration of the operators in seeing the punches and their punching the correct keys. 

In any case, the judges have spoken but maybe next time, the number of punches objectively and scientifically counted will have the final say, not the pundits and armchair boxers. “The More (punches) the Manny- er!”

Perhaps the same camera-based technology can also enlighten boxing officials to penalize boxers who – consciously or not - repeatedly try to impede their opponents by stepping on the latter’s foot while punching or avoiding them –

[1] Perry, K. (2007, February 25). Fight report exclusive-compubox interview. Retrieved from http://www.fightreport.net/?p=958


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