By John J. Raspanti
We shouldn’t have been surprised. With boxing’s horrific history of terrible judging, especially in Sin City, would another bad score really surprise us?
Thank you very much Adailade Byrd for ruining an intense, competitive, and “close” fight between WBC, WBA and IBF champion, Gennady Golovkin, and former two-division titleholder Canelo Alvarez.
How she could “see” Alvarez winning 10 out of the 12 rounds is unfathomable.
The fight was just another example of boxing shooting itself in the foot. Let’s take the most anticipated fight in the last couple of years and spoil it.
Bob Bennett, the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, said after the bout that Byrd will be placed on the sidelines for a bit and given a break.
“I’m not going to put her right back in,” Bennett told www.boxingscene.com. “She’ll still be in the business, but she needs to catch her breath.”
“Like in any profession, you have a bad night. Unfortunately, she didn’t do well. I can tell you she conducts training for us, takes judges under her wing, but her score was too wide,” added Bennett.
A bad night? Nine years ago, most observers felt that Joe Calzaghe rallied from a first round knockdown to defeat Bernard Hopkins. Two judges had Calzaghe winning the match by five and three points respectively.
Byrd? Her card had Hopkins the winner. In 2012, Byrd gave Austin Trout 11 of 12 rounds against Miguel Cotto. Last year, executives from Top Rank objected after it was learned that Byrd would be judging the Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Nicholas Walters bout.
Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez, didn’t mince words during the post-fight press conference.
“I think she [Adalaide Byrd] turned in her scorecard before the fight started,” said Sanchez. “I had suspicions when they gave us the list of judges. I think she needs to go back to school and learn how to judge a fight. But something has to be done about the judging.”
Alvarez started fast, boxing his way to an early lead. He was obviously the quicker fighter. Surprisingly, Golovkin, the aggressor the entire evening, looked nervous and tentative in the early going. He didn’t find himself until near the end of the third round. Alvarez found success to the body, while Golovkin stuck out his jab on a consistent basis.
Golovkin was in full stalk mode in the middle rounds. He pressured Alvarez relentlessly. Golovkin landed a big right in round six, but ate a counter hook. He popped Alvarez with jabs and hooks. Golovkin appeared to be in control until Alvarez dug deep and found his second wind. He rattled Golovkin with a solid right hook in round 10. He was fighting like a man who sensed he was behind on the scorecards. Alvarez connected with a sweet lead right to the head and left hook to the gut in round 11. Golovkin stopped him in his tracks with his own hook.
Round 12 featured more pugilistic intensity. Alvarez tagged Golovkin with a sharp uppercut. He scored with a combination. Golovkin fired back, landing a number of shots.
Judge Don Trella scored the fight 114-114 and Dave Moretti had it 115-113 for Golovkin - the same as maxboxing.com.
Even a 115-113 tally for Alvarez seems reasonable, based on how close some of the rounds were.
Four years ago, Judge CJ Ross outraged boxing fans by scoring in favor of Timothy Bradley over Manny Pacquiao, and judging the Alvarez - Floyd Mayweather fight a draw. Mayweather clearly won the fight. Ross was sent out to pasture. Byrd needs to join Ross.
Will Golovkin and Canelo fight again? It seems likely. Maybe it’s time to get out of Vegas and head for New York City?
Adailade Byrd can watch the fight from home.