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Bad decisions in boxing: what can be done?



Leading up to last night’s Floyd Mayweather-Saul Alvarez fight, ESB had an article asking whether or not “The One” could end up being scored as a draw. It didn’t happen, but one individual masquerading as a judge – really a person who deserves no further publicity, even bad publicity – DID manage to score the bout a draw. This after 10, 11 or maybe even 12 master class rounds by the incomparable 36-year-old all-time great known as Money.

The draw was never really close to happening, but the fact that one judge had the fight so badly, so poorly, so disgustingly and so erroneously scored is bad enough. Surely something must be done about last night’s unfathomable 114-114 scorecard and the person who handed it in. There must at least be an investigation, and after such a thing has happened, no way will any conclusion be reached than one that says last night’s judge is woefully incompetent.

Overall, because the right man won, no real harm has been done – some people may say this anyway. But is that really the point? What if three “incompetent” officials are put together at the same time for the same fight one day?

Fighters risk their very lives in the ring judges are privileged to sit so close to and they deserve to be protected, not run the risk of being screwed out of their livelihood by disgraceful officiating. We’ve seen terrible decisions handed in by one or more judges before (sometimes for the same fight) and we will no doubt see terrible scoring again. But something, something, must be done.

Last night’s under-card is a good example: Pablo Cesar Cano clearly beat a game but outgunned Ashley Theophane, yet one judge scored the fight against the Mexican by a close margin. The right man won, so no real uproar will be witnessed, yet as I’ve said, this is not the point. How can an individual see a fight so differently from everyone else? The decision Tim Bradley was awarded over Manny Pacquiao quite recently (interestingly featuring the guilty party when it comes to last night’s 114-114 tally, last night’s judge scoring the fight as a Bradley win last year) is one of the worst decisions we’ve seen in recent years, but last night’s shameful drawn verdict topped it.

Just sit and think for a minute; how on earth did last night’s judge sit and watch Floyd Mayweather out-box, frustrate, bewilder and hurt a game but outclassed Canelo Alvarez for almost every minute of every round and then state via their professional opinion that they thought the fight was a draw, with neither fighter deserving of a victory!? Again, there can only be two reasons for what this judge forced upon the boxing world: sheer incompetence or maybe even corruption?

Such scorecards can never be tolerated again. Enough is enough.

Is open scoring the answer? Former world lightweight champ Jim Watt thinks so. Or is it a simple case of judges being tested more thoroughly? Whatever it is it has to happen fast.

Who next for Mayweather?

Amir Khan might, just might, give Floyd troubles due to the considerable hand speed he possesses, and if Khan can get past Devon Alexander in December (no way a sure thing) he could well be next for Mayweather next May.

Danny Garcia, who upset the odds and boxed brilliantly and bravely in beating lethal-hitting Lucas Matthysse, is also in the running.

Aside from a step up to middleweight and an unlikely fight with someone like Gennady Golovkin, there is simply no-one out there for Mayweather to face. How on earth is he going to please the Showtime execs as he completes his hugely lucrative six-fight deal with the network? This conundrum may cause Mayweather more of a headache than any of his future opponents will!