On September 14th, 2013 Saul Canelo Alvarez, an undefeated Mexican superstar in the making, faced the biggest challenge of his career when he took on Floyd Mayweather Jr. The narrative of the fight was that if Canelo won he would have dethroned Mayweather, and he would be the next big thing in Boxing. Floyd Mayweather was getting old. It was time for a new young champion to take the Pay-Per-View spotlight. Las Vegas was ready for it, and believe me, they tried...hard. In a fight where we saw Floyd Mayweather win nearly every single round it appeared as though the story line had failed. Round by round you could see the discouragement of Canelo's team as Mayweather toyed with him. Canelo wasn't ready, but, that didn't mean Las Vegas wasn't.
I wish I could have seen my own face when C.J Ross's ridiculous score of 114-114 was announced. Then came Moretti's score of 116-112 for Mayweather, which was also bad, however overshadowed by Ross's. The last one was the only one that made sense, 118-110 for Mayweather. Still, the corruption, incompetence, illusion, or however you want to say it was in full effect. Las Vegas wanted Canelo to win. And why not? He was young, had a massive following, and was set to bring them boxing events with tons of money for the next ten years. Floyd was old, and possibly on his way out. So why not set Floyd up to lose?
Unfortunately it didn't work, but fast forward five years, and Las Vegas wins again. They got another great two years out of Floyd, and the big Manny Pacquiao fight they always wanted. Canelo rebuilt his brand. The kid was always going to be a star. They maybe gave him a push along the way. Close fights against Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara were swayed Canelo's way despite what many people felt. The problem wasn't in the victory of those two fights, but how they came about. The Austin Trout fight was close, very close, with most believing 114-113 Canelo, 115-112 Canelo, or 114-113 for Trout were all sensible cards. But, official judges came in different. 115-112, 116-111, and a ridiculous 118-109 card that all went to Canelo. The same thing happened when Canelo won a split decision over Erislandy Lara. Two cards were good, 115-113 both ways, and there was one bogus 117-111 card for Canelo. People were disappointed, not just in the result, but in the idea that Canelo always had one judge in the bag for him.
So in September of 2017 when Canelo-Golovkin I happened, it should have been to no one's surprise that one judge had a ridiculous 118-110 scorecard in favor of Canelo despite almost every other person in the world, who was looking at the fight objectively, having Golovkin as the winner. There were a few that did score it a draw, and if you were giving Canelo the benefit of the doubt in every round, you could have maybe found six rounds to give him in that first fight, maybe. Still, the point is, Golovkin didn't stand a chance with one card already being pre-determined. People were furious, again not just on the result, but in knowing that Golovkin didn't have a fair chance from the very start.
One year later, Canelo and Golovkin squared off again, this time with three of the most competent judges in the game. Still...this is Las Vegas. I give credit to Canelo. He fought his a** off. He came in ready for war and he proved it. But, he was losing rounds. Just because he was aggressive, hitting Golovkin, and taking Golovkin's punches, didn't mean he was winning. Golovkin hit Canelo with a lot of shots and often controlled distance with the jab that Canelo could not get out of the way of. The last three rounds he buried Canelo, yet two judges needed to give Canelo the 12th to avoid a 114-114 scorecard. Why? Well, who is the guy that's going to be around ten more years to generate the city money? Who's the guy that draws the most money for everyone, including referees, judges, ect? Who has the bigger fanbase?
Boxing has always been a controversial sport when it comes to judges turning in the cards. I for one never know what I am going to hear. When Canelo fights, I always expect one judge to have their card filled out for him before the fight even begins, and it's sad to think of it that way. For anyone going up against him that has a chance at beating him, such as a Jermall Charlo, Billy Joe Saunders, or Danny Jacobs, they are already climbing a mountain before they even step into the ring. Especially if they fight in Las Vegas. I think one of the worst parts about it is that it has taken away from Canelo a little. He's a great fighter and pound for pound one of the best in the world. But he lost those fights against Golovkin. They were close rounds, they were equal in skill level, but Golovkin just did a little more in those twelve rounds, especially in the first fight. All in all, for now it's over. I can't see a situation where Golovkin will ever win on the cards against Canelo. Perhaps it's better we don't get the third fight and just move on to other challenges in the division.