After what appeared to be one of the easiest wins of Floyd Mayweather’s career Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas against Saul Canelo Alvarez, if you hadn’t watched the fight and just saw the judge’s scores you would have thought otherwise. With scores of 116-112, 114-114, 117-111 you would have thought that Floyd had his hands full all night, and that Canelo was giving him hell. That wasn’t the case.
Floyd Mayweather dominated the fight in every way possible making Canelo look as though he were shadowboxing with a ghost at times. He was the Floyd that everyone was used to seeing, and in a strange way, even better. It wasn’t just the Mayweather that backed up and countered, but one that pressed forward, stayed in the pocket, and exchanged with Canelo at times. Rarely did Canelo find his target, and when he did land a few clean shots, the bigger puncher didn’t faze Floyd at all. Mayweather was precise with the jab the entire night, and used the cross, hook to keep Canelo off balance, confused, and frustrated. Even the rounds where Canelo did apply pressure and threw combinations against Floyd on the ropes, he didn’t do it long enough to be able to steal the rounds from Floyd who was landing at will. Typically, it was a Floyd Mayweather night.
So when the judge’s scorecards announced that a majority draw would decide the fight, and Mayweather would come off winning by scores of 116-112, 114-114, and 117-111, one had to sit back and wonder, what in the world is going on? The answer it would seem, was that Vegas was out to get Mayweather that night.
If you were to compare other scorecards, tons of top notch media writers had the fight 120-108. Some were generous and had it 119-109 or 118-110. Even the Canelo favorites, people who expecting Canelo to win and were perhaps more generous in giving him rounds because of it, had Mayweather winning at least 117-111. Fightnights had it 118-110.
The scores given by the judges at the end of the night were outrageous, and Floyd, because he was so dominate throughout the fight, avoided a huge robbery that it appeared was set it stone to get him. If Canelo had fought better just a few more rounds, particularly early on, and if he had applied pressure and got Floyd on the ropes the way he should have, then he would have won the fight with a split decision based on pure incompetent judging.
CJ Ross, who had it 114-114, shouldn’t have been there from the start. After that Pacquiao-Bradley nightmare where Pacquiao destroyed Bradley for at least ten of twelve rounds, and Ross found some way to score it 115-113, 7-5 for Bradley, she should have never been allowed to judge a huge championship fight again without a clear investigation. Yet, over one year later, she was given one of the biggest fights in boxing history. Make sense? No. But was she there for a reason? Perhaps.
It’s not to go as far as to say Ross is a corrupt judge that is being paid by someone, which most people will not rule out of the question. In fact, Ross has a history of bad judging. Over ten times has she scored a fight a draw, when the other two judges gave it to the same fighter, and she has a history of judging fight’s poorly. She was selected as a judge for the Mayweather-Canelo fight for a reason, and that reason was to give perhaps give the fight a draw. It’s not a payoff, but by choosing her as a judge, that chance of it being a close fight goes up. And why would a close fight be good? Money. A split decision win for either fighter would have generated a rematch, which would have been an even bigger event for the city of Las Vegas, and for boxing. Ross was there to make it a close fight based on the fact that she has a history of it, not because someone is paying her off.
Is Ross the only one to blame though? Oddly, judge Dave Moretti, who has a long history of judging some of the biggest fights in the sport of boxing, and some of the closest fights, has an amazing track record of judging fights very well. Moretti, who scored the fight 116-112 for Mayweather, also gave the last three of four rounds to Canelo. In fact, he gave the same exact rounds, 9,10, and 12, to Canelo that Ross did. Maybe, and dare I say, maybe from where they were sitting, Canelo looked to be coming back at the end of the fight. Or were they trying to get it close for a rematch?
No one truly knows, and no one will ever will. In the end, the right man won. If the fight had been any closer there would have been a serious boxing controversy. A split decision win for Canelo would have put the boxing world in an uproar. Luckily, we don’t have to deal with that, and Floyd Mayweather gets to keep his 45-0 record untarnished correctly this time.