World Boxing Super Series to use 4th judge for potential draws

The $50 million World Boxing Super Series, which kicks off Saturday with its eight-man single-elimination cruiserweight tournament, followed by the start of the super middleweight tournament on Sept. 16, plans to move on with semifinals in early 2018 with the final penciled in for May.

But what happens if there is a draw in one of the fights? Who moves on?

Organizers of the WBSS unveiled their plans on how to deal with that situation on Saturday, hours before the first bout of the tournament, in which cruiserweight world titleholder and No. 1 seed Oleksandr Usyk (12-0, 10 KOs), of Ukraine, defends his belt against unseeded former longtime titleholder Marco Huck (40-4-1, 27 KOs), of Germany, at Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin.

"A unique boxing tournament requires special rules," the WBSS said in its announcement. "In the World Boxing Super Series there will be an additional fourth judge whose scorecard will be used if the main three judges deliver a draw result."

The fourth judge can also come into play in the event that a tournament fight ends in a no contest or no decision and the three official scorecards do not determine a winner. In that case, the scorecard of the fourth judge will be added to the master scorecard to determine who advances to the next round of the tournament, or who wins the Muhammad Ali Trophy in the final.

Further, if two of the now four judges score the bout in for one boxer, and at least one of the other two of the four judges score the bout a draw, that result will have the boxer for whom two judges scored advance to the next round.

In addition, if a fight remains a draw even after adding the fourth judge's scorecard to those of the three official judges, the WBSS will use a "count back" method to determine who advances in the tournament. The "count back" is, in essence, a sudden-death method of scoring using the three official judges' scorecards to determine who advances.

Beginning with the scorecards for the 12th or last round that occurred, the boxer who won that particular round on at least two of the three scorecards will advance. If the bout was scored evenly in the 12th round or the last round that occurred, the advancing boxer will then be determined by who won at least a majority of rounds in the preceding round.

If neither boxer won the next to the last round on at least a majority of the three official scorecards, each preceding round's scorecards will be examined until a round where one boxer was declared the winner of that round on at least the majority of the three official scorecards.

While WBSS officials did not get into detail on when they would use instant replay, they said that it will be used "to help assess controversial situations."

The super middleweight tournament begins Sept. 16 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England, where No. 2 seed Callum Smith (22-0, 17 KOs), of England, will face Sweden's unseeded Erik Skoglund (26-0, 12 KOs).