GGG, Canelo put on memorable fight but scoring system needs change
September 19, 2017 3:02 AM
by Alan Berg
Well that was some fight, wasn’t it? Too bad all anyone can talk about is the judging.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin put on a classic boxing match for the fans at T-Mobile Arena and everyone watching at home. Golovkin was masterful, putting tremendous pressure on Canelo the entire 12 rounds.
Canelo had his moments, trying to match GGG’s relentlessness with combinations and slick movement. However Canelo backpedaled too often, likely because he felt GGG’s power and knew he wouldn’t win an all-out fire fight. This was exhibited clearly when Canelo landed one of the flushest overhand right’s you’ll see that crushed GGG’s chin and Golovkin walked right through it. Personally, I watched the fight and had GGG winning 115-113 and at worst I could have seen a 115-113 Canelo card and been okay with it.
However, then came the reading of the scorecards, the first – 118-110 Canelo! Immediately I began laughing. As I mentioned on our podcast Cash Considerations, streaming now on GamingToday.com, if the fight is close at all the judges will be looking to give it to Canelo. It was a close fight but the problem was the majority of rounds had a clear winner. Pretty easy fight to score give or take 2-3 rounds, then the next card, 115-113 GGG and finally 114-114, the fight was a draw.
Boxing’s demons once again rear their ugly heads. 118-110 equals 10 rounds to two. This is a complete joke of a score turned in by Adalaide Byrd. Even if it had been for GGG it would have been terrible, but in favor of Canelo it’s unacceptable. Bad scoring has been rampant through the sport and no real solutions have ever materialized.
As Teddy Atlas passionately mentioned on SportsCenter after the fight, the sport is corrupt, it’s been going on for decades. Atlas recalled the IBF’s president taking bribes and being convicted back in 1999. No one can say for sure if anything fishy happened last Saturday. Some say if it was fixed why would the score be 10-2. Fair argument, but wouldn’t that be the defense of a wider scorecard? I can just see the bribery culprits saying if we fixed it, why wouldn’t it be 115-113 as not to raise suspicion?
I think we need more judges; three is too small a number and easier for one person to get the result wrong. Seven would be my number. It sounds excessive but I think five wouldn’t change it. My favorite suggesiton is have accredited writers all turn in their ringside cards and take the average of those as two other scores. As an example, 116-112 GGG was the scorecard for HBO, ESPN, USA Today, Bleacher Report, MMAFighting, etc.; 114-114 Draw was LA Times, Yahoo, Sporting News, and Associated Press. Notice no Canelo cards among any major media outlet. So if we average those two ranges of cards, we have Media GGG 115-113 twice along with judges – GGG 115-113, Draw 114-114, Canelo 118-110. Three official cards for GGG, one for Canelo and one even. That gets us the right winner.
Clearly fans of the sport deserve better, but even more than the fighters do. Golovkin will be at least 36 years old when this rematch happens. Many speculate it will be in May for Cinco de Mayo weekend back in Vegas.
Financially this isn’t a bad thing for either man. It garnered mainstream buzz, and they will make more money on the rematch for two reasons: word of mouth reviews on the fight quality and the controversy. Canelo should improve upon the first fight he fought intelligently and might have the first few pieces to the puzzle of beating GGG in the rematch. Also, Alverez will only be 27 if they fight by May 2018. As a fight fan, hopefully, this turns into a trilogy for them as they deserve it after this debacle.
Every time I see a bad decision I recall the worst card in the biggest fight I ever saw, which was Lennox Lewis-Evander Holyfield I. Eugenia Williams scored the fight 115-113 for Holyfield and Larry O’Connell had it 115-115 a draw. Two of the worst cards in the history of boxing as Lewis won nearly every round impressively. I knew so many people back in 1999 who said they would never watch a fight again. Some of them stuck to that proclamation.
Boxing will never die but it loses mainstream fans each time they pay up for results that make no sense.