I REMEMBER watching a quiz on television and the contestants were asked: Name a sport where you do not know the score until the end of the match? The answer, of course, was boxing.

As anyone reading this knows only too well, not knowing the score often leads to controversy when those scores are eventually revealed.

Sporting fans are passionate when supporting teams. Because of the nature of boxing, the fans can be emotionally attached to a certain boxer; they feel like they know them, they’ve seen them fight before and seen or read countless interviews. They’ve often formed an opinion on what might happen before the fight begins. Consequently, they can perceive a whole different fight instead of what is happening in front of their eyes.

Boxing supporters are also loyal and, in some cases, that loyalty – or desire for their boxer to win – can skew their view of the contest. If the points victory is awarded to the other fighter, the losing supporters believe that their boxer has been ‘robbed’.

Sometimes bad decisions are clear. Boxers know it too, but there is not much that can be done about it. Confident in my boxing ability and knowing that I could punch, I wasn’t too concerned about fighting in an opponent’s home state or town. But I have been on the wrong end of hometown decisions.

When I boxed Carlos Monroe in California in 1997, at the end of the contest I was confident that I had won, even thinking that it was almost every round. I felt good, and was just waiting for the formal announcement, but the decision was given to Monroe. I looked across at him and he appeared to be embarrassed that he had been handed the victory.

I was annoyed, of course, but I knew there was nothing that I could do to change the decision. I was not under any promotional banner at the time thus making any kind of appeal all but impossible.

Several years before, in 1989, I fought Mark Wills in New York. I used my jab and hard right hands to build a clear lead, or so I thought. At the end of the fight, Wills was given the victory by spilt decision.

Later, I watched the recording of the fight and I listened to the respected voice of broadcaster, Gil Clancy. In the last minutes of the fight, he announced ‘Derek Williams is moments away from victory!’

When the referee raised Mark Wills’ hand, Clancy added, ‘Oh and they’ve taken it from Williams and given it to Wills. We had Williams winning.’

The scoring system in boxing is subjective to those who determine the winner. And it’s that subjectivity, that matter of opinion, which is always the trigger for controversy if the majority of fans disagree with the choices of that matter. In some contests, the judge might score points to the boxer who in their opinion is the aggressor. Yet if fans can see – or believe they can see – the other boxing throwing more punches, despite going backwards, they can easily form a contrasting opinion.

When the fans and judges disagree so wildly, it can have far-reaching consequences. Josh Taylor’s points win over Jack Catterall, a result that I simply could not fathom, reached the House of Commons where Sir Lindsay Hoyle the leader of the house and Catterall’s MP wondered if there was ‘undue influence’ and the fight was even reported to the police.

Look at the amateur code. There have been so many bad decisions that boxing is in real danger as losing its status as an Olympic sport.

Perhaps most depressing of all is that you become conditioned to expect the worst. When the fight between Katie Taylor and Chantelle Cameron entered the ninth round, I had Cameron so far ahead I could not see how Taylor could win unless she scored a knockout. But in a way that I’m certain you can empathise with, when the first score was announced – a draw – I was then expecting the other two judges to go with Taylor.

I like Katie Taylor, she has been so good for boxing in many ways. But I thought she was very fortunate to get the decision in both fights with Delfine Persoon and again against Amanda Serrano.

Devin Haney-Vasyl Lomachenko, another close fight and another result that left fans doubting the ability of the judges. On this occasion I thought Haney won but Lomachenko’s team and the majority of observers believed that the Ukrainian should have been given the nod or, at least, a draw.

Unfortunately, controversy surrounding scoring in boxing is not a new concern. How about that draw between Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield in 1999? It looked so clear cut for Lewis that it was investigated in court. Though some will tell you that controversy is part of the sport and therefore unavoidable, surely we should be taking steps to ensure it’s perceived to be as fair as possible.

There are various things to consider. Perhaps the scores of the judges can be seen by fans and the fighters after each round. Other sports have additional tools and equipment for accuracy, like football, tennis and athletics. Those sports have evolved, boxing should too.