• An appraisal of judging criteria in relation to performance in elite male amateur boxing

      Thomson, Edd; Latham, James (University of Chester, 2018-09-28)
      This study intended to appraise the features of the judging criteria of elite amateur boxing and determine the impact such features have on unanimous and split contest outcomes. Appraising eight offensive actions and their outcomes, the technical demands of open-class boxing from 93 male boxers (age: 24.4 ± 3.3 y; height: 176.1 ± 10.5 cm; body mass: 65.8 ± 12.9 kg) during 87 bouts of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and 2017 World Amateur Boxing Championships were notated using computerized software. A 3 (round) x 4 (outcome) repeated measures ANOVA and Bonferroni-adjusted post-hoc statistical analyses were adopted. Twenty-five performance parameters differed between unanimous winners and losers, but only four between split winners and losers. Unanimous winners landed more punches than unanimous losers in total (P = 0.002) and in round 1, 2 and 3 (all P = 0.000). They also landed a higher percent of very successful punches than unanimous losers in total (P = 0.001) and in round 1 (P = 0.005), 2 (P = 0.027) and 3 (P = 0.02). Unanimous losers threw a greater percentage of air punches than unanimous winners per bout (P = 0.000) and in round 1 (P = 0.006), 2 (0.000) and 3 (P = 0.002). Unanimous winners landed a greater percentage of straight, hook, and uppercut punches thrown with the lead hand (P = 0.007, 0.000 and 0.049 respectively) and straight punches thrown with the rear hand (P = 0.003) than unanimous losers. Split winners landed a greater percentage of total punches than split losers in round 1 (P = 0.006) and 3 (P = 0.047). Judges use several performance indicators to assess superiority between boxers, albeit the technical disparity between split winners and losers is marginal compared to unanimous winners versus losers. This study proposes that the number of punches landed, punch accuracy and technical and tactical superiority all have an important influence during unanimous outcomes, but when judges are split on choosing the winner of a contest, only punch accuracy separates the two boxers.