What Is... CompuBox Every Punch Counts

October 05, 2003

WEIRD SCIENCE Invented by sports researchers Bob Canobbio and
Logan Hobson in 1985, boxing's made-for-TV punch-counting system
uses two keypads that feed into a laptop. Each pad has four
keys: jab connect, jab miss, power punch connect (a power punch
is any nonjab) and power punch miss. One person operates each
keypad. The inventors sold the idea to HBO and then to ESPN and
NBC.

OSCAR, OSCAR! CompuBox had Oscar De La Hoya landing many more
blows (221-127) than Shane Mosley in their Sept. 13 fight, but
Mosley got the decision. De La Hoya read aloud the stats while
denouncing the decision. "Yes, there's an element of human
error...it's just guys pushing buttons," says longtime promoter
Lou DiBella, who's nonetheless a fan.

WHO LOVES IT, BABY? You, the home viewer, because it adds stats
to a sport that depends on judges. Usually "the fighter who lands
more punches wins," says Canobbio, who notes CompuBox has been
used in nearly 2,500 bouts. "We never said we were scoring
fights." In the De La Hoya fight, Canobbio points out, the
power-punch stats were closer than the overall numbers. Still,
improvements are coming. "We're looking to put transmitters into
the gloves to measures force, speed and impact."

COLOR ILLUSTRATION
COLOR PHOTO: HBO PUNCHING NUMBERS De La Hoya has the stats, but Mosley owns the belt.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)