Bouts of excitement
Glenn McCrory assesses the way Olympic fights are judged and the benefits of amateur experience.
Last Updated: 07/08/12 4:47pm
The change to the scoring system for Olympic boxing was designed to make the fights more entertaining but it has resulted in uproar.
People have panned some of the decisions that have been made, while some losing fighters have been reinstated into their respective competitions on appeal.
I still think the system is better than in previous Games where each judge registered each punch with an electronic device and a point was awarded if three of the five believed a shot had been landed.
With that method, a lot of the judges did not agree, punches were missed and a lot of fighters boxed defensively, whereas now - with guys given a mark out of 10 for every round - there are more free-flowing bouts.
The excitement is increased without a running tally of points so you never know who has come out on top until the bell rings, which encourages competitors to fight to the death. The system is not perfect but it is never going to be; this is boxing and things are subjective.
We tinkered with the scoring system to counter the corrupt judges that denied Roy Jones Jr victory against Korean opponent Park Si-Hun in Seoul in 1988. Yet, while you might be able to prevent cheating, you can't stop human error.
People will always see fights with rose-tinted glasses and be influenced by certain things, and in a contest that is three-rounds long that will make decisions more contentious.
If there have been some strange calls in these Games then it is down to the poor officiating than the system itself; the AIBA have made that clear by overturning some decisions, showing that their officials are not up to par.
What does need to happen, though, is for a permanent method to be introduced; we previously had scores marked on a one-punch basis but that was changed because it didn't suit people who throw combinations, while this new system will be defunct by the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016.
Hopefully we can stumble upon a settled method and bring an end to this controversy.
I have Irish roots so I am delighted that Belfast boy Paddy Barnes has made it to the quarter-finals of the light-flyweight competition. He got a bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Games and is a great advocate of staying in the amateurs for a good length of time.
With the grants these guys get, they are able to make a living and do not need to dive into the paid ranks so quickly, plus the amateur set-up also allows competitors to learn about the game and garner a fanbase, all while keeping their headgear on and not being in gruelling fights.
Claiming an Olympic medal also makes you a more attractive proposition to sponsors and that can get your pro career off to a high-profile start.
Looking back on my boxing days, I really wish I had competed at an Olympics as it could have given me more prestige as I looked to make my way in the sport.
Meanwhile, Brits Luke Campbell, Anthony Ogogo and Anthony Joshua are all now guaranteed at least a bronze medal and are very exciting prospects for the future, but Joshua is the one that everybody will be talking about.
We all love to pin our hopes on a big guy and we need one in Britain with David Haye seemingly coming to the end of his career. Anthony is a nice, talented kid and I hope he lights up our heavyweight division in years to come.
Britain's cyclists have taken these Games by storm but on Saturday night it was the turn of our athletes to strike gold, with Jessica Ennis (heptathlon), Mo Farah (10,000m) and Greg Rutherford (long jump) topping the podium.
I think athletics has fallen off the radar a little bit in this country after some previous drugs scandals, but British glory has now put it back into the public's consciousness and made people realise what a great, exciting sport it is.
The star of the show on Sunday was undoubtedly Usain Bolt, who successfully retained his Olympic 100m crown in a race where seven of the eight runners went under 10 seconds. He is becoming a great but that has a lot to do with his personality as well as his ability.
Sometimes great sportsman - I'll cite Joe Louis as an example - don't get such adulation because they are quiet, subdued and don't click with the crowd, but Bolt, like Muhammad Ali, is a character, says what he likes and that adds to his legendary status.
Still, even if you were boring as hell, you'd have to go some not to be liked if you were the fastest man that has ever lived!