By Duane Ford
I am sure many have had a driving experience wherein you forgot driving through a town as you drove on a long trip. This could be because you are focused on your driving or other thoughts you may have. However, you did forget passing the small town.
I believe it was Einstein in his theory of relativity, in watching a train pass by, are you on the train or are you off watching the train. It all has to do with your focus. If you focus on one car, you will miss the cars passing by and therefore you will miscount. So it is in scoring a round.
A boxing judge must be able to concentrate for three (3) minutes without allowing a single outside thought to enter his mind. You cannot allow yourself to have thoughts other than the fight itself. In the baseball movie, “For the love of the game,” actor Kevin Costner plays the part of a pitcher. In a scene he is addressing a batter and he hears the crowd and all of the yelling. He then says something to himself and is able to lose the sound and distractions as he sets his focus. The same goes in a boxing judge’s world. I call it a pucker factor. Just before the opening bell, a judge has a rush of adrenaline almost to the point of hyperventilating. There is an actual physical and mental command to focus and concentrate. Even during rounds there are times that I talk out loud on what is happening in the ring.
This type of concentration takes practice and sometimes days of preparation. When I know I am assigned to do a fight, I practice my concentration days prior. Furthermore, I keep myself from reading the newspapers or internet or any other source that may influence my concentration. The afternoon of the fight I spend at home alone resting and preparing myself to focus. There can be nothing in your life that would cause a distraction from your scoring.
When a boxing judge concentrates for twelve (12) rounds, there is an exhaustion factor at the end of the fight. I recall doing the Morales vs Barrera fight wherein I was so exhausted mentally and physical I was weakened on my way home.
It is my personal feeling that the television commentators do a disservice to the sport of boxing when they give their opinion on who won or lost a round. I find it impossible for a commentator to have someone talking in his ear or even talking in a round and be able to honestly judge the fight.
There are many sports writers who are able to do the concentration to make a fair and professional observation. However, none of them have someone talking to them nor do they have an earplug with a director talking to them. Those writers who have this ability are focused and concentrating on the fight.
I do not wish to condemn commentators; I simply wish to make a point on concentration as to scoring a professional boxing match.
Scoring a round is not rocket science, but simply the ability to concentrate for three (3) minutes without anything entering your thinking but what is happening in the ring.
I jokingly make the comment that you can always tell when a judge is truly concentrating. He will never see the ring girls!
Duane Ford is presently licensed as a Ring Official by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
He is also licensed by several states in the USA along with being licensed in several countries abroad. Furthermore, he was a former chairman of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and served on the commission from 1984-1990. As a member of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, he was one of the founding members of the Association of Boxing Commissions and served as president of this association. As a licensed boxing judge, he has performed over 100 world title bouts. Some of which are, Holmes vs Cooney, Holmes vs Ali, Hagler vs Antuofermo, Tyson vs Holyfield II, Leonard vs Hearns I, Gomez vs Sanchez, Tapia vs Ayala, Morales vs Barerra, and others. He regularly conducts seminars in different states and in the past has given seminars for the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC.)
Duane Ford is a native Nevadan and serves as President of D.B. Ford, Inc., which operates D.B. Ford Insurance Adjusters. In this capacity, he handles numerous liability claims, specializing in the area of Self Insured Retention (SIR) type of companies.
Although he is a licensed boxing judge licensed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and other states, his views, opinions, and/or recommendations contained herein are solely his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Nevada’s Commission or other state Commission’s. Furthermore, since it is possible that general information herein may pertain only to a law, regulation, rule or acceptable standard of practice for a particular jurisdiction, a boxer or his/her representatives must always inquire with the appropriate licensing jurisdiction to determine the applicable laws, regulations, rules, and acceptable standards of practice for each jurisdiction.
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