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Weight cutting.

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Post by Gentleman01 Tue 15 Dec 2015, 5:24 pm

Apologies in advance, as the primary purpose of this post is not really Boxing related. However, I'm struggling to find this information elsewhere and I know we have a few knowledgeable MMA fans among us, so I thought I'd ask it here;

I'm not an avid follower of the UFC myself, so I only got round to watching the McGregor fight earlier today. I also saw footage on Facebook last week of the weigh-in. At the time of the weigh-in McGregor looked extremely lean and wiry. Come fight night, however, he looked well-built, muscular and powerful. He looked as though he cuts huge amounts of weight, and perhaps weighs considerably more in the Octagon than he does on the scales. Does anyone know what McGregor weighed on Saturday morning when he beat Aldo?

On a similar topic, and to give this post a more boxing related theme, what are people's opinions on extreme weight cutting? Do you think a stipulation which forbids a fighter from entering the ring, for example, more than 8% heavier than they weighed on the scales should be enforced, perhaps under penalty of purse deductions/fine owed to the opposition camp?

I'm unsure myself. I know it is dangerous to be dehydrated in the ring, but of course none of us want to see a repeat of Gatti vs. Gamache.

It's a tricky balance..

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Post by bellchees Tue 15 Dec 2015, 6:19 pm

I'd prefer to see tighter restrictions on weight cutting, I think you should have to be in the ring at the agreed weight not 10lbs-15lbs over it.

Outweighing your opponent by so much puts them at risk, at least if you fight at the agreed weight if someone wants to cut the weight and fight smaller guys they're taking the risk not the opponent. I think it harms the development of fighters as well, to spend so much time in training cutting weight instead of working on their craft takes away from the fighters, then when they can't make the weight anymore and have to move up they get exposed.

The best fighters of recent years aren't the guys who outweigh people by loads. Mayweather, Pacquiao, Martinez, Marquez, Ward, Hopkins, none of them massive at the weights with the exception of very early in the careers of Manny and Floyd.

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Post by Guest Tue 15 Dec 2015, 6:29 pm

Gentleman01 wrote:Apologies in advance, as the primary purpose of this post is not really Boxing related. However, I'm struggling to find this information elsewhere and I know we have a few knowledgeable MMA fans among us, so I thought I'd ask it here;

I'm not an avid follower of the UFC myself, so I only got round to watching the McGregor fight earlier today. I also saw footage on Facebook last week of the weigh-in. At the time of the weigh-in McGregor looked extremely lean and wiry. Come fight night, however, he looked well-built, muscular and powerful. He looked as though he cuts huge amounts of weight, and perhaps weighs considerably more in the Octagon than he does on the scales. Does anyone know what McGregor weighed on Saturday morning when he beat Aldo?

On a similar topic, and to give this post a more boxing related theme, what are people's opinions on extreme weight cutting? Do you think a stipulation which forbids a fighter from entering the ring, for example, more than 8% heavier than they weighed on the scales should be enforced, perhaps under penalty of purse deductions/fine owed to the opposition camp?

I'm unsure myself. I know it is dangerous to be dehydrated in the ring, but of course none of us want to see a repeat of Gatti vs. Gamache.

It's a tricky balance..

I didn't see the weigh in but its no surprise to read your comments, CM is huge at the weight and it was one of the factors for me on why i'd thought he'd win. I don't know his ring weight, just done a quick google and nothing. I expect him to move up to LW fairly soon, maybe just one defence, there is no big fight at FW for him.

This does divide opinion on here massively but I think something like this should be brought in, but if you are going to enforce it then I feel the fight should not go ahead and the fighter that does make weight should be heavily compensated and possibly by the other camp. Otherwise I don't see the point in having this rule, the bigger fighter will be happy to just pay the fine and fight regardless.

Interestingly an mma fighter fighting for another promotion apparently died after making weight recently, something else that needs to be looked at.


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Post by jimdig Tue 15 Dec 2015, 7:15 pm

CM cuts huge amounts of weight. He stays in shape all year round but he must be a walk around muscular 180. He's very open that the last 2 weeks are terrible for him, the mendes fight he said he messed up weight and had to cut 25lbs in 3 days. He looks like sick come weigh in. The interesting thing about the Aldo fight is that it's the first CM fight since they have banned iv's. Aldo also cuts huge weight. I'd be surprised if Conor fought at featherweight again. He'll be a big lightweight.
I read a Chinese mma fighter died cutting weight over the weekend.

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Post by catchweight Tue 15 Dec 2015, 7:27 pm

I prefer same day weigh ins to the current rules.

Its a major problem in boxing. Not just for health and safety reasons, but its also totally messed up the point of weight classes and determining how good a fighter is in a fair fight.

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Post by Gentleman01 Tue 15 Dec 2015, 7:57 pm

I'm not surprised to hear that, Jim. At a glance, my initial reaction upon seeing McGregor in the cage, after having seen him at the weigh-in, was that he'd gained 20lbs or more!

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Post by Atila Wed 16 Dec 2015, 4:30 am

catchweight wrote:I prefer same day weigh ins to the current rules.
I think it's safer to have weigh-ins the day before the fight. The problem is, the system that was meant to help the fighters have a bit more time to re-hydrate, has been abused. Due to it being abused I have to take your side and say that they should bring back same day weigh-ins.

I watched a short documentary the other day and there was an MMA fighter who was talking about the lengths he went through to make weight. He had to spend the nights before the weigh-in sleeping in extreme heat, wearing an electric blanket and he was filmed lying in a bath tub in nearly 100 degree water all to help the weight come off. He admitted that when he fought he was never at his best due to the rigors of making weight but felt he had to do it because everyone else was doing it.

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Post by AdamT Wed 16 Dec 2015, 8:42 am

I do same day weigh in for powerlifting. In fact we usually lift between 2-7 hours after weigh in.

The most water I ever cut for a weigh in was 9 pounds. I had a bad comp because I also ate too little all week to get the weight down.

I imagine 8-9 pounds would be fine if you competed in the evening and had the whole day to rehydrate, eat and recover.

In my last comp I cut about 5 pounds and felt great.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, people would take drastic measures to make a cut for the same day weigh in and won't perform near their best on the night. You would end up with many fighters being like De la hoya, when he fought Pacquiao.

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Post by TopHat24/7 Wed 16 Dec 2015, 10:02 am

I'd like 3 weigh-in scenarios:

5 days before fight - max 10% over limit
1 day before fight - at or below limit
Day of fight - max 10% over limit

10% is a lot of leeway, allows a MW to almost fight at SMW.

Penalties for missing targets should be fixed also. 15%, 10%, 15% respectively - meaning fighters could forgoe almost half their purse for repeated screw ups.

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Post by AdamT Wed 16 Dec 2015, 10:05 am

I would probably go with 8% tophat, but definitely think you are on to something. I guess 10% would be fine too.

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Post by Scottrf Wed 16 Dec 2015, 10:08 am

TopHat24/7 wrote:I'd like 3 weigh-in scenarios:

5 days before fight - max 10% over limit
1 day before fight - at or below limit
Day of fight - max 10% over limit

10% is a lot of leeway, allows a MW to almost fight at SMW.

Penalties for missing targets should be fixed also. 15%, 10%, 15% respectively - meaning fighters could forgoe almost half their purse for repeated screw ups.
Similar things are already done.

WBC for example, has a weigh in 4 weeks prior where you can't exceed 10% over the limit, and 7 days before where you can't exceed 5%.

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Post by rodders Wed 16 Dec 2015, 11:09 am

Gentleman01 wrote:Apologies in advance, as the primary purpose of this post is not really Boxing related. However, I'm struggling to find this information elsewhere and I know we have a few knowledgeable MMA fans among us, so I thought I'd ask it here;

I'm not an avid follower of the UFC myself, so I only got round to watching the McGregor fight earlier today. I also saw footage on Facebook last week of the weigh-in. At the time of the weigh-in McGregor looked extremely lean and wiry. Come fight night, however, he looked well-built, muscular and powerful. He looked as though he cuts huge amounts of weight, and perhaps weighs considerably more in the Octagon than he does on the scales. Does anyone know what McGregor weighed on Saturday morning when he beat Aldo?

I've heard CM cuts from 170-175 down to 145 then enters the octagon at 160-165. He looks like a zombie at the weigh ins and even worse before his last fight with Mendes were he cut a lot of weight in the last 2 weeks.

Previous to the aldo fight he was using an IV drip to rehydrate but these have recently been banned by the UFC.

I think he's planning on moving up to lightweight (155) for his next fight, to take a break from the extreme cut, and then back down to 145 to defend the FW title as he is aiming to hold the title at both weights simultaneously which he did in Cage Warriors.
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Post by milkyboy Wed 16 Dec 2015, 11:11 am

There are three factors as I see it that impact on safety:
1. The effects on the brain (lack of water in it, reducing its ability to absorb punishment) of drastic weight cut over a short period of time, without enough time to rehydrate.
2. The potential disadvantage of said drastic weight cut on the whole body, reducing stamina and performance levels, leading to the likelihood of taking more punishment.
3. The advantage of one fighter being better able to manage the cutting and rehydrating process and entering the ring significantly larger than his opponent... making him potentially able to inflict more damage than is fair.

Points 2 and 3 are competing elements at play to some degree in most fights... some fighters think they gain more from 3 than they lose in 2. Some don't. floyd v alvarez is probably as good an example as you'll get of completely different philosophies.

The current day before weigh-in was brought in because of factor 1. As I understand it (I don't claim to be an expert), 1 day's rehydration is better than none, but not as good as 2 or 3 or 7 days etc.

In an ideal world you want weight cutting to be gradual, and not to a level where the body is so weakened that any subsequent rehydration gets the boxer back to optimum performance levels. And you want a reasonably level playing field.


The principle that Toppy suggests is something I've advocated whenever this crops up. The issue always with these things is real world practicality. You need none-corrupt sanctioning bodies who are prepared to enforce serious fines for  none compliance. Also, ideally for me, there should be random weight testing like there is random drug testing. The problem with the WBC 4 week and 1 week example, is that if you have a 7 day out weigh in for example, a guy dehydrates for that weigh-in and then does it again at the official weigh-in. All it proves is that a guy is going to be able to make the weight, not how he makes it. If you don't know when they're coming, you have no choice but to always be within the target weight.... or pay a hefty fine.

It's practical to do this for big money/title fights with trustworthy sanctioning bodies (hey we can dream), but how enforceable is it for other fights? That's invariably the problem with these ideas.

The simplest and most readily enforceable one is obviously restricting ring weight to an agreed % increase of weigh-in weight.  At that point its too late to cancel the fight for none-compliance so a fixed cut of the purse is fined... and that money goes towards funding my random weight testing scheme (copyright Milkyboy!). Unfortunately, although the ring weight % rule will, in theory, stop people from cutting too much weight in the first place... there will still be some who do overdo it, and then don't rehydrate enough.... so as to avoid paying the fine. Which is why, although better than nothing, without the training camp weigh-ins, its not perfect.

Ideally, there would also be some sort of sanctions against trainers and managers whose fighters fail to make target weigh-ins, so the people who largely dictate what weight their fighter fights at... are disadvantaged from pushing their luck.

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Post by TopHat24/7 Wed 16 Dec 2015, 12:03 pm

Scottrf wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:I'd like 3 weigh-in scenarios:

5 days before fight - max 10% over limit
1 day before fight - at or below limit
Day of fight - max 10% over limit

10% is a lot of leeway, allows a MW to almost fight at SMW.

Penalties for missing targets should be fixed also. 15%, 10%, 15% respectively - meaning fighters could forgoe almost half their purse for repeated screw ups.
Similar things are already done.

WBC for example, has a weigh in 4 weeks prior where you can't exceed 10% over the limit, and 7 days before where you can't exceed 5%.

Do they? And they apply to Alvarez.......?? Think not.

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Post by Scottrf Wed 16 Dec 2015, 12:07 pm

Yep.

http://www.boxingscene.com/photo-canelo-tips-1602-7-day-weigh---98158

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Post by TopHat24/7 Wed 16 Dec 2015, 12:18 pm

Scottrf wrote:Yep.

http://www.boxingscene.com/photo-canelo-tips-1602-7-day-weigh---98158

And Milky has already highlighted the failures in this system and why my version is better.

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Post by milkyboy Wed 16 Dec 2015, 12:27 pm

... actually Milky highlighted why Milky's system was better toppy Laugh

Milky is now so full of self importance that Milky is talking in the third person

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Post by Scottrf Wed 16 Dec 2015, 12:36 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Yep.

http://www.boxingscene.com/photo-canelo-tips-1602-7-day-weigh---98158

And Milky has already highlighted the failures in this system and why my version is better.
OK FlipFlopHat. None of his points were in your original suggestion.

You said (with an attitude) that they didn't do it with Alvarez. They did.

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Post by TopHat24/7 Thu 17 Dec 2015, 9:57 am

Scottrf wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Yep.

http://www.boxingscene.com/photo-canelo-tips-1602-7-day-weigh---98158

And Milky has already highlighted the failures in this system and why my version is better.
OK FlipFlopHat. None of his points were in your original suggestion.

You said (with an attitude) that they didn't do it with Alvarez. They did.

And if we're being pernickety, what the WBC 'do' actually isn't that similar to my suggestion at all - the key element to which being fight day weigh ins to stop ridiculous rehydration (by the likes of Alvarez). The rest is just a way to safely manage the key bit.

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Post by Guest Thu 17 Dec 2015, 3:33 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:I'd like 3 weigh-in scenarios:

5 days before fight - max 10% over limit
1 day before fight - at or below limit
Day of fight - max 10% over limit

10% is a lot of leeway, allows a MW to almost fight at SMW.

Penalties for missing targets should be fixed also. 15%, 10%, 15% respectively - meaning fighters could forgoe almost half their purse for repeated screw ups.

I feel 10% is still to much, you are actually allowing a MW to fight at LHW 160 + 10% 176. I think 5% would be more appropriate.

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Post by TopHat24/7 Thu 17 Dec 2015, 3:40 pm

sohotnot wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:I'd like 3 weigh-in scenarios:

5 days before fight - max 10% over limit
1 day before fight - at or below limit
Day of fight - max 10% over limit

10% is a lot of leeway, allows a MW to almost fight at SMW.

Penalties for missing targets should be fixed also. 15%, 10%, 15% respectively - meaning fighters could forgoe almost half their purse for repeated screw ups.

I feel 10% is still to much, you are actually allowing a MW to fight at LHW 160 + 10% 176. I think 5% would be more appropriate.

Whoops, totally agree, jeez my maths is/was poor.......

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Post by horizontalhero Thu 17 Dec 2015, 3:58 pm

sohotnot wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:I'd like 3 weigh-in scenarios:

5 days before fight - max 10% over limit
1 day before fight - at or below limit
Day of fight - max 10% over limit

10% is a lot of leeway, allows a MW to almost fight at SMW.

Penalties for missing targets should be fixed also. 15%, 10%, 15% respectively - meaning fighters could forgoe almost half their purse for repeated screw ups.

I feel 10% is still to much, you are actually allowing a MW to fight at LHW 160 + 10% 176. I think 5% would be more appropriate.

Rather than do it on a percentage, would an actual weight be better - i.e 4lbs or 1.5 kilo over on the day, otherwise the higher the weight category the more you can add- certainly should not be higher than the next weight category- i.e. if the fight is at Light middle, the on the day weight should be below the limit for middle and so on.

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Post by TopHat24/7 Thu 17 Dec 2015, 4:53 pm

Or maybe cap it at whatever the weight limit of the division above is?

That way you still get some relativity across the weight classes.

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Post by Atila Thu 17 Dec 2015, 4:59 pm

Maybe we're complicating things too much guys. Same day weigh-ins worked fine for years and fighters fought more often than they do now, and from I know, didn't seem to have many problems.

A great example of fighters fighting at the correct weight and being able to perform with no problems is a story I read about a fight between Griffith and Benvenuti which was outdoors at Shea Stadium. They both weighed in the day of the fight. Benvenuti weighed 160 pounds and Griffith weighed 155 pounds. There was bad weather that afternoon, and the fight got postponed to the next day.

The next day, they made them weighed in again, and Benvenuti weighed 159¾ and Emile weighed 154. They then went out and fought 15 rounds. How could they do that if they were in such a dehydrated state?

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Post by Gentleman01 Thu 17 Dec 2015, 5:23 pm

Well, the most likely scenario, Atila, is that neither Griffith or Benvenuti were dehydrated. That, in fact, they fought at their 'natural' weight.

The reason why same day weigh-ins were abandoned was because fighters stopped fighting at their 'natural' weight, and began cutting water weight in order to gain a physical advantage over their opponent.

Being dehydrated in the ring was deemed to be highly dangerous, hence the reason day before weigh-ins were introduced.

If we return to same day weigh-ins, then we have the same problem, no? What's to stop fighters dangerously dehydrating to gain an advantage and consequently exposing themselves to a far higher risk of serious injury?

I suppose that, in Griffith and Benvenuti's day this wasn't a problem, but it is now.

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Post by horizontalhero Thu 17 Dec 2015, 5:25 pm

Atila wrote:Maybe we're complicating things too much guys. Same day weigh-ins worked fine for years and fighters fought more often than they do now, and from I know, didn't seem to have many problems.

A great example of fighters fighting at the correct weight and being able to perform with no problems is a story I read about a fight between Griffith and Benvenuti which was outdoors at Shea Stadium. They both weighed in the day of the fight. Benvenuti weighed 160 pounds and Griffith weighed 155 pounds. There was bad weather that afternoon, and the fight got postponed to the next day.

The next day, they made them weighed in again, and Benvenuti weighed 159¾ and Emile weighed 154. They then went out and fought 15 rounds. How could they do that if they were in such a dehydrated state?

Hear what you are saying, but same day weigh-ins were moved away from to prevent the risk of dehydrated fighters getting injured, as some (not all) were taking silly risks boiling down, so the day before were mooted to give longer time to re-hydrate, the problem is this then encouraged even more drastic boiling down, and the farcical situation we have now. At the end of the day boxing is dangerous, and whatever measures are bought in, some fighter will still put themselves at a heightened level of risk. The idea of strict monitoring, and a day before and an on day weigh-in seems to be a solution that's least open to abuse.

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Post by milkyboy Thu 17 Dec 2015, 6:06 pm

I guess that was the good old days where most fighters fought in their proper weight class and recognised they couldn't fight dehydrated! Also if you're fighting every month, you don't have the luxury of bloating up between fights and cutting down. You stay at roughly the same weight, you're always in training etc. Despite not fighting regularly the likes of mayweather and froch have largely followed that maxim and its served them ok.

Until the medical profession comes to an alternative view on brain dehydration = more brain damage from punches, Same day weigh-ins won't be coming back... 

Unless they can find some way to monitor hydration levels at the time of weigh-in and have a target for that.

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Post by kingraf Thu 17 Dec 2015, 6:21 pm

milkyboy wrote:

Until the medical profession comes to an alternative view on brain dehydration = more brain damage from punches, Same day weigh-ins won't be coming back...

Well there's also the fact that less fighters have died since the 24 hour weigh in. So maybe that evidence isn't soon forthcoming....
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Post by milkyboy Thu 17 Dec 2015, 8:03 pm

Yup... That was my intended point Raf!

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Post by Hammersmith harrier Thu 17 Dec 2015, 8:21 pm

Cutting weight has always happened but not to the extremes of today; Harry Greb used to add a reasonable amount of weight after the weigh in and that was in only a few hours, I believe he weighed 165lbs in ring against Walker for instance.

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Post by horizontalhero Thu 17 Dec 2015, 8:48 pm

Raf, is there any solid evidence that deaths are down? There have been two recently in Australia, and one in England last year. I am sceptical.

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