BoxStat – Bringing Out A New Perspective
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BoxStat – Bringing Out A New Perspective
By Jason Petock, Doghouse Boxing (July 27, 2013)

Box Stat
(BoxStat)
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Statistics have been a long standing measure of accuracy or lack thereof when regarding boxing and fights in general. When reviewing fighters before, during, and after bouts, numbers play a crucial role in both comparison and contrast. The tally of punches thrown, missed, and/or landed are just as integral in determining a winner as often as validating a loser at times. Some fights are sadly more often won on paper than in the ring it seems these days. Yet statistics are vital to boxing and one new website that has recently thrown their hat into the arena, boxstat.co, is proving in its relatively early existence that numbers don’t lie as it provides truly valuable insight and information that may be all but overlooked by even the staunchest of boxing purists. The site is run by John Williams, a long time boxing aficionado and purveyor of data as his website, though early in its inception and stages, is already proving to be a truthful and measurable gauge when regarding how different boxers match-up in a variety of ways through percentages and figures. Recently John was more than gracious enough to allow me to ask him a few questions about his site and what made him come up with this novel and creative concept, which could definitely revolutionalize how fans analyze, and look at boxing and its participants altogether. Readers can follow John on Twitter at @box_stat to learn more or visit at http://boxstat.co/.

JP: Thank you for granting me this exclusive interview. How long has your website been in existence and what made you want to break down fighters and their stats on an even deeper level?

JW: The website officially went live on April 1st of this year, but was far from ready at the time. I’d been working on it for at least 10-12 hours a day for around 6 months previous to that, so the temptation to put it online probably before it was ready got the better of me.

Statistics have always seemed to lack a little in boxing compared to other sports, and there was never anywhere to go to see a true breakdown of the fighters and how they matched up. Promoters tend to make fights look as if they’re a close match whether they are or aren’t... and so they should, but without knowing each fighter inside and out, it was hard for me to excited about a fight I didn’t know. I wanted somewhere I could see the strengths and weaknesses of each fighter, the quality of fighters they’d fought, and how their record stacked up when you looked past the KO percentages and fight records.

JP: How long have you been a boxing fan? What do you think is more important when reviewing fighters analytically, is it their punch stats or knockout percentages?

JW: I’m relatively new to boxing, my family were never into it at all, so although I’d watched a few fights here and there it wasn’t until I watched the Mayweather/Hatton fight in 2007 at a friends house that I got properly hooked.

I’d say it’s the punch stats without doubt over KO percentages, but you just can’t get accurate punch statistics anywhere yet. The KO percentage is probably the most well known statistic in boxing after the record itself, but it doesn’t really tell the viewer anything. It’s a nice snapshot of that fighter, but without taking into account their opponents ability too, it’s meaningless and pretty inaccurate, especially with up and coming fighters.

JP: Compubox has long been known to be the go-to for punch stats with casual fans. Most die-hard supporters of boxing know that it is really unreliable and dishonest as well as inaccurate. Do you think there is a better way of tallying punch numbers more legitimately?

JW: I think Compubox does the best possible job it can, but the only way to get anywhere near accurate on something like that is to open it up to a community of boxing fans. I think boxing fans are some of the best when it comes to helping out for the good of boxing, so I think that would be the only way to go if anything.

JP: I noticed on your site that you rate a fighter’s ability to take a punch. Chins can be obvious in boxing but how do you measure these percentages and equate them to an actual number form?

JW: A boxer’s ability to take a punch is an interesting one statistically. As a fan you can see what effects a punch has on a boxer, but from their record all you can see is a stoppage in whichever round.

We work this value out by looking at how fast a stoppage came (if any) and work out how much power that opponent has (from KO ratios, weight, opponents etc.). If an opponent is known for being a light puncher and the boxer get’s knocked out fighting him, then that should have a bigger effect on their ‘ability to take a punch’ than if that opponent was know for knocking everyone out.

Everything on BoxStat is worked out in a similar way and uses not only the boxer in question but the opponents, and opponents opponents too so you get a more accurate percentage.

I don’t want to bore you with the calculation here, but anyone interested can visit BoxStat.co to get a better idea of the workings. We’re constantly improving our FAQ so it’s worth looking there from time to time.

JP: You really put things into perspective and breakdown literally every aspect of a fighter and their career on your website. What inspires you most as a boxing fan and what is your background surrounding boxing either as a fan, participant, or onlooker?

JW: I’m relatively new to boxing, my family were never into it at all, so although I’d watched a few fights here and there it wasn’t until I watched the Mayweather/Hatton fight in 2007 at a friends house that I got properly hooked. I don’t think there’s any other sport like boxing. You look from the outside in on boxing and it seems simple, but as soon as you dig a little deeper into the tactics, training, politics, and personalities behind it, it becomes a whole different sport.

I don’t think you can fully understand boxing until you get in the ring, so that’s something I’d like to do at some point. I’ve sparred a few times at a local amateur club, but it’s not where my skills lie to say the least.

JP: What do you hope to accomplish through your website? Do you feel that the sky’s the limit and that you will be able to branch out your site and statistics or is this more of a labor of love as a boxing enthusiast?

JW: I think the possibilities are pretty endless with it. I’d like to move into more of a community based format, and give something back to boxing eventually if I can, but there’s more than enough to keep me busy before then.

Predictions are something I’d like to introduce. Currently I know the statistics offer an accurate representation of the fighter’s actual ability, but there’s no proof to back it up. I wouldn’t blame users for thinking the statistics were inaccurate because they don’t know how things are calculated in the background. I think predictions would offer more reassurance to those users.

If I can get a decent following for the site, then I’d go with what they think is best within reason. I’d hate for users of BoxStat to turn around one day and see we’ve plastered the website in adverts to cash in. That’s not what we’re about, and not the direction I want to go in.

JP: Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers out there or the boxing community in general at this time?

JW: Just to keep supporting us. If you like what BoxStat is about then Like, Re-tweet or share this interview. Any help is appreciated, and we’re happy to help anyone out in return if we can.

You can follow John on Twitter at @box_stat to learn more or visit at http://boxstat.co/

Jason Petock responds to all his emails. Please send all questions and comments to Jason at: boxingwarrior@hotmail.com

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