My Ears don't tell me what I see!
Doghouse Boxing's Homepage Visit The Dog Pound - Message Board Doghouse Boxing Interviews icheehuahua's Boxing News Wire Archives Contact and Advertise on Doghouse Boxing Information page
My Ears don't tell me what I see!
By Zito, Doghouse Boxing (July 3, 2015)

Ear - Eye - Boxing
Doghouse Boxing
My brother and I were intensely observing a twelve round boxing event on television when I was almost drawn into a bitter fit of frustration. The input that my ears were receiving did not coincide with the visual aspect of what I was witnessing. As this fight progressed into the later rounds, it was clear to see that one fighter was decisively winning the bout. Or were they? For the sake of not offending any specific boxer by lessening any of their disputed victories, we will call one fighter 'Boxer A' and the other fighter 'Boxer B'. Both my brother and I were in accordance that Boxer B was landing the harder punches, and that he was more consistent offensively than his counterpart. Boxer A would show flashes of speed, power, timing, defense, and counter-punching, but he was spending most of the bout either avoiding or absorbing the contact of Boxer B. When the bell for the beginning of the tenth round sounded out, I was angrily startled by the television's bold announcement of a simple proclamation. "Boxer B has been doing good work at times, but he will have to do more if he wants to have a chance on the cards." After retrieving myself from a moment of puzzled disagreement, I felt slightly embarrassed for being even remotely surprised at all. During much of the fight, I heard a variety of visually misleading comments. When Boxer A would throw a combination that landed on the gloves or forearms of Boxer B, the commentators would often say, "What a spectacular combination by Boxer A". When Boxer B threw punches that landed on Boxer A's guard, the commentators would state, "The punches of Boxer B can't break through the rock solid defense of Boxer A". At the end of the night, Boxer A won an undeserved decision without much of a post-fight uproar from the public. All throughout the course of the fight, it seemed as if the commentary team were attempting to manipulate the viewing audience into agreeing with the judge’s predetermined unjust decision. This audio corruption of productively hard work is beyond unfair, and for many fighters, this leads to a continual cycle of excessive physical and financial damage.

Imagine you and another coworker are in competition for a job promotion. For several months, all of the other workers see the amount of your exhausting labor, and the positive results that come due to your tireless efforts. They also see the non-effective efforts and unsteady results of your competing coworker. While you are busy doing excellent work, your employer hires an expert for the sole purpose of convincing all of the other workers (many of whom think you deserve the promotion) why your hard efficient work is not worthy of career advancement. Now imagine being told by your employer that the body of your work is not valid, and you are not recognized or given credit for your labors. The unproductive coworker is granted the promotion despite their ineffective results. When you are notified as to the opinions of the other workers, most of them now either agree with the promotion decision, or they have no problem with how it came about. This scenario is repeated many times too often in the competition of gloved prizefighting. There is extreme pressure for a fighter when they go through the adversity of everything leading up to and during a fight. Should one-sided commentary explanations also be an acceptable obstacle in a profession where pain doesn't necessarily amount to gain?

During the course of many boxing matches, it may be hard to determine which fighter is gaining a clear advantage, especially to the untrained eye. For example, one fighter may show constant aggression, but they may run into continual counterpunches while not landing many meaningful punches of their own. The other fighter may show little moments of aggression, yet they may cleanly land the more effective punches while not receiving much punishment. Sometimes, the various styles of opposing fighters make it difficult to judge who is winning a fight round by round, especially when both fighters are of an equivalent class level. In many fights, it is just simply hard to tell who should be up on the cards. It is all a matter of personal perspective, but much of this depends upon the boxing knowledge of the individual that is watching the fight. For a person who has truly dealt with the competition of fighting, it is easier for them to know the amount of effective contact that each fighter is giving and receiving. If a fight goes to the score cards, an experienced eye generally knows who is deserving of the victory. But many fight viewers do not have the acute boxing knowledge that it takes to understand pugilistic efficiency, and/or determine for themselves the outcome of many stylistic matchups. Certain effective styles may not come across to the perimeter boxing fan as violently productive as they would like. Many of these casual viewers may not understand the science of an activity where the object is to hit and to not get hit. The best and most critical opportunities to bridge that gap of non-understanding is during the actual fight. The observing general public rely on the boxing commentators to correctly translate the actions that are truly happening inside of the ring. Why is it that a number of these 'pugilistic verbal experts' are not giving the adequate information on what is really transpiring in many of these bouts?

To begin this inquiry, we may want to focus on why a specific fighter is receiving the advantageous media exposure. In nearly all cases, the 'well-spoken of' fighter is either the headline fighter, in the process of being built into a headline fighter, or they are contractually signed to whomever is promoting the fight card and they are matched against a fighter that is not a contracted part of the promotion stable. Undefeated and fan friendly fighters tend to get the most positive play-by-play latitude, although many times unwarranted. With a lack of being able to verbalize it any other way, it is hard not to insinuate that when it comes to boxing, there appears to be a promotional corruption of the press. When the controlling promoter of a boxing event is allowed to have total authority over every aspect of that event, how can we think that the media will be a separate entity from this mini monopoly? If promoters are able to essentially hand pick everything prior to a fight in order to make the conditions beneficial for their signed fighters, is it not feasible to consider the press a valuable part of those enabling benefits? It is easy enough to look negatively on how the promoters are able to have capitol influence over who will be judging and officiating the fight, which media members are permitted to attend the event, and the specific weight limits of each fighter (underdog fighters are often matched against individuals fighting one or two weight classes above their own normal fighting weight). A large number of fighters have to submit to this unregulated treatment in order to gain earnings unworthy of their laborious endeavors. Many people attribute these unmonitored circumstances to the business practices of boxing. Does this business have to include misinforming the casual observer of what they are actually witnessing while at the same time discrediting the hard earned efforts of these underdog fighters?

Unfortunately, we live in a world where the reported information that we receive may not always amount to a correct account of reality. There is sometimes a difference between what is mentioned, and what is really happening. Many media sources are knowingly or unknowingly guilty of misleading the general public on a wide range of matters and issues. It is hard to determine the sources of this misinformation and the truth behind them in many instances. Yet, this should not be the case when it comes to an event that is actually being witnessed. When observing an action or actions, we as intelligent beings have the ability to evaluate and process the visual intelligence for ourselves. To say it another way, most people know what they see when they see it. When Lebron James races down the court and dunks a basketball, it is an emphatic two point score without any dispute. When Drew Bress rolls out of the pocket and launches a touchdown pass, it is an unquestionable six points for his team (without further review). Is there any other athletic profession where one competitor, individual or team, can produce more goals or points than their opposing competitor and still lose? For most average sports fans, it is not a complicated issue on whether the ball went into the hoop or if it has crossed the line. It is also not hard to tell whether or not a person has just been struck by a punch, although you may not always hear it that way. "It is difficult for most people to know exactly what a nuclear engineer is doing, but mostly everyone will know if it goes wrong."

Do not get things confused. It takes a pugilistic mind to provide the proper technical information on what is happening during a close and competitive bout. But it doesn't take a boxing genius to know when a fighter is clearly being outclassed or just outright taking a beating. Many times, commentators are forced to begrudgingly reverse their bias when the fighter of favor is not performing up to promotional standards, or if the underdog fighter is performing beyond the expectations of the promoter. In these instances, the fight has to be highly one-sided with the favorably promoted fighter clearly losing the bout. There is one final injustice to this media misdirection. Ironically, many of the commentators are former fighters themselves. When they are brought on to be a part of the commentary team, these ex-fighters are expected to give the audience an accurate punch-by-punch analysis of a fight. So when a former champion comes to a visual conclusion that is different from what is really taking place, the average fight viewer may get confused. It is not that these ex-boxers have taken too many shots to the head (in most cases). To be brutally honest, these former fighters say what is promotionally popular strictly for financial reasons. Many retired fighters are widely known, available, and in extreme need of money. This falls perfectly in line with a promoter's plan to sway the inner intelligence of the viewing audience, making an unearned scorecard decision seem appropriate. It would be equivalent to a doctor explaining a surgical procedure in progress to a plumber. The plumber has little medical knowledge to dispute the doctor, even if much of what the doctor is stating appears visually incorrect. Only another doctor can find fault and falsehood with the doctor's explanations.

During a televised middleweight boxing bout, the highly regarded promotional prospect landed a hard punch to the ear of his opponent. A former world champion working commentary stated with confidence, "Man, this prospect hits hard". Soon after this, the opposing fighter landed two explosive punches that almost went through the face of the prospect. The ex-champion at once declared, "Man, this prospect takes a good shot". Although this former fighter may not have been dishonest with what he had spoken, the truth was in what he did not say. Credit was given to the prospect when he landed shots and when he was hit with punches. There was no credit given to the opposing fighter what-so-ever. After watching entire fights while hearing comments of this nature from individuals that are considered to be experts, it is not surprising that there are rarely public outcries over unjustified prizefighting decisions. Little is known about the lopsided conditions most fighters face when they are on the underside of a promotion. Most of the time, these fighters give a maximum effort in a fight where they know the chips are stacked against their favor. Just envision the uphill plight of most underdog boxers of today. Promoters consistently bring these opposing fighters to the hometowns of others for little pay. The crowd is almost never on their side. The promotion often matches them up against an undefeated fighter that is fighting one or two weight classes above their own. All of the judges are employed by the promoter. The referee is hired by the promoter. When a boxer is fighting the judgment of an entire venue while fighting inside of the ring, they should not have their body of work belittled, especially by those who were at one time competing in the ring themselves. All boxers fight for money and recognition. Most fighters do not receive a fair share of the financial proceeds in which they essentially produce. Is it morally adequate to deny them the notoriety, an accurate description of their actual actions, or a fair assessment of their craft? The next time that you watch a boxing match on television, try turning the volume all the way down until you cannot hear any of the media influence. Maybe you will agree with the judges, maybe not. One thing for certain is that you do not need your ears to tell you what your eyes see.

By Zito

Buckle with the Knuckle is an installment of fight breakdowns, analysis and predictions presented by Zito and Tai of The Fightin’ Words Radio Show. Catch our host Butch, Tai, and Zito every Saturday at 6:00pm on The Fightin’ Words Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio.

Questions/Comments: Contact Zito and Tai at

Thank you for using

© Copyright / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing Inc. 1998-2015