COMMENTARY: The Canelo-GGG Finish is a serious black-eye for boxing


Photo courtesy of HBO Boxing’s Facebook page

John Ferraro, Sports Editor

It was billed as the match “boxing fans want to see.” No Conor McGregor. No Dana White. No UFC. No over-the-top hype tour. No heist.

Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin are undoubtedly two of the best boxers in the world — if not the two best.

Alvarez entered the ring with a Floyd Mayweather-esque (49-1-1) record while GGG sought to remain perfect at 37 wins and no losses, with 33 KOs.

It had the makings of an instant classic. Even more importantly, it had a chance to put boxing back on the map.

For 12 intense rounds, it looked like Canelo and GGG had accomplished both.

ESPN Senior Writer Dan Rafael hailed the fight as a “ferocious battle.” The competitors combined to land 387 punches, approximately 100 more than Mayweather-McGregor one month prior.

Andreas Hale, co-host of The Corner Podcast, shared the official Compubox numbers via Twitter.

Both boxers brought it and delivered a show for everyone watching. Unfortunately, none of it mattered.

At the end of the 12th round, each competitor went to his respective corner to wait for a judge’s decision.

It was clear to a large segment of the Twittersphere and beyond that GGG won the fight.

However, the official decision fell 114-114, 115-113 Golovkin, and a befuddling 118-110 Alvarez, with GGG only taking two rounds.

The 118-110 score sent shockwaves throughout the world of boxing.

Boxing Hall of Famer Lennox Lewis was outraged.

Others took it a step further than typical Internet outrage. Former boxing trainer Teddy Atlas blamed “corruption in boxing” for the decision.

Atlas is known for his loud voice and over-the-top personality, and some might not take him seriously because of his antics.

I wouldn’t make the same “ocean and a log” analogy as Atlas, but I endorse the idea that corruption is very real in boxing.

What if the judges decided for GGG? He retains the belt and moves to his next challenger. There is no rematch.

Sure, any card GGG headlines is going to sell tickets and pay-per-view buys, but a GGG-Canelo rematch sells a lot more.

More money for both competitors. More money for promoters Golden Boy Promotions (Alvarez) and K2 Promotions (GGG). More for Vegas. More for HBO. More for boxing.

With millions more potentially at stake, why wouldn’t boxing’s elite want a rematch?

Would these powerful people act as possible puppeteers to plant a judge to rule in their favor if the fight went to a decision? Possibly. But, with no previous concrete evidence of corruption, it’s hard to leap to that kind of conclusion.

Adalaide Byrd is the judge who scored the fight heavily in favor of Alvarez. She has also been involved in several controversial decisions throughout her career, but never committed an act of fraud.

Whether she had a lapse in judgment or actually believed what she was scoring, it looks terrible for boxing. And with so much potential money at stake for Alvarez-GGG II, the Nevada Athletic Commission needs to investigate.

If boxing wants to regain its world power status or be taken seriously as a combat sport, it must address the potential corruption lying within.

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Twitter: @JohnFerraroTWW