Though every judge seems to score it differently, there are generally three criteria used:
1. CLEAN PUNCHING / EFFECTIVE AGGRESSION. Sometimes fighters are awarded just for being aggressive and throwing punches, like Sam Soliman in the last Winky Wright fight. But the rule is those punches have to land in the scoring area: the head and body, not the arms and gloves. Do not overlook good hard punches to the body, as they count and have great effect as the fight wears on.
2. RING GENERALSHIP. How a fighter controls the action. Often a fighter will control 2:30 of a round, and the opponent will try to steal the round with a final flurry. This shouldn't work, but it often does.
3. DEFENSE. Fighters who effectively cover up and deflect blows should be rewarded. Remember, the punches have to land.
The winner of the round is awarded a 10-9 score. A point is usually deducted (though not always a steadfast rule) for a knockdown, giving the guy who delivered the knockdown punch a 10-8 round (or 10-7, in the case of two knockdowns). A round that is a draw is scored 10-10.
At the end of the fight, the rounds are totalled and whoever has the most points wins.
- JOHN C. COTEY