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Boxer Controversially ‘Wins’ First Round On Judges’ Cards Without Landing A Punch

Boxer Controversially ‘Wins’ First Round On Judges’ Cards Without Landing A Punch

Boxing scoring was once again in the spotlight after Adrien Broner 'won' the first round of his comeback fight without landing a single punch.

Two of the three judges bizarrely scored the first round 10-9 for Broner in his bout with underdog Jovanie Santiago on Saturday, despite the CompuBox punch stats suggesting he didn't connect with one blow.

In a cagey first round, Broner officially threw 12 punches (landing none), while Santiago threw 17 and landed three.

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At the end, former world champion Broner won a unanimous decision by scores of 117-110, 116-111, 115-112. This despite CompuBox stats suggesting he landed just 98 punches over 12 rounds to Santiago's 207 successful blows.

Several media outlets felt that Santiago deserved a close decision victory over Broner, although the American's less frequent shots were of a higher, more eye-catching quality.

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It should be stated that CompuBox punch stats are created using human beings watching the fight, so can be subject to error. A Broner hook late in the first round might have looked like it landed on Santiago, depending on where you were sitting.

Also, boxing judges in the USA are encouraged to score a fight on 'Effective Aggression', 'Defence', 'Ring Generalship' and 'Clean and Hard Punching'.

So we guess there's an argument to say a boxer can theoretically win a round without landing a punch - as the great defensive artist Willie Pep once did according to boxing folklore - but it certainly doesn't seem right.

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At best, Broner should arguably have escaped with a 10-10 level round if truly nothing of significance landed for either boxer in the 147lb clash.

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But many critics will be outraged that Santiago, who was expected to be defeated coming in, lost plenty of close rounds, despite Broner doing little in the way of effective punching.

As it was, the 31-year-old Broner - who lost on points to Manny Pacquiao in 2019 - ended a three-fight winless streak at the Mohegan Sun Casino this weekend.

Once thought to be a future pound-for-pound star, Broner's recent career has been more notable for his struggles outside of the ring as 'The Problem' has piled on the pounds and partied between fights.

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Broner promised that he had rededicated himself to the sport ahead of his comeback against unheralded Puerto Rican Santiago.

But while Broner got back in the win column, there are many who feel the judges scored the fight they expected to see rather than the one which actually unfolded in the ring. Particularly given the questionable scoring of the very first round.

Topics: Adrien Broner, Boxing

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Alex Reid

Alex Reid is a writer at SPORTbible who’s previously strung words together for FourFourTwo, Boxing News, The Guardian and, yes, Cruise International (it’s about big ships, not Tom). Interests range from football and boxing to real sports like WWE and darts. He is not a cage fighter.