Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 | 11:14 p.m.
It’s never a good thing when the head of the athletic commission is featured in a post fight press conference.
That was the case Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena, where Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett stole part of the show from Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin following a controversial decision in their mega fight.
Most felt Golovkin won the slugfest, or at very least it was an extremely close fight, but ringside judge Adalaide Byrd scored the fight 118-110 for Alvarez. Judge Dave Moretti had it 115-113 for Golovkin and Don Trella scored it 114-114, leaving the fight a split draw.
“People are scratching their heads,” said Oscar De La Hoya, the chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, which promoted the fight. “You can argue that the fight went either way because it was such a great fight, but not 118-110.”
Bennett defended his judge, claiming Byrd has scored more than 100 championship bouts and done it well, but did admit she could have scored Saturday night’s fight poorly.
“Adalaide had a bad night,” Bennett said. “There’s not one person, no matter what their profession is, that hasn’t had an off night.”
And while Bennett said no immediate action is expected, he will sit down with Byrd and have her explain what she saw and why she scored each round the way she did.
The fight was action packed, with both fighters landing huge punches that wobbled their opponent.
Alvarez pummeled Golovkin’s body early on, taking the first three rounds, but the champion found his stride in the middle rounds. Golovkin’s relentless pressure backed Alvarez into the ropes, where he battered the Mexican.
“(Golovkin) has significant power,” Alvarez said, “but he’s also not the monster that everyone was talking about.”
Golovkin out landed Alvarez 218-169 according to Compubox, and landed an impressive 108 jabs that continually snapped Alvarez’s head back.
“It was a terrific fight,” said Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler. “Both fighters should get credit for that performance. The score takes away from a lot of the performance by the two fighters in the ring.”
Byrd faced harsh criticism for her score in the fight, where she gave Alvarez four more rounds than any other judge.
“I had some issues with her when they announced the judges,” said Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez. “Before the fight I thought she was so up and down with her scoring. Some fights she did well and some she was terrible. I think she needs to go back to school and learn how to score a fight.”
With the draw, Golovkin retains his WBC, WBA, IBF and IBO middleweight belts but wasn’t happy with the result.
“This is terrible for the sport of boxing,” Golovkin said. “I am a champion and this is the biggest fight in the sport. For this to happen is unbelievable.”
Canelo, who landed 114 power punches to Golovkin’s 110, said that he thought he won the fight hands down.
The obvious next step for both fighters is a rematch. De La Hoya said the promotion does have a contractual rematch clause and they will sit down with both fighters to determine whether they will use it.
Alvarez said he’ll be taking a rest for the remainder of 2017, and expects to fight again next May or September.
That could set up for a highly anticipated rematch on Cinco de Mayo weekend.
“If the fans want a rematch we can always put that together and see who asserts themselves the second time around,” Loeffler said.