What is a split decision in boxing?

THERE’S nothing more thrilling than seeing a boxing match settled from a KO – but fights are often settled by a split decision.

YouTuber Jake Paul survived eight rounds with Tyson Fury’s half brother Tommy before losing the Saudi showdown.

Tommy Fury beat Jake Paul by a split decision


Tommy Fury beat Jake Paul by a split decisionCredit: Getty Images – Getty

However, the grudge match was closer than most expected as Fury’s win came down to a split decision.

But what exactly is a split decision and what are some of the other decisions in boxing?

What is a split decision?

A split decision in boxing is when two of the three judges score one particular fighter as the winner while the third judge scores in favour of the other competitor.

This commonly leads to the loser requesting a rematch having felt as if there is not enough unanimity in the final decision.

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What are some notable matches which have been won by a split decision?

Anthony Joshua lost to Oleksandr Uysk courtesy of a split decision


Anthony Joshua lost to Oleksandr Uysk courtesy of a split decisionCredit: Getty

How else can a boxing match be settled?

Split decisions are often confused with a majority decision which occurs when two judges choose the same fighter as the winner but the third judge believes the contest was a tie.

Boxing matches are occasionally settled as a tie if two judges score in favour of different competitors, while the remaining judge feels as if the match was a draw.

Unanimous decisions happen when ALL three judges decided on one competitor as the winner

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But prior to the decisions above, boxers can win via a knockout (KO) which is when the fighter fails to resume the bout before a ten count after being hit down to the canvas.

Or, competitors can be victorious following a technical knockout (TKO) – when the referee believes that the boxer isn’t in stable enough condition to defend themselves.