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WBC embraces instant replay

Published:Friday | January 23, 2015 | 12:00 AMLeroy Brown
file WBC-WBA welterweight champ Floyd Mayweather Jr

The use of instant replay technology in professional boxing is now a reality and is being used on a regular basis by the World Boxing Council (WBC) one of the leading controlling bodies in the sport.

The other major controlling bodies are also preparing to use it in their title fights.

From time to time, there have been controversies surrounding matters such as low blows and whether cuts have come about from head butts or legal blows. These are crucial matters that can affect the outcome of a fight one way or the other.

legal vs illegal punches

For example, if a boxer is cut as a result of a legal punch and the fight has to be stopped, the result would be a technical knockout. If, however, the cut came about because of an accidental head butt, and the fighter cannot continue, or the referee decides to stop the fight before the completion of four rounds, the decision would be a technical draw. If, however, four rounds have been completed, the scorecards of the judges would be consulted and whoever is leading on points, would win the fight by technical decision.

Since it is important to determine whether a cut is from a legal punch, or an accidental head butt, the WBC has ordered that if an issue arises, an instant replay of the incident will be done by the supervisor, to see exactly what happened.

Since its regular use started late last year, the outcome of some important fights have been affected. As late as Saturday, January 17 the replay rule was used to correct a referee's ruling in a fight in Las Vegas, Nevada, between Leo Santa Cruz and Jesus Ruiz. Cruz was cut in round seven and the referee ruled that it was from a legal punch.

As was agreed beforehand, however, the incident was reviewed during the interval, and it was clearly seen that the cut was the result of a head butt, and the two corners were so advised. The WBC pointed out after the fight, how important this would have been, had the fight been stopped, and stated that it is satisfied that the decision to use the technology in all title fights is a good one.