Sports

First in History, Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk Will Use AI to Generate Boxing’s Most Debated Stats

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It’s the biggest fight of the last two decades, and the organizers are leaving no stone unturned to ensure fairness reigns supreme. How? Well, with AI, of course! After taking over every major industry, AI has finally made its way into boxing, whether people like it or not. And the first fight analyzed by this revolutionary technology would be none other than the Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk undisputed clash in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 

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There have been many instances throughout the history of boxing where the human aspect of judging and scoring fights have been criticized for being lackluster, if not criminally unfair. However, the advent of AI offers a promising paradigm shift, promising impartiality and rectitude in a realm where human error has long loomed large. But is it legit or just another hoax? In a recent interview, sports broadcaster Radio Rahim sheds light on the bombastic development. 

Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk to avoid eyeballing humans

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Speaking to Sean Byrne from Is It Really Worth It Podcast, former professional boxer and sports broadcaster Rahim suggested the fight would definitely go the distance. However, out of nowhere, he brought up AI and its involvement in the fight. Rahim said, “The difference in this fight is that [it] we will have, for the first time, a punch count system, a stat system, that’s never been seen before. It’ll be generated by AI. It’s not like eyeballing humans.”

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It’s worth mentioning that besides the judges, CompuBox has been the go to for organizers to get accurate stats from a fight. Unlike AI, CompuBox works by assigning one operator to their system for each fighter, who has access to four keys: Jab connect, jab miss, power punch connect, and power punch miss. While watching the fight, from the venue or on TV, these operators input each shot in real time, collecting punch counts and hit percentages. 

However, according to Rahim, this responsibility will be taken over by AI, but it’s unclear how accurate or what system is being used for the undisputed clash. Rahim said, “The ability for us to count every punch. To know what landed, not only cleanly, but the quality of the shot, the impact of the shot. For the first time ever, for the undisputed heavyweight championship.”

In the meantime, this isn’t the first time the AI angle has been brought into the picture. In fact, such systems have been used in local gyms to analyze its accuracy and the results may shock the wider audience. 

Jabbr brings the AI revolution to London

Last year, a Copenhagen-based AI startup, Jabbr, took their advanced computer vision AI system called ‘DeepStrike’ to a London boxing club, where they analyzed amateur boxers fighting in the ring. Surprisingly, it didn’t just analyze the stats from the fights, but could also measure fifty different parameters in real time, according to the company’s CEO Allan Svejstrup. 

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In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Svejstrup said, “What it’s going to give you is an automated count of strikes thrown, what’s landed, the impact quality of the shots. But it’s also going to do a lot of other cool things like generate automated highlights for you.” So, besides producing accurate results, ‘DeepStrike’ can help boxers improve their game, which is available only to a few in the community. 

There, the upcoming fight isn’t just monumental for producing an undisputed champion, but also for being the first official fight to be analyzed by an AI system. Will this be able to eliminate corruption in the industry? Only time will tell, but no one can deny the benefits of such equipment. What’s your take on this AI emergence? 

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