Split decision

A split decision (SD) is a winning criterion in boxing, most commonly in full-contact combat sports, in which two of the three judges score one particular competitor as the winner, while the third judge scores for the other competitor.

A split decision is different from a majority decision. A majority decision occurs when two judges pick the same competitor as the winner, and the third judge scores the contest a draw (tie). The official result remains the same in both split and majority decisions, but the margin of victory is greater in a majority decision and less in a split decision.

Occasionally, the judges' final decision is a tie, because the first judge scores for one competitor, the second one scores for the other competitor, and the third judge scores the contest a draw (tie); so in this case the official result is a split draw.

Often, a split decision causes controversy due to its lack of unanimity. As a result, especially in high-profile or title fights, the victor may be encouraged or pressured to grant a rematch, in the hopes a return match-up will have a more decisive outcome.

Notable examples from boxingEdit

Date Fight Scorecards Source(s)
December 5, 1947 Joe Louis vs. Jersey Joe Walcott I 9-6 Louis 8-6-1 Louis 7-6-2 Walcott [1][2]
February 15, 1978 Muhammad Ali vs. Leon Spinks 145–140 Spinks 144–141 Spinks 143–142 Ali [3]
April 6, 1987 Marvin Hagler vs. Sugar Ray Leonard 118-110 Leonard 115-113 Leonard 115-113 Hagler [4]
May 5, 2007 Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. 116-112 Mayweather 115-113 Mayweather 115-113 De La Hoya [5]
March 15, 2008 Juan Manuel Márquez vs. Manny Pacquiao II 115-112 Pacquiao 114-113 Pacquiao 115-112 Marquez [6]
April 19, 2008 Bernard Hopkins vs. Joe Calzaghe 116-111 Calzaghe 115-112 Calzaghe 114-113 Hopkins [7]
December 10, 2011 Amir Khan vs. Lamont Peterson 113-112 Peterson 113-112 Peterson 115-110 Khan [8]
June 9, 2012 Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley I 115-113 Bradley 115-113 Bradley 115-113 Pacquiao [9]
March 1, 2014 Orlando Salido vs. Vasyl Lomachenko 116-112 Salido 115-113 Salido 115-113 Lomachenko [10]
July 12, 2014 Canelo Álvarez vs. Erislandy Lara 117-111 Álvarez 115-113 Álvarez 115-113 Lara [11]
December 10, 2016 Dillian Whyte vs. Derek Chisora I 115-113 Whyte 115-114 Whyte 115-114 Chisora [12]
July 20, 2019 Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman 115-112 Pacquiao 115-112 Pacquiao 114-113 Thurman [13]
November 9, 2019 KSI vs. Logan Paul II 57-54 KSI 56-55 KSI 56-55 Paul [14]

Outside of boxingEdit

In the Philippines, the term "split decision" is also used on GMA Network's reality television show The Clash, when two of the three members of the clash panel (Ai-Ai delas Alas, Christian Bautista, and Lani Misalucha) chose a clasher (among two) to advance to the next round, while the other clasher is eliminated. An example of it that Golden Cañedo won the clash against Fatima Espiritu via split decision. Cañedo was later the Clash grand winner of the show's first season.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Joe Louis vs. Jersey Joe Walcott (1st meeting) - BoxRec". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  2. ^ Hook, Bad Left (2011-11-08). "Classic Fight Series: The Night Jersey Joe Walcott Beat Joe Louis". Bad Left Hook. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  3. ^ "Muhammad Ali vs. Leon Spinks (1st meeting) - BoxRec". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  4. ^ "Marvin Hagler vs. Sugar Ray Leonard - BoxRec". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  5. ^ "Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. - BoxRec". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  6. ^ "Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Manny Pacquiao (2nd meeting) - BoxRec". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  7. ^ "Bernard Hopkins vs. Joe Calzaghe - BoxRec". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  8. ^ "Amir Khan vs. Lamont Peterson - BoxRec". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  9. ^ "Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley (1st meeting) - BoxRec". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  10. ^ "Orlando Salido vs. Vasyl Lomachenko - BoxRec". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  11. ^ "Saul Alvarez vs. Erislandy Lara - BoxRec". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  12. ^ "Dillian Whyte vs. Dereck Chisora (1st meeting) - BoxRec". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  13. ^ "Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman - BoxRec". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  14. ^ "Olajide William Olatunji vs. Logan Paul - BoxRec". boxrec.com. Retrieved 2021-06-10.