Boxing matches are (usually) decided by knockout or decision. However, Timothy Bradley's victory over Manny Pacquiao in June 2012 was highly and widely controversial. CompuBox stats show that Pacquiao landed more punches than Bradley in 10 of 12 rounds.
If knockout does not decide who wins a boxing match, then how do judges come to a "decision" of who wins? (see below for judging criteria)
Can promotions/PPVs (ie. politics, media) influence decisions, and/or are there other factors?
Below is supplemental information that may help illustrate a point.
Bradley vs. Pacquiao CompuBox stats:
Total Punches (Landed/Thrown)
- Pacquiao 34% (253/751)
- Bradley 19% (159/839)
- Pacquiao 24% (63/258)
- Bradley 11% (51/449)
Power Punches Landed / Thrown
- Pacquiao 39% (190/493)
- Bradley 28% (108/390)
I found the following judging criteria in this article. The author sources the International Boxing Association Technical & Competition Rules and the World Boxing Association Regulations and Rules Governing World Championship Contests.
Before a fighter begins a bout, he must qualify according to the rules of the sanctioning organization.
Throughout the course of each round, judges count the number of punches each boxer lands. These punches are divided between "power punches" that land solidly with force, and "glancing punches" such as a light jab, or a punch that slides along the body. Punches with no force, or punches to the arms, are not counted at all.
Winning the Round
If a fighter has scored more punches at the end of a round, the judges award the round to that fighter. If it's a tie, the win goes to the fighter each judge decides showed the most control, technique or style during the round.
Winning the Bout
A fighter who wins a round receives 10 points for that round. The loser of a round receives 9 or fewer points, based on the margin by which he lost. As a general rule, receiving less than 9 points only happens in the case of a knockdown, penalty point or similar major sign that a fighter was outclassed. After all rounds are fought, the judges total the scores to determine a match total. Whoever has the most points wins.
Knockout and Technical Knockout
A fighter is considered knocked out if he is knocked down and unable to stand after a 10-second count. If a fighter gets knocked down and stands in time but is knocked down enough times, the referee will stop the match as a technical knockout. Referees will also award a "TKO" if one fighter appears to be no longer able to defend himself or seems to be severely concussed.