By Chris Rodriguez
True boxing fans were eagerly waiting for the Canelo vs. GGG fight, and although they saw a good bout, it ended in controversial fashion.
Make no mistake, 2017 has been a great year for the sport of boxing. We’ve seen some great fights like Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko at a sold-out 90,000 seat Wembley Stadium. Then we witnessed the emergence of boxing superstar Vasyl Lomachenko. Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev certainly didn’t disappoint, and the amazing circus of Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor also turned heads.
Most of those who watched GGG/Canelo scored the fight as a close victory for GGG. There was also a minority that scored it a draw. But let’s get to the elephant in the room, which was the scorecard of judge Adalaide Byrd.
Byrd scored the match 118-110, in Canelo’s favor. If you’re not aware of what that means, it means she gave 10 rounds to Canelo and only 2 rounds to GGG, which is without a doubt completely absurd. Anyone with real boxing knowledge knows that GGG controlled the pace and was the effective aggressor. It was indeed a close fight but in the end the punch stats and CompuBox screamed victory for GGG.
Following the fight, an investigation and possible suspension were pending for Byrd who then stepped down as a judge following the backlash of her scorecard.
It almost seems as if every time boxing can build on a positive note and return the sport to its heights, they shoot themselves in the foot. They chose to go with a short-term victory, which is the rematch and big money maker but also is a long-term negative effect. In doing so fans will continue to feel swindled by the corruption within the sport.
So how is this issue solved? Many have suggested one governing body over the sport but Boxing has nearly 20,000 active pro fighters and many large and powerful promotion companies so it’d be a very difficult task. It really is a double-edged sword for the sport, and may be even slightly more damaging than prospering for it.
However, it does keep boxing constantly talked about for months following these controversial fights. So in that respect, it works because Boxing remains a hot topic.
The damaging side is pushing away casual fans who would ultimately lead to more money for the sport.
As fans we might just have to deal with the reality that short term monetary gains will always be the focal point instead of the integrity and growth of Boxing. Having great fights might be all we can hope for while the outcomes continue to be head-scratching mysteries that lead to frustration.