Talking Point: When can we use the term 'robbery' in boxing?

Roe

'National Treasures' Thurs @ 7:30pm only on OTH
Staff member
As per my think piece here, a lot of people seem to get defensive about the word being used when it comes to close fights being officially scored a certain way.

How do you feel about it? Does GGG vs Canelo 2 fit the bill of a robbery?
 

Chacal

World Champion
Hi Roe,

Great topic and one that I'm keen to discuss in detail.

I would define a "robbery" as being:
"A bout where it is genuinely impossible to score 7 rounds or more to the fighter declared the winner."

I believe that a more common term people should be using is quite simply a 'bad decision' where the majority of viewers disagree with the official verdict given by the selected judges.

I'm going to use myself as the example here and take a look at my scorecard. I want to note that Canelo has been one of my least favourite fighters for years and I was thoroughly hoping that GGG would knock him out, so this isn't a case of confirmation bias resulting in my scorecard.

I scored the bout 114-114

Canelo - GGG
10-9
10-9
10-9
9-10
10-9
10-9
9-10
10-9
9-10
9-10
9-10
9-10

Looking at this, I believe the two rounds that have the most claim to being scored the other way are 1 and 12. A swing of either of those would make the winner on my card be either Canelo or Golovkin, each with a respective 115-113 scorecard.

Whilst I recognise that I am in the minority with this and most people scored the fight for GGG, which I am fine with, I take personal umbrage with this being referred to as a "robbery" as this means my scorecard is incorrect and I feel that it's a personal critique of everyone who didn't score a right the same way as you which is frankly obtuse and arrogant. I think if you watch the fight with my scorecard in front of you, and look at round 12 in particular, you will be able to find 7 rounds that go for Canelo.

Now, if you want to call it a bad decision I will be okay with that. I can concede that if the majority of people call a something a spade, then it probably isn't a club despite my opinion.

I do want to note that this is not to say that I believe all close fights are protected from the status of "robbery". Pacquiao - Marquez 3 is a very popular example where, by the majority of fans opinions, you cannot find more than 5 rounds for Manny Pacquiao. I had it 7-5 JMM and think that I was as generous to Pacman as you could possibly be. I call on this as an example as I am sure you will remember back in the early days of CHB you said yourself "not a robbery - Pac won" yet when peer pressured into watching again you realised your mistake and backtracked into agreeing with consensus that it was a robbery.

I feel that the terminology being thrown around detracts from actual robberies and muddies the water enough to give credence so that people with an agenda can argue a close robbery as being fine.

So in short, I disagree with you and this article. I think that we as boxing fans need to clearly define more things like this in order to progress as a sport and stop from falling into calling each other names over what is a fairly subjective sport.

Thanks
 

Roe

'National Treasures' Thurs @ 7:30pm only on OTH
Staff member
Mmmm we got ourselves a debate here!



I guess the issue is with terminology then. As I tried to clarify in my piece, I don't have a problem with anyone scoring the fight to Canelo or having it even. I have a problem with the fact that time and time again close fights like this are given to the guy we all know was gonna get the better of any decision at the start.

For me, the term should be used more if anything and it actually annoys me when I see people like Steve Bunce quick to dismiss calls of corruption afterward when we all damn well know why Canelo "won" this one. I suppose it's opinion and I may well be in the minority of course.

FWIW on the Pacquiao/Marquez 3 thing. Watching it live I had it 114-114 but felt that if a decision was gonna go either way, I felt Pacquiao had pressed the fight more and just about deserved a win overall. I was really surprised when I saw everyone's reaction that Marquez had been completely jobbed. Eventually watching back I did change my mind and saw a lot more of what JMM was doing so well that I must have missed the first time round.
 

Tom Cruise

Belt Holder
I guess the issue is with terminology then. As I tried to clarify in my piece, I don't have a problem with anyone scoring the fight to Canelo or having it even. I have a problem with the fact that time and time again close fights like this are given to the guy we all know was gonna get the better of any decision at the start.
This is the crux of it for me. I don’t think any of Canelos close fights have been robberies in terms of him being comprehensively beaten and getting the decision. But if 50/50 fights keep going to the same guy, you have to question what is happening.

If I flip a coin 5 times and get heads every time, I’m gonna start thinking the coin is loaded.
 

Lunny

Administrator
Staff member
Mmmm we got ourselves a debate here!



I guess the issue is with terminology then. As I tried to clarify in my piece, I don't have a problem with anyone scoring the fight to Canelo or having it even. I have a problem with the fact that time and time again close fights like this are given to the guy we all know was gonna get the better of any decision at the start.

For me, the term should be used more if anything and it actually annoys me when I see people like Steve Bunce quick to dismiss calls of corruption afterward when we all damn well know why Canelo "won" this one. I suppose it's opinion and I may well be in the minority of course.

FWIW on the Pacquiao/Marquez 3 thing. Watching it live I had it 114-114 but felt that if a decision was gonna go either way, I felt Pacquiao had pressed the fight more and just about deserved a win overall. I was really surprised when I saw everyone's reaction that Marquez had been completely jobbed. Eventually watching back I did change my mind and saw a lot more of what JMM was doing so well that I must have missed the first time round.
Canelo being 6-1 to get the decision at the end of the fight on live betting says it all really.
 

Chatty

Belt Holder
You can use it anyway you want tbf. Your context to why you use it will define its meaning.

Example. You could say it's a robbery because GGG should have won outright with no real way for Canelo to have won on the cards legitimately and I guess that's you true opinion. The majority feel it was a competitive fight throughout so robbery may seem harsh under that term though.

You could administer a number of rounds you feel the judging was out and if it oversteps 3/4 rounds for example then class it as a robbery but then that doesn't take the full context. If there are 100 scorecards by press and they tally 90-5-5 for example in favour of one fighter despite being close in rounds then that means the overwhelming majority of press saw this as an incorrect result.

At the end of the day robbery is just a subjective term to say a fighter was robbed of a winning decision. One round, twelve rounds, the definition stays the same thing really.
 
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turbotime

Challenger
"Finding it inconceivable for fighter A to win the decision, and then getting it" is what I believe a robbery to be. Some rounds were very close and tough to score. You could probably score it differently a number of times. If Golovkin got the decision, fine, if Canelo got the decision, fine. The fact that I felt it was going to be a draw was for me, good enough to not be declared a robbery.
 
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Bogotazo

Administrator
Staff member
I'm a big believer in the theory that winning is winning, whether it's an inch or a mile (no f&f) and that certainly applies to rounds. 10-10 rounds aren't part of the scoring norm nowadays and there are enough criteria to be able to distinguish fighters. Sometimes it's genuinely difficult and there were some close rounds in this fight. But professional judges should be able to arrive at scores that reflect the majority opinion. Now bias plays into that as well. I was one of the few who thought Ward edged out Kovalev by a hair. But I locked in my scorecard and was able to definitively decide who won what round. I believe fans should hold judges to a higher standard when judging close rounds.

That doesn't necessarily address the question. I can't really call this fight a robbery with how thin the margins were without feeling sheepish. But I can call it a decision that doesn't comport with majority opinion. If these were any other two fighters, perhaps fighters of equal standing promotionally, we could call it an honest decision. But it was Glenn Feldman and Dave Moretti, two notoriously corrupt judges, and Steve Weisfeld, who seems nice but literally works for HBO. And it was Canelo who has been given insanely wide scorecards in each of his major bouts, including one against the same opponent in Golovkin a year ago. So when those particular judges for this particular fighter in this particular rematch give the close rounds to Canelo, with not one thinking Golovkin won 7 on jabs landed, harder punches, and more punches, I'd say it's fair to declare he didn't get a fair shot. He was given the benefit of the doubt in close rounds. And that's not proper judging.

A believable card, a conceivable card, is not the same thing as a correct card. It's a subjective sport so we'll always disagree as to what that is, but we should always chase objectivity. Otherwise any close round and any close fight can go to any fighter on any given night and fighter's shouldn't waste their time running that last mile and throwing those extra lung-bursting assaults in late rounds because fine margins don't matter. Fuck that.
 
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JamieC

Challenger
Agree with the article. We give judges way too much slack. What percentage of viewers have Canelo winning? But 66% of judges?

If a fighter is getting every swing round it's not a fair fight and the loser is being robbed.
 
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Thehaggis13

World Champion
Word Robbery is too black and white ,divisive a word. some fights are stolen others are bias which is still stealing in a way.

If a fight is genuinely close that doesnt mean we cant question whether the loser had any fair chance at getting the decision. overwelming majority over 2 fights had ggg winning both but the reality is that canelo would get the nod 10/10 times. Bring in the history of dodgy canelo cards is it really absurd to say someone is getting robbed of a fair shot at winning?

how many clear rounds does ggg need to get a decision? atleast 9 even then, judges like adelaide byrd can just claim ignorance "off night" give everything to canelo anyway
 
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DrMo

Challenger
It should only be used for a fight where the clear & obvious winner loses a decision

Applying the term to closely contested fights makes 'robbery' meaningless
 
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Kurushi

Belt Holder
GGG vs Canelo doesn't fit my definition of a robbery. A robbery has to be a result that isn't only uncommon but basically can't be reasonably replicated. I think the first fight can be called a robbery because giving 10 rounds to Canelo can't be reasonably replicated.

Additionally, a robbery doesn't necessarily even have to result in a loss for the 'winner', something just has to be taken away as the result of something that can't be reasonably replicated. For example, even though Mayweather got the win against Canelo I believe he was robbed of a UD because of a score that cannot be reasonably replicated.

You can also have corrupt judging that doesn't end in a robbery because the scores can be replicated reasonably. With GGG vs. Canelo 2, it's possible to score it to a Canelo. Very few people did but its possible so it's not a robbery. However, I would think by now that everyone understands that if a close Canelo fight goes to the cards then he's not losing. So the absence of a robbery isn't synonymous with the absence of corruption.
 

Roe

'National Treasures' Thurs @ 7:30pm only on OTH
Staff member
Some great, well-thought out replies in here and looks like I might be in the minority with this particular case.
 

TomPreston

World Champion
I remember when people said DeGale Jack was a robbery and it's an all to often misused term. DeGale nicked his rounds, Jack clearly won his. But they were 10-9 rounds so nicking or clear rounds don't matter in the overall scoring unless they're 10-8s without a knockdown and they're rare.

GGG's rounds where more clear rounds. Canelo had a lot of rounds which he shaded (with the type of work you prefer also a factor) but they're still rounds he won for many and for the most important people the judges.

A fight can still be a robbery if you win 7 clear rounds to 5. But there cannot be close subjective rounds in there for the term to be used in my book.

GGG also came on in the second half of the fight as well so thats fresher in the memory when the scores are read. Like a football game when your team plays well in the first half but shite in the second, everyone comes off the game and says you played shite
 

TomPreston

World Champion
I haven't actually seen these fights, but Danny Garcia was a man he had shades of Canelo about him wasn't he. Getting the rub of the green all to often and then his luck ran out. With an argument in the Porter fight?

Trout, Lara, GGG*2 are fights where Canelo's got the luck, with the fact he's a cash cow making eyebrows raised.
 

turbotime

Challenger
I remember when people said DeGale Jack was a robbery and it's an all to often misused term. DeGale nicked his rounds, Jack clearly won his. But they were 10-9 rounds so nicking or clear rounds don't matter in the overall scoring unless they're 10-8s without a knockdown and they're rare.

GGG's rounds where more clear rounds. Canelo had a lot of rounds which he shaded (with the type of work you prefer also a factor) but they're still rounds he won for many and for the most important people the judges.

A fight can still be a robbery if you win 7 clear rounds to 5. But there cannot be close subjective rounds in there for the term to be used in my book.

GGG also came on in the second half of the fight as well so thats fresher in the memory when the scores are read. Like a football game when your team plays well in the first half but shite in the second, everyone comes off the game and says you played shite
The fact that Canelo was given the 12th is pretty sad. But Canelo looking back won one of the last 4 in the dying moments with lead rights and it was scored for Golo. Id watch it again but what's done is done for me.
 
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