Gennady Golovkin v Canelo Alvarez

Canelo v Gennady Golovkin Spoiled by Rogue Judge

Last night, the sporting world was treated to the much-hyped middleweight clash between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez [49-1-2, 34 KOs] and Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin [37-0-1, 33 KOs]. Taking place before a capacity crowd at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, the fight delivered on its promise and will go down as one of the most memorable of this generation. Unfortunately, the event was ruined by the actions of one judge whose lopsided scoring rendered the outcome a draw.

The scorecard of judge Adalaide Byrd scored the fight very heavily in favour of Canelo. The result meant Golovkin retained his title for the 19th consecutive time. The fight was close and this is reflected in the scorecards of other judges, Dave Moretti scored 115-113 in favour of Golovkin. Judge Don Trella gave it a 114-114 draw.

It was Byrd’s scorecard that stunned everyone, she gave 118-110 to Alvarez, suggesting that Triple G only won the fourth and seventh round. Shocking, considering how dominant the Kazakh was for large portions of the fight. He stalked Alavarez across the ring, expertly cutting off his escape routes and unleashing bruising punishment against the ropes.

If Byrd had scored the bout as a draw or narrow Canelo victory, people would understand. But to claim that the Mexican dominated proceedings is a complete fabrication. It’s cliché to question what fight the judges were watching, but it does ring true in this case. Just a cursory glance at the statistics show how badly she scored it.

The decision was so shocking that Bob Bennett, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, took the unusual move of addressing the media after the fight:

“Adalaide, in my estimation, is an outstanding judge, she’s done over 115 title fights and/or elimination bouts. She does a great deal of our training. Takes a lot of our judges under her wing. I think being a judge is a very challenging position.

“Unfortunately, Adalaide was a little wide. I’m not making any excuses. I think she’s an outstanding judge, and in any business, sometimes you have a bad day. She saw the fight differently. It happens.”

Byrd has given controversial scores before and has received massive criticism since Canelo v GGG.

Sport is about winning and losing: how many times do we see football teams lose matches they dominate? Does anyone care if you controlled all the stats but lost the game? One of the best fights was ruined by the judge who robbed Golovkin of the victory that he deserved. Because the result is the most important thing.

It was a pleasure to witness Triple G, one of the most ferocious punchers in boxing history, face the second best middleweight of his generation. No one could predict who would win the fight: opinion was divided and even fewer people would have anticipated a draw.

According to the post-fight interviews, both fighters are eager for a rematch to settle the result. The 35-year-old Golovkin will be keen to get a date swiftly organised. There is also the possibility that the rematch comes in a year’s time, giving both fighters the chance to organise themselves a ‘keep busy’ fight in the meantime. Time isn’t on the Kazakh’s side.


Maybe they’ll find some time to knock Amir Khan around

While a draw is a disappointing result, boxing fans were treated to one of the most entertaining nights of boxing in quite awhile. It’s a shame that in Britain, mediocre fights like David Haye v Tony Bellew received greater media attention.

We’d love to see Canelo and Golovkin face each other in the ring once again. Let’s just hope it takes more than two years to arrange this time.

What do you think?