Ask The Editors Logo - click here to go back to the home page
News divider Features divider Schedules & Results divider Rankings and Stats divider Community My Profile Login



15 NOVEMBER 2018


PART SEVEN - YOU BE THE BOXING JUDGE! - Judging Professional Boxing for the TV Boxing Fan

By Tom Kaczmarek

The respected judge concludes his popular series of articles explaining the art of judging professional boxing to the TV boxing fan.


Scoring System

10 Point Must System

· Use every opportunity to review the elements of the 10 Point Must System until you are able to apply each aspect instinctively and spontaneously.

· Concentrate, do not allow your attention to be diverted while scoring.

· The winner of the round must receive 10 points.

· The loser receives 9 points or less but rarely as few as 6.

· No two rounds are alike; you must adjust the score to identify the action in the ring on a round-to-round basis.

· Most rounds will ultimately be scored 10 - 9.

· When the winner of the round maintains anywhere from a close margin to a definite margin, score the round 10 - 9.

· This applies whether the round is action-packed with many punches thrown by both fighters or slow moving, as long as the margin is from close to definite.

· Now take the 10 - 9 round and add a knockdown.

· The knockdown is like a homerun in baseball. The fighter scoring the knockdown should receive extra recognition for this accomplishment.

· The round should be scored 10 - 8.

· If the fighter who was knocked down was dominating the round before the knockdown and makes a strong recovery after the knockdown, he could narrow the gap to 10 - 9. This does not occur frequently.

· Two knockdowns in the round would normally result in a score of 10 - 7, reflecting an even greater edge because of the impact of two knockdowns.

· There are rounds when a fighter dominates his opponent, hurting and staggering him, but not flooring him. Such a round should be scored 10 - 8.

· This allows the judge to acknowledge the difference between a closer round scored 10 - 9, where there may have been only a slight advantage.

· This same theory applies to a round where the "standing eight count" is utilized by the referee.

· Even rounds---"never say never." Using the available criteria, even rounds will rarely occur. On occasion an even round may be justified, but they are normally few and far between.

Stay with the "Flow"

(When the bell rings to start a round)

· Immediately begin to mentally calculate your score when the first action of any kind takes place.

· Identify the fighter who takes the lead, if only a few punches are thrown, and mentally register the score at 10 - 9.

· If the other fighter responds and takes the lead, mentally register him ahead at 10 - 9.

· If he continues to win the round, your mental register should keep him at 10 - 9.

· In other words, you should always keep a running score throughout the round, adjusting it according to the action in the ring.

· At any point during the round, or when the bell ends the round, you should be able to instantly acknowledge your score.

· You must maintain your concentration level and eliminate all distractions so your train of thought is not interrupted. If this happens, it could be very difficult to get back into the flow of the round.

· In a close action-packed round, this could be disastrous.

Score the fight by rounds

· Each round should be judged as an isolated event.

· Don't look back, don't look ahead.

· Remember, no two rounds are alike.

· Score with your eyes, not your heart.

· Score as many rounds as you can. The more rounds you score, the more fights you watch, the more experience you develop, the more consistent you become.


The ringside judges are issued scorecards before the bout starts---one for each round, depending on the number of rounds scheduled, and numbered accordingly. The ringside judges mark the score for each round on the individual card, which is then collected by the referee after each round, and delivered to the boxing commission at ringside for tabulation. (It would be highly irregular for a judge to keep a separate scorecard at ringside during the course of the fight.)

The ringside judges are often mistakenly accused of illegal or unethical conduct when marking their scorecards. They've been blamed for mistakes, accused of changing round by round scoring as the fight progresses, and other dubious acts, all of which are impossible under the existing procedures. When the bell rings ending a round, the judge marks his card, i.e. 10 - 9, and immediately hands it to the referee. From that point on it is out of his hands. He will neither see nor handle that card again. The running score and recapitulation of the round-by-round score of all three judges is done by the local commission or sanctioning body supervisor at ringside on a master scoring sheet. I can recall one instance recently where it was obvious an error was made in a judge's score when the results were announced by the ring announcer. The television commentator was critical of the judge, who happened to be a member of the medical profession. The commentator blurted out that with all that education, the judge ought to be able to add better than that. He was probably unaware that the cards are turned in after every round and the computation of total scores is done by others.


I hope you enjoyed participating in our "clinic", and I hope it helps you enjoy the fights even more than you did before!


Start judging the fights now, adhering to the guidelines as close as possible and in your best concentration mode.

Keep punching,

Tommy K.

All Rights Reserved

Book Copyright 1996 by Tom Kaczmarek

Electronic Copyright 2002 Murphy/Rector Communications, Inc.


or call (201) 986-0902.

For more information contact Tom Kaczmarek at:



Tom Kaczmarek, an ex-boxer and current international professional boxing judge, is Chairman of the World Boxing Council Ring Officials Board and a member of the Ring Officials Committee of the North American Boxing Federation. He was inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994, and the Elizabeth Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002. Kaczmarek has judged over 1500 professional bouts, including major world championship fights in the United States, Mexico, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He has conducted training seminars for judges for the World Boxing Council (WBC); the New York State Athletic Commission; the International Boxing Federation (IBF); the State of Connecticut Boxing Commission; the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation Boxing Commission; the North American Boxing Federation (NABF); the Washington, D.C. Boxing Commission; the New Jersey State Athletic Commission; the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Commission Athletic Unit; the Edmonton, Alberta Boxing Commission; and the International Professional Ring Officials Association (IPRO).



Tommy Kaczmarek has been a resident of Brick, New Jersey for the last sixteen years. He retired from the State of New Jersey Violent Crimes Compensation Board in 1991 where he was Commissioner for 18 years and Chairman for 5 years. He is a licensed professional boxing judge in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Michigan, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation Boxing Commission, and the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Commission Athletic Unit. Although Mr. Kaczmarek is a boxing official for each of the above Commissions, all of the views, opinions, and/or recommendations contained herein are solely his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Michigan, Mashantucket, and Mohegan Commissions.

All readers are strongly cautioned that the information contained herein is not intended to, and never should, substitute for the necessity of seeking the advice of a qualified medical, legal, or financial professional whenever a boxer or his/her representatives have specific questions regarding the best course of action that a boxer should take. 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.

All readers are advised that the information herein is intended solely as a general reference source, and to the fullest extent permitted by law, the information is provided "AS IS" without any warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, including without limitation, warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. No one may rely on the accuracy, integrity, quality or completeness of the general information herein. Accordingly, neither the authors, editors nor anyone else affiliated with this website may be held liable for damages of any kind whatsoever allegedly caused or resulting from any such claimed reliance.

License/buy our content  |  Privacy policy  |  Terms & conditions  |  Copyright  |  Advertising guide  |  Site Map  |  Write for  |  SecondsOut Contacts  |  Contact Us

© 2000 - 2011 Knockout Entertainment Ltd &