Despite witnessing one of the great middleweight fights of the modern era, the focus in the aftermath was firmly on the scorecards.
The contest was a tight affair with many rounds being decided by only one or two punches, all three outcomes could have been possible once the final bell sounded at least from my perspective. It was the margin by which Adalaide Byrd scored the fight for Canelo that left a sour taste in everyone’s mouth.
Adalaide Byrd’s scorecard read 118-110, which indicates she saw Golovkin winning only two rounds out of twelve, any viewer with a shred of common sense could see that was not the case. This wasn’t the first occasion Bryd delivered a dubious scorecard which begs the question, is she an incompetent judge? or is there something more sinister at work?
Byrd has since been temporarily suspended from judging big fights in Las Vegas, Bob Bennet who is the Nevada Athletic Commission executive director stated: “She’ll still be in the business….. but she needs to catch her breath”.
The move is a temporary fix to a long-running problem. My solution would be to exclusively hire ex-professionals as judges. The benefit of in-ring experience gives them a better understanding of what’s happening during a fight. Only a minority of fighters leave the sport with enough money to live comfortably, it would effectively provide an extra source of income. Any candidates should still be subject to usual training and screening protocol but on the whole, you should end up with a team of more competent & knowledgeable judges.
My fear is that historically the controversy will overshadow the story of the fight itself which was like a tug of war with the rope barely moving in either direction for a prolonged period of time.
In the first few rounds, both men settled into their roles with GGG being the aggressor & Canelo choosing to move and counter, as the fight progressed it was a constant battle for control. In the latter stages, with Canelo looking fatigued it seemed as if GGG would pull away but Canelo finished strong to even up the contest on the cards.
The fight was there for the taking, GGG could have been smarter attacking Canelo when he was backed up on the ropes & Canelo gave up ground too easily for my liking leaving the impression that GGG was bossing the action in rounds that were difficult to score. In the end, neither man was able to stamp their authority on the contest and this left the result in doubt.
The one thing that shouldn’t be in doubt is a rematch, it was an entertaining fight due to the competitive nature of the contest. All parties should profit more in a rematch because the fight is even more marketable following the ambiguous ending of the first. What would make more sense at this point than a re-run?
In sports sometimes things don’t go to plan, the actions of one judge some seem to think has damaged boxing. If you think back to Mayweather vs Pacquiao and the outrage regarding how uneventful it was, in comparison, Canelo vs GGG did at least provide an action-packed fight.
2017 has been a great year for competitive boxing matches. From a consumerist point of view after years of fighters avoiding one another, the best fighting the best has been a welcome change. Adalaide Byrd’s scorecard was no doubt frustrating but not enough to spoil the fight or the sport as a whole.
Canelo vs GGG 2 will be 2018’s premier attraction. let’s hope we get a definitive ending.