I can not close out today’s Immediate Thoughts without mentioning the “big fight” this past Saturday. Canelo Álvarez versus Gennady Golovkin. This was supposed to be the fight that brought pro boxing back to the forefront. The bout that would be the fight of the year. A fight that would far outshine the Floyd Mayweather/Conor McGregor fiasco a few weeks back.
It failed on all fronts. In fact, most fans and even a few sportswriters thought “Triple G” was the clear winner. While pro boxing has had black eyes in the past—along with fixed fights and mafia involvement—instead of this fight helping boxing gain popularity again, it instead put it squarely in the rear seat of a big bus.
While I’ve never accepted fixed sporting events when it is obviously clear by admittance that such an occurrence took place (1919 Black Sox scandal, Jake LaMotta admitting he took a dive, for example). I strongly believe this fight was, in fact, fixed—so that a rematch could take place. Why do I say that? For several reasons:
Boxing, like any other combat sport, is judged when there is not early stoppage. In other words, deciding the outcome of a fight means it is 100 percent subjective. An official judge can score a fight just as they see fit. So come Saturday night, the three judges were Adalaide Byrd, Dave Moretti and Don Trella. Moretti has been around a long time. And, is well-respected. He had Triple G as the winner. Trella scored it a draw. Byrd? She messed this whole thing up.
Byrd came to ringside with a bad reputation. In fact, sportswriter and more Chris Mannix tweeted this stinger three days before the fight:
Remember the name Adelaide Byrd. Has had some very questionable cards in the past. Top Rank once tried to have her removed from a big fight. https://t.co/SgU3pH8rNy
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) September 13, 2017
On Saturday night, she had an extremely questionable card. Her score was 118-110 to Álvarez. When her score was announced, it was shocking. She got it COMPLETELY wrong. Not just because she had Álvarez as the winner. No, that was the least of it. It was the disparity of her score in comparison to the other two. Moretti had it 115-13 while Trella scored the fight 114-114. Since the fight, Byrd has “been temporarily stood down“.
So this is my opinion…
Wanting a rematch, these three clowns were told prior to the fight that if it went the distance, each would be assigned to score it a certain way. That way, it would result in a draw. It just seems that Byrd went overboard in doing her duty to score a win for Álvarez. Now her score makes this whole thing smell very bad.
Even on the Dan Patrick Radio Show, Patrick said something smells wrong about this. He certainly had the line of the day when he said, “We have the IBF, the WBO, why not WTF for what we saw last Saturday?” That’s funny but not funny. What makes me even more curious is that here we had two fighters who are perhaps the most dangerous punchers in any division—definitely so in the middleweight ranks—and yet for 12 rounds, neither had each other in any serious trouble.
How’s that possible? You would think with two big punchers, at some point one of them would at least get stunned. It didn’t happen. A rematch means more money in the promoter’s pockets and in the bank of the fighters. Plus, the hope fans would pay for this again. I used to be a HUGE boxing fan. Boxing in the 1970s and 80s was far more legitimate than it is today—and that’s despite all the aforementioned problems.
Now, I was thinking this fight might draw me back in. Not so. I’m done with boxing. The UFC is next in line. If they don’t get their act together, they may lose this big fan as well. The best thing that can happen to boxing is if there is a Álvarez/Golovkin rematch, fans boycott it. You simply can’t leave the fight in the hands of the judges because they can’t be trusted. There is no governing of judges. They are free to score a fight any way they want. It’s a disgrace. And now, boxing has sunk to a lower level. Shameful.
For the record, Adelaide Byrd’s first assignment was on October 28, 1997 when she scored a fight between Omar Sheika and Pat Pernsley. She has been at ringside for some big name fights as well, such as Wladimir Klitschko/Ray Mercer. And, she also scored the Canelo Álvarez/Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. bout.
Now she should be fired. Though, that’s hardly going to be enough to make this sport legitimate again.
A version of this article first appeared on Harv Aronson’s website, which you can check out by clicking here.