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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / A History of Bad Judging for Canelo Alvarez: It’s not a conspiracy theory if it’s obvious

A History of Bad Judging for Canelo Alvarez: It’s not a conspiracy theory if it’s obvious

Does anything in boxing surprise you? It shouldn't.
Publish Date: 09/03/2018
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Versus Larry Mosley – Ray Corona – 99-91

The red-headed welterweight was fresh out of Mexico in this one, taking on his first American foe in veteran boxer Larry Mosley. The 15-2-2 (6 KOs) Mosley was no slouch, having an extensive amateur career and a decent professional one. In the unpaid ranks he was a United States Amateur Welterweight Champion twice, fought in the World Championships (defeated Yuri Foreman) and the Olympic Box-Offs (lost to Dante Craig). In the pros he managed draws with Golden Johnson and Miguel Figueroa.

Here he was brought in to provide a test for the young Golden Boy signee, and that he did. Both men started slowly but one thing remained consistent, Mosley’s left stick. He was able to tag the burgeoning star with regularity and maintained defensive quality control throughout. Alvarez later stated that he was “very hesitant” because he could never “hit him twice.”

Mosley’s problem was that he couldn’t find a home for his harder shots on a regular basis and he was never a stiffen-you-flat kind of a guy. “Canelo” wasn’t either, but he was the more damaging of the two. He resorted to a power-puncher approach early on and stuck to it until the end, nicking enough of the rounds.

As a Sweet Science report would later have it, each round was “razor close” but Alvarez’s harder shots gave him the nod for the judges. Fair enough, though probably not fair enough to award the rising prospect all but one round, which is what Ray Corona did.

It should be noted that Larry Mosley and his cornermen knew damn well that a fair decision would not be handed out, when between the 9th and 10th, Mosley’s trainer tells his stool-sitting boxer that they could go home because they’ve (Canelo and company) already got the fight. This is followed by his second-in-command stating calmly, “We not getting no decision baby, we already know that.”

Versus Austin Trout – Stanley Christodoulou – 118-109

Canelo’s first big test came against the New Mexican southpaw, who was 26-0 with 14 knockouts going in. The anticipation was high. Everyone expected a good fight, well, except a South African holding a pencil and paper ringside.

In front of nearly 40,000 adoring fans, “No Doubt” and Golden Boy’s new Golden Boy battled in a game of wits. Trout tentatively out-jabbed and out-threw the freckle-faced Guadalajara-borne boxer-puncher, while Alvarez tried picking his spots. Not much was done to separate their work until the 7th round. Alvarez let rip with a straight right that landed on the button early on, wobbling Trout before he hit the canvas. The lefty got up hurt and was staggered a few more times before the gong sounded.

Afterward, Trout managed to work himself back into the fight, finishing well and earning the victory on scorecards from boxing notables Cliff Rold, Lee Wylie, Mark Ortega, Lem Satterfield, Tom Gray and others. He came damn close to earning a win or draw on cards turned in by Al Bernstein, Dan Rafael, Michael Rosenthal, Bob Velin, Tim Dahlberg, etc. Only two cards that I saw had Alvarez winning more than seven rounds.

How it is that a paid attendant with an official rendering saw it so differently?

Versus Floyd Mayweather – C.J. Ross – 114-114

Alvarez was big business after defeating his only ranked opponent and Mayweather saw an opportunity to cash out on the face of this spritely Mexican. That happened, big time, but not before a big “What the fuck is this?!” was blurted out from Mayweather and fans after listening to maybe the worst card in modern memory announced.

Mayweather dominated from bell one to bell twelve. He scored with clean, accurate shots and allowed virtually nothing to land in return—forget the bogus punch stats. Alvarez did little to help his situation either, as he had a big size and youth advantage, but stuck to a box-first posture—the first thing that made us scratch our heads.

Most simply nodded their heads in approval immediately after the last seconds ticked off. We all knew—Alvarez’s daughter, mother and six fighting brothers included—that it was one-way action. Another stellar performance by “Money”, join the crowd of jazz-clappers.

But then, to the shock of everyone but C.J. Ross and the people that might have slipped her either a sleeping pill or a bag of good-doing-business-with-you cash, Jimmy Lennon Jr. called out a majority decision.

Versus Erislandy Lara – Levi Martinez – 117-111

To his credit, Saul Alvarez didn’t need to take this fight, but he did. Golden Boy would have served much lesser foes on a platter and sugar-coated it for the fans. He stepped up and demanded that this be made after listening to the Cuban make a raucous at his interviews.

The fight didn’t excite many. Alvarez gave chase and banged; Lara circled and stuck to the one-two he’s best-known for. Alvarez landed harder; Lara landed more frequently.

A close examination of scores from those at press row and those viewing on their television showed once again that this was a nail-bitingly close affair and that the judges’ tally would do justice to that. Jerry Roth and Dave Moretti did their part. Levi Martinez did not.

Versus Miguel Cotto – Dave Moretti – 119-109

Fans, hardcore and casual alike, thought this was a quality scrap to be made, and one that made financial sense. You had, in Mayweather’s famously repetitive quote, “A young, hungry lion” squaring off with a faded champion. Cotto was “the man” who had beaten “the man” (Sergio Martinez), who had beaten “the man” (Kelly Pavlik).

The odds-on favorite was Canelo and most agreed he should be. The majority of boxing people acknowledged a winning performance after the bout had played out. However, most did not agree with Dave Moretti’s atrociously biased scorecard. Doug Fischer, Steve Kim and Harold Lederman all came up with 117-111 for Canelo. According to Fischer, “most media members around us scored it 116-112 for Alvarez.”

Dan Rafael had it closer, while a minority gave Cotto credit.

Versus Gennady Golovkin – Adalaide Byrd – 118-110

This was the most anticipated middleweight showdown in a long time. Gennady Golovkin had been pounding out contender and pretender alike, waiting in line to get the biggest fight available. Then, after half a decade, it finally arrives. Golden Boy offered up their Golden Pony.

Alvarez and Golovkin both seemed keen on making statements going in. What we got was a thoroughly enjoyable fight, but a thoroughly unenjoyable taint in Adalaide Byrd’s appointment as 1/3 of the jury that would help decide these boxers’ fate.

Out of 32 people I personally polled, drawn largely from well-known boxing contributors (Doug Fischer, Michael Montero, Lee Groves, Springs Toledo, Lennox Lewis, etc.) *, only four managed a draw and one…I repeat one…had Alvarez earning a decision.

Of a larger percentage taken by someone and posted on a highly-trafficked forum, the results bear further evidence of the oddity:

As Jim Lampley remarked in the latest 24/7, “118-110. First of all, that didn’t happen for either fighter. It particularly didn’t happen for Canelo. Immediately you knew that you were in Looney Tunes Land.”

Incompetence or Corruption?

Both ineptitude and corruption are longstanding aspects of judging in this sport of the ancients, but when the big fights are being made a certain amount of time and effort is put in to ensure that veterans or newly-come elbow-rubbers usually get to sit near the apron. How is it then that these folks, who are often praised for their track records by the Swamp-Lords of Pugilistica, just happen to screw it up regularly, and oftentimes conveniently, for the fighter who has the money backing them?

How is it that Bob Bennett, the head of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, can constantly oversee injustice after injustice (four of these examples happened in Las Vegas) yet still praise the résumés of those doling it out and offer no solution?

These examples and so many others don’t whisper the word incompetence to me. There is too much premeditation. It is too political. Let us call a spade a spade—it’s grade-A corruption that the rats of Washington D.C. could admire.

Until the movers and shakers in the media, the boxers, the fans, and other contributors hold these people accountable, don’t hold your breath until the next travesty.

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