Inaugural Prediction Game Thread And Official Rules

For one time only — this Saturday’s HBO’s double-header, Juan Manuel Lopez-Steven Luevano/Yuriorkis Gamboa-Rogers Mtagwa — make your official predictions for the prediction game here. For what to do next time… Here are the official rules for how to play the prediction game’s six-fight trial run:

1. How to know when/where to play. When I do a post labeled “Preview and Prediction,” which I usually do on Wednesday or Thursday for weekend fights but occasionally on Friday or Tuesday, the game is on. In the comments section is where you’ll do #1. (Except for Lopez-Luevano and Gamboa-Mtagwa, where you will do it here.)

2. Make your prediction. Pick the winner(s). If you want to make up a silly fantasy team name for yourself for the life of the trial run, go for it — just make sure you remind me of it every single time, so I don’t confused about who predicted what. My fantasy team name for the trial run will be “Little Cole,” as in inept referee Laurence Cole, son of amoral Texas State boxing boss Dickie, a la the way some people call Floyd Mayweather, Jr. “Little Floyd.”

3. Be specific. Don’t just say who you think will win — say how. Give us “8th round knockout” or “split decision.” This isn’t mandatory, but you’ll be hurting yourself if you don’t do it because of #5 and #6.

4. Deadline. Predictions must be made at or before 11:59 p.m. ET the day before the fight.

5. Scoring points. If you correctly pick the winner of the fight, you get 500 points. If you correctly call an upset — that is, picking a winner who is widely regarded as the betting underdog — you get an extra 100 points. If your prediction is the closest to the actual result, you get an extra 100 points. There can be ties. If you say and three other people say “unanimous decision” and the result is a unanimous decision, three people get 100 points. If you predict a knockout in the 6th and someone else predicts a knockout in the 8th and the knockout comes in the 7th, both of you get 100 points.

6. Losing points. You can’t lose points. This is like the ACT test, not the SAT test. Wrong answers give you 0 points. So, if you’re stumped, just guess. The worst thing that happens is you get lucky and get it right. Draws are worth no points, so you might as well commit, too (although if you honestly think it’ll be a draw, feel free to say so after you pick your winner for game purposes).

7. Standings. We’ll do periodic updates on standings. Not every week, I’d imagine, but maybe after every two fights. Because math is hard.

8. Prize. I’d like to offer small prizes of my choosing to the winner of each round of competition, and intend to. But the winner of this trial run will instead get his or her name (or his or her team name) sung from on high in a blog post announcing his or her victorious performance.

I’ll get us started, so you can see how to do it.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.