After the summer spectacle that was Mayweather-McGregor, the combat sports world rejoiced at the idea of the Canelo-GGG matchup. Dubbed “The last big fight in boxing”, the bout was meant to bring legitimacy to a summer that could have been considered something of a circus act. The fight itself was everything fans could have hoped for, a knockdown, drag-out back and forth contest, with both fighters having their moments.
Then came the scorecards…
The fight was ruled a majority draw. One judge scored the bout 115-113 in favor of Golovkin, while another had it a 114-114 tie. The scorecard in question belonged to Adelaide Byrd, who scored it 118-110 for Canelo. Fans and fighters alike immediately voiced displeasure with the result, feeling as though all parties involved had been robbed. The scorecard was so off base that many, including former trainer and current ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas argued that there was corruption in the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The commission has announced that Byrd has been “stood down” in light of recent events.
The fact is that because boxing brings so much revenue to the state, promoters have a say in which judges will officiate bouts. Judge Byrd is often used by Golden Boy Promotions, who happens to represent Canelo Alvarez. Over her 20-year career, Byrd has been involved in many controversial decisions, leading rival promoter Top Rank to protest her appointment in a 2016 bout between Vasyl Lomachenko and Nicholas Walters.
In short, is there corruption in boxing and other combat sports? Yes. Everybody knows it. The suspension of Byrd is not only a sign of this, but it may also lead to an eventual resolution. In the case of Canelo-GGG, fans should embrace the fact that they were treated to a great matchup between two of the best in the world. Don’t let poor officiating diminish the effort of both combatants.
And hey… Would anybody really say no to a rematch?