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.
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."