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Monday List: Judging a fight in a four-punch combination

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Rafael Concepcion, left, takes a punch from Nonito Donaire as referee Vic Drakulich looks on during Saturday’s interim WBA super flyweight title bout at the Hard Rock Hotel. Donaire won by unanimous decision even though his opponent weighed in at 4 1/2 pounds over the 115-pound limit.
STEVE MARCUS / LAS VEGAS SUN

Saturday night I watched an entire fight card while sitting next to Chuck Giampa. Unless you’re a fight fan, even an avid fight fan, you might not know that name. So I’ll tell you: Chuck Giampi spent much of his adult life as a fight judge, scoring 170 title bouts. He was a judge for the Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield II “Bite Night” debacle at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. He was ringside for the infamous Riddick Bowe-Holyfield “Fan Man” bout in November 1993, when since-deceased paraglider James Miller dropped from the sky at Caesars Palace and into the ring as the two heavyweights swapped blows. Giampa was also a judge in George Foreman’s stunning 10th-round knockout of Michael Moorer to reclaim the heavyweight title at age 45.

Foreman needed that thunderous two-punch combination; Giampa and fellow judge Jerry Roth had him losing the fight 88-83.

Giampa is a writer for Ring Magazine these days. His wife of 10 years, Lisa, has been a judge herself for three years and worked a couple of fights during Saturday’s “Pinoy Power 2” card at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel. When I noticed the nametag on the spot next to mine at The Joint was that of Chuck Giampa, I introduced myself and asked, “How does one score a fight, actually?” Over the next few fights, Giampa shared some of his knowledge, and this week’s list is Four Tips to Better Boxing Judging:

1. Watch the fight: It seems so simple, but especially for inexperienced judges assigned to major title fights, the instinct to check out the scene -- the celebs, the ring girls, the bedazzled and face-painted entourages -- can interfere with actually witnessing what’s happening in the ring. Example: While I attempted to score a fight, I couldn’t help but notice the ring girls to my right were eating cake.

2. Judge only the effective punches: That’s the key -- effective punching. Some fans respond to any sort of flailing, the left hooks that connect with turnbuckles or jabs that glance off his opponent’s glove. A tap on the forehead during a clinch is not a scoring blow. Neither is a well-connected low blow, but let’s be honest, the low blow can be an effective way to hit “reset,” if you know what I mean.

3. Break the round down to three one-minute segments: Make each round a mini-round, noting which pugilist connected with the most effective punches in 60-second increments, keeping in mind that a fighter scoring a knockdown would have to be dominated over the other two one-minute segments not to win the round by the decisive 10-8 score.

4. Mark who is winning a particular round in case there is an unexpected stoppage: Just in case Fan Man, a maniacally biting heavyweight or a low blow interrupts the action, you don’t lose track of who is in fact winning the round.

Taking Giampa’s lead, I scored the Anthony Peterson-Luis Arceo undercard bout. The judges’ cards were 98-92, 97-93, 99-91, all for Peterson. I had it 98-92, Peterson. As I said to Giampa, maybe this eye for fistic assessment can lead to a new career.

But really, who am I to judge?

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at twitter.com/JohnnyKats.

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