Tue 31 May 2016

Filed under sport

Tags sport science visualization

A nation by nation look at knockouts in boxing

Here's a question for you: Who scores more knockouts as a whole, Mexican fighters or Philipino fighters?

(tl;dr: click here to find out yourself.)

It's a good question...and it's one that could certainly stir up some impassioned debate on various online forums. Unfortunately, we'd all be stuck debating based on our intuition. It is impossible to answer this kind of question without looking directly at the numbers. But unlike other sports such as baseball or basketball, the cold hard facts are sometimes harder to come across in boxing.

In order to answer this question, I collected over 4 million records of fights from all over the world, from all eras. I looked at what country the winners were from, and how they won the fights. I created a tool to help visualize the results. You can play around with it yourself by clicking here. With it, you can compare any number of countries, side by side, and see which one has produced the most knockouts.

Forget about compairing Mexico and the Philipines for a second. How about...Ghana and Austrailia?

(Now might be a good time to take a break and rewatch the the Ring Magazine's offical 'Upset of the Year' way back in 1992! Yes, of course I'm talking about the rematch between Jeff Fenech and Azumah Nelson.)

Turns out that Austraila, as a whole, doesn't seem to be producing a whole slew of knockout punchers. Their percent of stoppages is well below 50...but on the other hand, Ghana is around 60%.

Ghana vs. Austraila

Notice that "Other" on the far right of the graph, contains stuff like Draws, No Contests, and other non-definitive outcomes.

The tool gets more fun when you look at side-by-side comparisons between more than 2 nations (the dropdown on the left has over 100 countries to choose from):

Jamacia, Switzerland, Isreal

Appears that the Israelis have the advantage. Historically, Jamacia doesn't seem to be doing a while lot of winning by KO.

What do you think? Did you find this useful or interesting? Let me know in the comments section if you find anything surprising.


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