Only boxing would ruin one of its biggest nights of the year like that. Only boxing would subject itself to more horrible press and unsavory insinuations when the talk should be about a massively hyped fight delivering the goods instead of a massive amount of bullshit.
But here we are, a day and a half removed from the absurdity that was the 12-round draw between Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in Las Vegas when we should be discussing Golovkin cementing his legendary status, possibly earning the title of the world’s best pound-for-pound boxer, and the ultra talented Canelo figuring out the next steps to get back to the top.
Instead, we’re still left scratching our heads and rubbing our retinas, trying to figure out what dimension Adalaide Byrd resides in after the ringside judge butchered her responsibilities.
There’s a good chance you had no idea who Byrd is before Saturday and hopefully we’ll never hear of her again after yet another abominable “performance.” But she’s the one who egregiously scored the match so heavily in favor of Canelo the only explanation has to be blatant corruption. Because how do you justify Golovkin winning only two rounds to Canelo’s 10 when that clearly wasn’t the case and whole world knows it?
Look up her sketchy track record in a previous Canelo fight against Amir Khan. Or her butcher job in the Joe Calzaghe-Bernard Hopkins fight in 2008. Promoters have asked she be removed from judging their fights.
Scoring it 118-110 in favor of Canelo wasn’t just preposterous, it felt borderline criminal considering every neutral observer and many of Canelo’s fervent supporters would have told you Golovkin won that fight. He was the better boxer during the majority of the fight and surely more dominant during the middle rounds. After a slow start, the Golovkin we all expected showed up and relentlessly pursued Canelo, hitting him with sharp shots, pinning him against the ropes, and out-punching him, according to the Compubox numbers. He was more active, he was more precise.
Byrd, on the other hand, thought Golovkin only won the fourth and seventh rounds. Not the fifth, sixth, eighth, and ninth rounds when GGG threw exponentially more punches than Canelo and landed more power punches. Sure, Canelo won the first couple of rounds and you can reasonably argue he captured the final three rounds, but the idea that he was 10 rounds better than Golovkin is insane. Byrd, who has a history of judging big boxing and MMA matches with the acumen of a Neanderthal, topped herself Saturday.
“I saw the reaction, it’s terrible, this is not fair,” Golovkin said after the fight. “This is terrible for the sport, for boxing.”
In his own eyes, GGG won the fight, 9-3, or at worst 8-4. In our eyes, Golovkin was four rounds better, and we scored it 116-112 in his favor. Some can make a case that Alvarez kept it close enough for a legit draw. We think that’s a bit of a stretch. But what you couldn’t make any kind of legitimate case for was a dominant Canelo victory. Somehow, someway Byrd did.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission laughably came to her defense, with its executive director, Bob Bennett, telling reporters in the fight’s immediate aftermath, "I think she's an outstanding judge, and in any business, sometimes you have a bad day. She saw the fight differently. It happens."
Both fighters agreed to have her on board and could have said no, so technically they’re kind of complicit in the ultimate fuckery we witnessed. But going forward, she shouldn’t be allowed near a ring. Look up her sketchy track record in a previous Canelo fight against Amir Khan. Or her butcher job in the Joe Calzaghe-Bernard Hopkins fight in 2008. Promoters have asked she be removed from judging their fights. Corrupt, incompetent, inept, or all three, like Stephen A. Smith called her following the fight, she’s proven to be nothing but complete trash. She doesn’t deserve any more gigs.
The only saving grace of this messy situation is the draw triggered a clause in Canelo’s contract that calls for a rematch. That’s the silver lining for fight fans. We get to see GGG and Canelo square up again and hopefully once and for all decide who is the best middleweight in the world. We’ll probably have to wait until spring 2018 at the earliest to see it again since Canelo wants to take time off and Golovkin's looking to fight before the end of the year. But it’s coming and thankfully Adalaide Byrd will have nothing to do with it.