What you need to know about the Super Lightweight Card Set
Inevitably each time a new set of cards is released, gamers find ratings on the boxer cards with which they disagree. I enjoy hearing comments, questions, point-counterpoint friendly arguments, etc. about the ratings because, as we all know, boxing ratings are subjective at best. Add to that fact that there are times when I simply transpose numbers or make an out-an-out error that isn't caught, from among the 50 inputs per card (3250 inputs for the Super Lightweights).
However, I sometimes receive an Email or pick up on something on the Facebook page that makes me think, "Hmm, maybe I need to explain the concepts behind these decks better than I have before; or perhaps long-time Title Bout II players need a reminder, or newcomers, never gave these factors a thought.
Factor #1: The fighters in a particular division are evaluated on their prime "in the division". This can differ - drastically in some cases - from a boxer's career prime.
This is particularly evident in these "super/junior" divisions, where so many fighters moved up or down a half-step for the sole purpose of trying to try win a title or at least get a title shot. In other cases, fighters simply outgrow their primary division and are forced to either move up in weight or retire.
Finally, you have fighters who you KNOW fought in the "super-this/junior that" division but didn't card. Frankly, they aren't included because the half-step division was a pit-stop at worst or an ego division in which to grab another title, defend it once, and then abdicate.
The fact is you might find a top-name fighter who spent his past-prime/end of his career fighting for three years at a reachable if unsuitable weight class for any number of reasons.
Several boxers in the Super Lightweight set come to mind: Erik Morales, Charles Murray, and definitely Alexis Arguello. While these fighters were certainly competitive (and in some cases, champions) when fighting in the division, it still wasn't their best.
Factor #2: A fighter might shine equally in several different divisions. That doesn't mean, that they are the same fighter.
In many cases, a fighter moving up even a half-step can lose the overall effectiveness of a specific skill. The first one that comes to mind is power.
A fighter in his prime might have a HP of 10 as a super featherweight, move up to super lightweight (a full step, in this case) and find out that his punch isn't as effective against fighters in his new division. A killer like Roberto Duran as a lightweight has to rely on guts, chin and careful matchmaking as a middleweight, for example.
fought nine times as either a middleweight or super middleweight over the last four years of his career and failed to register a stoppage; although he was stopped once during that period of time.
Factor #3: A fighter might also discover that his competition in his new division isn't as good as it was in his previous division; or may discover that it's a lot better.
Because Title Bout II puts so much emphasis on importance of a fighter's level of competition, even a very successful boxer might have ratings in one class differ (for better or worse) when that fighter changes divisions. This should happen infrequently because there are safeguards built into the rating system to prevent it from happening; but that hardly guarantees that it won't.
Factor #4: The rather paltry number of bouts evaluated when dealing with the half-step classes has to have an effect when compared to the number of bouts in a fighter's entire career.
As a rule of thumb, fighters with five or more bouts in a division are considered for a card. Considered! Not guaranteed. Extenuating circumstances might determine inclosure or rejection.
Two extreme examples that result in opposite outcomes are these: (1) a fighter has 9 bouts as a super lightweight but only 2 of the bouts are 10-round fights and only 1 of the opponents have a winning record. This guy is a no-go as far as getting an official card.
The opposite happens all the time: you get a brilliant fighter who has a pit-stop in a division but every fight is a title fight against top-of-the-line competition. As a super lightweight, a name fighter might win the title, defend it twice and then vacates the crown to make yet another divisional change. In rare cases, a champion might be stripped of his title for any one of a number of reasons (in most cases, for refusing to fight who the Alphabet Organization insists that he defends against).
In Conclusion: the next time you come across a boxer's card whose number (or numbers) seem off, you might be 100% right. Make whatever alterations allow the fighter to perform more accurately.
I would simply caution that before you make any changes, you do your best to ascertain his record in the division that matches the card. An easy way to do this is to look at the "RECORD" section in the bottom right of each fighter's card: the numbers there will immediately cite the number of bouts the fighter fought in the division and the number of stoppages for and against within the division.