The Gervonta Davis vs. Ricardo Núñez’s fight is a perfect example of why professional boxing needs to reinstate the Standing Eight Count. Being a huge boxing fan I am sick and tired of seeing referees affect the outcome of fights by calling the fight too early. It has been going on a really long time and is not just a result of recent deaths of boxers. How many arenas need to have the people standing up and booing these kind of decisions?
According to Wikipedia: “A Standing Eight Count, also known as a protection count, is a boxing judgment call made by a referee during a bout. When invoked, the referee stops the action and counts to eight. During that time the referee will determine if the boxer can continue. When the count reaches eight, the referee often moves back two steps and instructs the boxer to walk towards them and hold their arms out. This helps the referee determine if the boxer is functioning and alert enough to continue. If the boxer is unsteady on his feet or seems unable to focus on the referee, the bout is ended on account of a TKO. Typically, a boxer can take up to three standing eight counts in a round.
The Standing Eight count is designed to protect boxers by allowing the referee to step in and give an overwhelmed fighter an eight-second respite. Standing Eight Counts by the referee are scored the same as a knockdown, whether the boxer was knocked down or not. The Association of Boxing Commissions eliminated the Standing Eight Count in 1998 and it is usually not invoked in professional bouts today. A standing eight count is different from a mandatory eight count, which is only assessed once a fighter is knocked down.”
I’m not sure what the thinking was back in the 1990s on why they ended this practice, but the end result is we have given the ref way too much power to affect the outcome of so many fights since then. My whole life I have been screaming from the mountain tops that we need the government to regulate boxing. The sport, and it is my favorite sport, is notorious for massive corruption. Everything from boxers doing sports enhancing drugs to fight results being obviously manipulated, the sport needs oversight. It can start with reintroducing the Standing Eight Count and giving these professional athletes a chance, after they get flashed stunned, in the ring to prove they can continue on fighting.