By Allan Cerf
Let’s first address the fight and the fighters before talking about scoring and pundit response.
The fight was not the second coming of Hearns-Hagler. In my view, it was only a good fight by virtue of the combatants. It was ‘interesting’ when fans wanted an all-time war. The fight was technical but not in the sense that Ray Leonard or Ali were at times. If we could have known the outcome in advance – as Adelaide Byrd seemed too – it deserved a price tag of $30.00, not $75.00.
We learned that Golovkin has lost a step and a half. The fight confirmed to me that he was brought along far too slowly as a professional after decades as an amateur. Not good for Golovkin in my view. If kept on the shelf until a rematch he might win again, this time officially. If he truly does go after only the toughest fights or moves up in weight, he is going to lose.
We learned that Alvarez has mastered a safety-first style which allows him to fight in spurts if matched tough. Just as in his fight with Mayweather, when over-matched, Alvarez does not throw caution to the winds. Hence the extraordinary boos from his Mexican boosters who likewise cheered Golovkin’s classy remarks after the robbery.
I never believed that Golden Boy exerts pressure on its writers but my opinion may have to change. We have yet to hear from straight shooter Doug Fischer. Andreas Hale (who I thought was their photographer) is excited about a rematch – in 2018! Mike Rosenthal, the Editor, says “no one was screwed.” Ah, what about Golovkin? Mr. Rosenthal notes dryly that some felt Golovkin won but strangely fails to state this himself. Meanwhile, over at HBO, another outlet of experts – the pro-draw thinking was also in full flood.
Judges say that liars are often deflated and the innocent, serene. At the post-fight affair, De La Hoya certainly spoke no lies – however, he slumped off his stool, legs akimbo, head lowered looking as bummed as if a super-model had just called to cancel a date. His body language said: “we’ve screwed the pooch with this over-hyped fight.” Canelo wore a similar glum, loser’s look and did unlike his promoter, let loose a whole passel of bull crap which earned solid, immediate boos – from Mexican fans. Golovkin, meanwhile, took things in almost saintly stride. He was the adult in the room. Maybe the only one, reporters included.
Folks, my editor John Raspanti pulled no punches in accurately describing the Mayweather-Pacquiao disaster. While last night’s fight was not such a stinker- let’s be adults about this. Promoters influence the NSAC who get a cut of lucrative cards. The NSAC control judges. Sometimes referees.
But – hello! Gamblers are at the start of this unholy pipeline. If these sharpies know that Adelaide Byrd is judging a fight, know that Golden Boy is talking trilogy – they then know how to place all manner of bets. Over, under, number of rounds, “a draw.” Shockingly, the line for a draw, Britain’s The Telegraph reported, dropped from 30-1 to 15-1 shortly before the off. The gambling syndicates spread out the risk and yes, lose a lot. But by covering so much action, they always win big in the end.
And things like judges, referees and promoter talk of trilogies only help the syndicates …While we fans look at our cable bill and see a nonsense draw – yet pony up for the next big one.
This country is in real trouble. The thinking surrounding last week’s decision is a tiny microcosm of that trouble. The most telling takeaway from GGG-Canelo is not the draw – controversy had been predicted for weeks.
It is that supposedly sane people are saying: “a draw, gee that’s okay.” We can work with that. Hey – a trilogy, that would be cool. If the judges say it was a draw, it was.
Live with it, dude.