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Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Wider use of instant replay a good thing

By Dan Rafael

If you are regular reader of my blog or weekly chat, you obviously know that I am not a fan of boxing’s sanctioning organizations as they are currently run.

However, every now and then we can agree on something, and this is one of those times as the organizations are embracing a wider use of video replay. So look out the window because pigs might be flying!

Three of the alphabet organizations (WBC, IBF, WBA) have had recent meetings, and one of the outcomes was an agreement to use replay for title bouts. Of course, the local commissions regulating any fight have the final say on the rules governing a fight, but they will often take the rules of a sanctioning body into account.

The organizations will have their own rules for implementing replay, which is already used in some jurisdictions, including Nevada, although not very often and only in very specific instances.

The WBC, however, recently issued its instant replay guidelines, which I found interesting and potentially a very good thing if administered properly. It could save some terrible calls, such as correctly identifying the specific cause of a cut or determining whether a punch was delivered after the bell.

Here are the WBC’s guidelines:

• In conjunction with the local commission, the WBC will appoint a panel in charge of instant replay. The panel will consist of the WBC supervisor, the local commission supervisor and the specifically appointed monitor supervisor.

• The promoter, with the support of the television network, will provide a monitor to be placed at the head table of the commission with headphones for audio commentary to receive the live feed.

• Instant replay is limited to review (a) whether a cut or other injury to the face is the result of a punch or otherwise; or (b) whether a punch is thrown after the bell signaling the end of a round and (c) in any major situation that can change the outcome of the bout and where the replay clearly shows the actions are contradictory to the live ruling of the referee.

• The referee may call "time out" during the bout and consult with the instant replay panel, if in doubt, as to any scenario. However, it is recommended that all reviews are done during the resting minute period.

• The instant replay panel will review any controversial instance that may have occurred in any round. A determination of the referee may be overruled solely if the instant replay monitor clearly and conclusively reveals, according to each member of the panel, that the ruling of the action by the referee was mistaken in his original determination.

• The referee may request to verify the action by watching the TV monitor or may choose to accept the panel's recommendation, which is the final decision and the ruling that will be enforced.

• Both corners and the audience will be notified of the final decision.