Boxing receives another Black Eye, which has become the norm

As it turned out, the much anticipated Saul “Canelo” Alvarez versus Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin Middleweight World Title fight was just a practice run.

Excuse the simplistic headline in regards to the Gennady Golovkin vs Saul “Canelo” Alvarez Pay-per-View bout of Saturday, September 16th. Nowadays, it’s more likely you’ll see one of those oh-my-gosh, fake headlines, than the real truth. Truth is – the headline from Saturday’s Main Event at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas should read: Boxing accomplished what they set out to do, to convince the home viewer that a rematch is necessary and boxing fans everywhere will be lining up to see installment number two. Sub-headline: we discovered that Gennady Golovkin is getting older and losing his invincibility.

While the majority of the people at the venue, the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and those watching at home on TV believe Gennady Golovkin threw and landed more punches in order to be awarded the close decision victory over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, does it really matter as long as you have two judges that disagree. The two judges at ringside that saw it differently were Judge Don Trella who scored the bout a 114-114 draw which is possible and the second judge, Judge Adalaide Byrd, who had Canelo winning 10 rounds to just two for Golovkin which is clearly impossible. The third judge, David Moretti had Golovkin winning the fight 115- 113, which in sum and substance aided the Bookie who had taken a ton of bets on both sides. With the result being a “Draw”, very, very little money was paid out and the casinos got richer. 

Both boxers did exactly what was expected. At the official weigh-in on Friday, September 15th, Gennady Golovkin weighed exactly 160 pounds, while Saul “Canelo” Alvarez weighed exactly the same. Both athletes were in tip-top shape and ready to put on a stellar performance, which they ultimately did.


Why the disparity with the third judge who scored the bout 115-113 for Golovkin? Often against the ropes, Alvarez’s counter punching became less definable plus he was the boxer who was forever fighting while backing up – off his rear foot. To make matters even worse, judge Adalaide Byrd happens to be married to Robert Byrd, the veteran referee who failed 11 times to issue Conor McGregor a point deduction after he repeatedly used these hammer fists on the back of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s neck. It was alright to issue McGregor a warning but at no time were we going to see a point deduction. 

The coal which was added to the firestorm: 

Shortly after Saturday’s Triple GGG vs. Canelo fight, many people from the world of sports plus your regular naysayers took to Twitter to voice their outrage:

First in line, UFC boss Dana White who blasted the judges from the Nevada State Athletic Commission: “NSAC That is DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!!”

Comedian Manny Pacquiao: “Did they bring these judges over from Australia?”

Oscar De La Hoya, Canelo’s promoter: “The 118-110, I don’t understand, I really don’t. (Adalaide) Byrd is a very competent judge but I just don’t understand 118-110… 118-110 is a shocker.” The addition of the words “a very competent judge” was an attempt to douse the raging wildfire. 

JamesR: Golovkin won the fight easily by 7 rounds to 5, and one of the rounds I gave to Canelo could easily have gone the other way. This was a travesty, a judging nightmare. Byrd needs to explain how in hell she arrived at such a disgraceful decision, and then be barred from judging ever again. Given the spate of bad judging in the USA, maybe the next time that they fight, if they fight, the judges should come from Europe.” Yes, there is definitely a creditability issue when it comes to our judges in the U. S. Some people believe adding two more judges would eliminate the problem.  

Democrat Slavery:Let this cheat female judge work a garage sale or somewhere that doesn’t matter. Wonder how much $ gets deposited in her account from this? Stood down.” ? If I put a roof on your house and it caved in that night, would it be “Roofer Had Bad Day Today” ? PPV idiots just encourage and support this cheating, so it will continue.”

Steve C.:Boxing can take their “rematch” and shove it. I won’t be duped again!”

Grigory Efimovich:She’s as crooked as the Russian skating judges.”

Bigdog:Another shame on a sport that is spiraling downward. She has issues and hopefully, they are mental and not monetarily driven. She obviously should never judge another boxing match. Maybe she should give Miss Universe a shot.”

Walter K. Zapata: “Why watch boxing if at the end of the day we pay for them to NOT have any standards in judging, blatantly rigged, why pay for boxing? I’m never paying for boxing again..”

Foreverlong12: “Once again, “(possible) corruption has reared its ugly head. If Mrs. Adalaide Byrd is one of their so-called best, then she should have been a lot closer to the other scores. Her score of 118-110 demonstrates her incompetence. She should not be judging. With this outcome creating one, possibly two more fights, it points to the motive for the wrong scores. Also, the casinos throughout the world who took legal wagers on the fight now get to keep the majority of the bettor’s money from this very suspicious outcome. All the money placed on either boxer does not get returned? The FBI should be investigating.”

Regardless of your lean on last night’s “Fight of the Decade” this insightful pre-fight email/message arrived Friday, September 15, 2017, at 11:43 p.m.from Ring Announcer/football sportscaster/stand-up comic and former NFL kicker Benny Ricardo. It could have been helpful or maybe it would have coaxed you into losing money on the Canelo vs Triple GGG fight as so many bettors did.

Point #1, Salesmanship

“PT Barnum knew it and mastered it…The M&M boys…Mayweather and McGregor…took it to another level…and now the boxing fight of the year between Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez…is not even close to being a world stopper.

“Why? College football is in full swing as is high school football, the Indians have won 22 games in a row before losing and on and on. However, if you have the time, this is the fight to see – Golovkin versus Alvarez for the middleweight championship of the world. A legitimate middleweight championship…with no catch weights…no rehydration clauses… just a 160-pound limit and may the best man win. 

“Seeing as how Mayweather knew the Mexicans and Latinos drive the sport of boxing, he was always accommodating them by fighting their best fighters on two dates. In order to pull in the biggest purses in boxing history, he knew to fight on the biggest Mexican holidays, either Cinco de Mayo weekend or Mexican Independence weekend. (Mexico’s Independence is celebrated on September 16th and should not be confused with the holiday of May 5th.“Cinco de Mayo” which commemorates the “Battle of Puebla” in 1862.)

“Now Oscar De La Hoya who lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 5, 2007, brings his cash cow, Canelo Alvarez, to oppose the Middleweight King, Gennady Golovkin. What took so long? This is what boxing has become and this is why it is no longer the world stopping event. The best never fight the best…rather the promoter’s matchmakers rule the sport pitting their top fighter with a safe but compelling opponent.

“Let’s start with the Mexican star from Guadalajara. His nickname “Canelo” which means Cinnamon as in his red hair. He was born Santos Saül Alvarez Barragån and by the age of 13, he was lacing up the boxing gloves and it became easy while getting the advice and tips from seven older brothers who were all boxers.

“As is customary in Mexico…the amateur careers are not coveted and it’s the pay of the professional division that inspires the young warriors. By the time Alvarez was 15-years old, he had turned pro. After a junior national title, it wasn’t enough for Alvarez who then wanted the money and glory that would come in the pay to hurt ranks. One thing you learn in boxing is to never trust the professional records of Mexican fighters. Not all the fights and results are recorded and for Mexican fighters, they will take any fight, at any weight, at any time, in any place.

“So you hear of Alvarez knocking out 11 of his first 13 opponents. This news caught the eye of a number of boxing promoters to include Felix “Tuto” Zabala Jr. from Puerto Rico who then signed Alvarez to a four-year contract. Alvarez fought nine times under Zabala’s All-Star Boxing banner which had shows on Telemundo.

Alvarez then left Zabala for Golden Boy and this was a matter that had to be later settled in court with a jury ruling. The jury awarded Zabala $8.5 million dollars. I mention this lawsuit as the lawsuit was supposedly holding back the Golovkin fight from taking place. My friend Tuto won that lawsuit and the appeals that ensued which is why he is celebrating by drinking the king’s ransom priced Macallan 25 whiskey. 

“Gennady Golovkin born April 8, 1982, a twin in Karagandy, Kazakhstan, became a silver medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Gold medals came his way at the World Championship in Bangkok in 2003, the Asia Games in 2002 and Asia Championships in 2004. Legend has it that Gennady has been fighting grown men on the streets of Kazakhstan ever since he was in kindergarten. Urged on by his two older brothers…no challenge was too much for Golovkin who found fighting to be a natural state for himself. 

“After the Olympics Golovkin left behind a 350-5 amateur record and signed with Universum Box Promotions. Golovkin’s professional career started off with a bang and down went 11 of his first 14 opponents. But Universum had two fighters they coveted in the same weight division as Golovkin in Felix Sturm and Sebastian Zbik. Golovkin tapping on his street fighting mentality thought he could easily beat both Sturm and Zbik. Universum would have none of it. So Golovkin left Universum and signed with the Klitschko brothers’ K2 Promotions Company. 

“Signing with K2 Promotions meant coming to America and he visited all the top trainers like Freddy Roach, Robert Garcia and a host of others. He also decided to visit a trainer who hadn’t worked with a fighter for over 10 years and those were the Norris brothers, Orlin and Terry. Sounds kind of Rockyish. Due diligence done by both parties and Golovkin selected Abel Sanchez the man who once trained Julio Cesar Chavez. Sanchez had built a great place to train fighters up in Big Bear, Calif. and now he was about to get the ultimate fighter which he had longed for.

“I remember getting info from Abel about his gym The Summit Training Center at Big Bear Lake to recommend to the fighters I might run into. It was the perfect place to train in the high altitude of the San Bernardino Mountains. It’s a huge white house and the third floor was where the master bedroom was located and that bedroom belonged to the top fighter at the Summit. That fighter immediately became Gennady Golovkin who quickly mastered the techniques taught to him by Sanchez. The training included hours of watching the great fighters…like Edwin Rosario and Julio Cesar Chavez.

Abel Sanchez’s High Altitude Training Center The Summit at Big Bear Lake, CA.

“Sanchez’s masterful plan involved planting Chavez’s head on the sternum of the heavy-handed Rosario and from that close distance systematically destroy Rosario. Chavez learned how to create up-close punching angles where they seemingly did not exist. In the great Mexican vs Puerto Rican war, Chavez was stellar in stopping Rosario in round 11. Chavez fought the perfect fight and devastated the wicked puncher Rosario as if someone had tied his hands. As a result, Golovkin then began to change his upright European style. Golovkin’s knees were now bent and he began to dig into the body. Soon, he was knocking out opponents like a Mexican with left hooks to the body and all the time enjoying Mexican food as if he were a Mexican. 

Sergio Martinez landed one of the greatest left hooks in boxing history on the chin of Paul Williams and sent Williams to the canvas face down with all his weight crashing down at once. At 35-years of age, Martinez had waited long enough to become a world champion. At that point, Martinez was looking for big paydays and his promoter was talking Pacquiao and Mayweather. The natural opponent was Golovkin but Martinez’s promoter Lou DiBella insisted that Golovkin did not have a big enough name to draw in a matchup with Martinez.
DiBella suggested Golovkin go out and make a name for himself with some big wins and then see what happens down the line. Sound familiar…different promoter different reason…same end result…no fight.

“Martinez went on to get his mega payday by fighting Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Martinez dominated the first ten rounds and then tore up his knee and barely hung on for the win. Next, he had a date with Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden and Martinez never physically showed up for that fight. The knee he shattered in the Chavez Jr. fight was not responding and Martinez got stopped in round 10 and would never fight again. For Alvarez, this was a golden opportunity for him to get a coveted middleweight crown and duplicate what only Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. had been able to do when he beat Sebastian Zbik for the middleweight title.

“Cotto had won his first world title as a super lightweight and was now fighting as a middleweight. The fight with Alvarez was going to be fought at a catch weight of 155. So it was on, Alvarez versus Cotto and Cotto came out boxing, sticking and moving all over the ring to not let Alvarez set his base of power. Mexican television, TV Azteca had Cotto winning by a decision as did the Mexican newspaper La Prensa. In fact, La Prensa called the decision victory by Alvarez, “Robo in Las Vegas” or Robbery in Las Vegas and they weren’t talking about O. J. Simpson.

“One particular judge Dave Moretti scored it 119-109 for Alvarez and guess what? Moretti is now set to join Adalaide Byrd and Don Trella as the judges for this fight with Golovkin. The other two judges Burt Clements had it 118-110 and John McKale had it 117-111 all for Alvarez.
By winning that WBC middleweight Title, Alvarez had to now face interim titleholder Golovkin. After the fight, Alvarez stated “I’m not afraid of any fighter. GGG is a great fighter, and he is a friend of mine.” He then added some conditions to the bravado statement and closed by saying “I have respect for him, but if we do fight, it’s going to be at my weight class (155 lbs). I’m the champion. I don’t have to do what he wants. With all due respect, if he wants to fight right now. I’ll put the gloves on and fight him.”

“Bravo…but of course at the catch weight. Something I have hated in boxing since Manny Pacquiao made a career out of fighting boxers at catch weights to win his 8-division world titles. If you are fighting for the 160-pound title, then you should weigh 160 lbs. As for calling Golovkin his friend…they did spar in Big Bear six years ago and Golovkin clearly got the best of Alvarez in that session.

“I have friends like Ola Afolabi who won the WBO Cruiserweight title and was a K2 Promotions fighter.  Afolabi would spar with the Klitschko brothers, but he swore to me the hardest he has ever been hit in the ring was by Golovkin. He said it was an overhand right…that he never saw coming. Afolabi is 6-3 and Golovkin is 5-10 and the leverage he was able to achieve with that punch was eerie. 

“Matthew Macklin is also a fighter I befriended when I announced his fight against Joachim Alcine in the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. I had done a number of Alcine’s fights and I told Macklin what I thought he should do to knock out Alcine. It worked as Macklin stopped Alcine in the first round. Macklin would next fight Golovkin at the Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut. Macklin told me that when he felt Golovkin’s first body shot…it was the hardest punch he had ever felt in his life. It knocked parasites out of his organs and Macklin knew he could not take these punches the entire fight.  Macklin tried to up the pace and see if he could take out Golovkin. As Macklin was landing a punch on the face of Golovkin, he felt a punch to his body that took his wind, will, and worth. Not in losses to Sergio Martinez or Felix Sturm was Macklin hit as hard as he was hit by Golovkin. It was the kind of shots that hurt all the way to his next birthday. 

“Eric Gomez is the President of Golden Boy Promotions and prior to him being President, he was Golden Boy’s matchmaker. If you understand boxing…you know that matchmakers make a supposed great fighter. The matchmaker knows just about every fighter in the world and he makes sure that as his star fighter ascends to the top…there are no surprises. The opponent must be compelling, but at no time pose a threat to his star fighter. His star fighter must look good in winning and thus develop a sufficient following to eventually cash in as a pay-per-view fighter. The ascent must be as smooth as a 737 reaching cruising altitude on a clear day. Out of their prime but still packing a name came fighters like Kermit Cintron, Shane Mosley and a fight with Joselito Lopez who would have to go up two weight divisions in one year to face Alvarez.

“Then came the undefeated but feather handed Austin Trout. The Trout fight I thought was the finest performance ever by Alvarez. He boxed, he cut off the ring and he dropped Trout for the first time in Trout’s  career. The fight went to the scorecards and Alvarez won by a unanimous decision.  

“Then came the Mayweather fight and I scored that one 119-109 for Mayweather, pretty much giving Alvarez a little credit for showing up for the fight. ESPN scored the fight 120-106. Now here is the name that comes up again – Dave Moretti, who scored the fight 116-112. Craig Metcalfe scored it 117-111 and C. J. Ross scored the bout 114-114 which made it a majority decision, not a Unanimous Decision for Mayweather like most of the bets at the Casino. C. J. Ross never judged another fight again. The Casino made a fortune on the Majority Decision. So my advice to Golovkin…do not leave it in the hands of the judges. 

“Kenny Bayless will be the man in charge in the ring.  Kenny is a great referee who does not allow inside fighting. He is on top of the action immediately and throughout the fight. He’ll guarantee a clean fight. Neither fighter is a dirty fighter or has a history of cuts. Both are well trained, so I expect a clean fight with wicked punching.

“If you revisit the Lara fight…you will see that Alvarez can be hit and often. Lara had superior hand speed but accuracy will slow down a quicker handed fighter. At best this fight was a draw…but Dave Moretti again scored it 115-113 for Alvarez while Levi Martinez had it 117-111 and Jerry Roth had it the way I scored it 115-113 for Lara. As many as 89 media members combined to score the Lara fight 114-114.  Another point to make sure that Golovkin gets a knockout.

“The 5′10½″ tall, 70” reach of the 35-year-old Golovkin (37-0, 33 Kos) brings the fight to his opponent while the 5’9” tall, 70½″ reach of the 27-year-old Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) is a counter puncher. We know about Golovkin’s power, but what about Alvarez’s power? He could not finish off a ballooned up Miguel Cotto, he could not stop Chavez Jr. or Lara.

“The first thing I learned in boxing is that a fighter has to be able to take a punch because eventually, he is going to get hit. How he reacts to that situation will let you know about his Championship pedigree. Golovkin impressed me more in winning a decision over Jacobs than he did by destroying the orbital socket of Kell Brook. The assumption is that Golovkin only knows to attack the body and then look for the head. I agree but it has worked…especially the overhand right that he throws which generates eerie power and nobody seems to see this punch coming. Have they forgotten Golovkin had 355 amateur fights and only lost five of them? In the amateurs, you have to be able to box and master ring generalship, land clean punches and show effective aggression.

“When Alvarez was 15 he was already a pro…at 22-years of age, Golovkin was still fighting as an amateur. As an amateur Golovkin successfully faced fighters like Lucian Bute, Andre Dirrell, Andy Lee, etc. If on the other hand, you look at Alvarez’s record, I really believe that this is the first time that he faces an opponent that can put him in danger and beat him. 

“Lara’s lead hand sharpened by a long and successful Cuban amateur career was very effective against Alvarez. But Lara does not have a high KO percentage and did not pose a threat to Alvarez. Yet, he took the fight to Alvarez and Alvarez could do nothing to stop that lead hand of Lara. Alvarez looked sensational in knocking out Amir Khan, but then Khan was knocked out in 54 seconds in a fight with Breidis Prescott. Alvarez’s next opponent was Liam Smith of England. Smith came into the Alvarez fight without a loss and a draw against a 6-5-4 fighter named Terry Carruthers. Four fights before that, Smith was fighting an 11-5 fighter and before that a 10-8-2 fighter. Alvarez pulverized Smith throughout the fight and stopped him once and for all in the 9th round. According to Alvarez, he hurt his right hand in that fight.  In Smith’s next fight he fought a guy who had a 2-37-1 record.

“So, credit the great matchmaker for Golden Boy…Eric Gomez with doing his job for Alvarez. He is now simply “Canelo” and he is the Greatest Mexican fighter of the moment. He is now going to be in the fight of his life against Golovkin. Golden Boy Promotions may think that at 35-years of age, Golovkin can now be beaten. Just like De LaHoya found out when he went up to face his now business partner Bernard Hopkins, so will Alvarez find out that Golovkin’s punch is like nothing he has ever faced before on fight night. 

“Alvarez has been known to weigh as much as 171 pounds on fight night after weighing in at 154 at the weigh-in. Golovkin walks around at 165 lbs., so size wise it’s pretty much even with a half inch advantage in reach for Alvarez and an inch and a half advantage in height for Golovkin. The punching power is where the difference is going to be in this fight. Golovkin will go after Alvarez’s body right away. He did not work the body of Jacobs and it cost him. Alvarez will look to counter and throw left hooks and straight rights. Golovkin will work his plan and dig the body and follow the plan Chavez used against Rosario, chopping Rosario’s body to bits and then finding the head bobbing in the wind. The last bell Rosario heard was in the eleventh.

“If Alvarez can counter and out-box Golovkin, he can win by a decision. Golovkin lost the gold medal to a Russian in the 2004 Athens Olympics. That Russian jabbed and jabbed and stayed away from Golovkin. That’s the Russian way…not the Mexican way. Alvarez will carefully counter, but from what we’ve seen in previous fights, he can be hit. Up to now, not one of the fighters that Eric Gomez has put in front of Alvarez has packed the power of Golovkin. With his overhand right, Golovkin ends this cracker of a fight and sends Alvarez on a siesta. Styles make fights and just like Pacquiao was tailor made for Mayweather, so too is Alvarez’s style made for Golovkin.
Alvarez’s trainer said it best up to a point, when he said, “Golovkin says he fights like a Mexican, but Alvarez is Mexican.” Being Mexican and wanting to brawl for the people would be Alvarez’s demise versus Golovkin. I really believe that Alvarez is going to be one careful counter puncher and exercise great patience and just might make it a boring fight. However, Golovkin has that one punch power that can end a fight pronto and Alvarez has been known to make mistakes.

Benny Ricardo’s prediction: Golovkin knocks Alvarez out.”

At the time, that appeared to be the best advice you could have received for Saturday’s Golovkin vs Alvarez fight.

Now let’s look at the fight from a gambler’s perspective: Prior to last night’s Golovkin versus Alvarez fight a gentleman friend of mine showed me a ticket he purchased at the Caliente Race and Sports Book in Tijuana. When he saw the uninviting odds on Triple GGG, he placed a $50 bet on a “Draw” which would give him a payback of $1,000. On Sunday, he returned to the casino with that winning wager of $50 and picked up his additional $1,000. His thinking before placing that bet. “I believe it’s all been pre-arranged. The Powers to Be want this match-up to be a trilogy. First the draw, then Alvarez wins a disputed call and finally, Triple GGG comes back to exact his revenge. You must always remember the casino’s involvement: Early odds on this fight, if you were so inclined, had Gennady Golovkin opening as a -160 favorite. This meant that a successful bet of $160 on GGG would have earned you $100. Meanwhile, Canelo Alvarez opened at +140, which meant that a successful bet of $100 on Canelo would have earned you $140. As the bets for Canelo kept coming in, the odds dropped somewhat as Golovkin ended up being a -145 favorite.

Golovkin would certainly have been an even bigger favorite were it not for his last fight, in which his 23-fight knockout streak ended with a competitive decision win over Daniel Jacobs. It was the first time that Golovkin had looked human. Canelo entered Saturday’s fight with a 7-fight winning streak, having not lost since he gave up that decision to Floyd Mayweather back in 2013.

Saturday’s officials: referee Kenny Bayless, 67 years-old, did an excellent job. The judges that scored the bout: Adalaide Byrd 118 to 110 for Alvarez which meant she gave 10 rounds to Alvarez and only two to Golovkin. Then you had the judge, Dave Moretti, who scored the bout 115-113 for Golovkin and finally judge Don Trella who scored the bout 114 to 114 a draw.

Adalaide Byrd’s previous controversies: On May 7, 2011 – the Kelly Pavlik vs. Alfonso Lopez fight – Byrd was the only judge to not score the bout for Pavlik, instead she had it as a draw. Scores: Adalaide Byrd 95-95, Richard Houck 98-92, C. J. Ross 99-91.

On September 5, 2008 – the Antonio DeMarco vs. Jose Reyes fight – Byrd was the only judge to score the bout for Reyes. Scores: Patricia Morse Jarman 96-93, Robert Hoyle 95-94, Adalaide Byrd 93-96.

On April 19, 2008 – the Bernard Hopkins vs. Joe Calzaghe fight for The Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight Title – Byrd was the only judge to score the bout in favor of Hopkins. HBO’s Harold Lederman scored the bout 116-111 for Calzaghe. Judge Ted Gimza 115-112 for Calzaghe, Adalaide Byrd 114-113 for Hopkins, Chuck Giampa 116-111 for Calzaghe.

So, be forewarned: Betting your hard earned cash on the outcome of a boxing match may be one of the most difficult things to do because even though you have the best boxer in the contest, that boxer might end up having a slew of variables beset him.

Now, according to the Pay-Per-View TV script, we have two additional fights upcoming, stand by.

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