By: Sean Crose
Boxing judges love Canelo. At least that’s the word, though in fairness they didn’t love him enough to give him the nod over Dmitry Bivol last spring when he fought for Bivol’s WBA light heavyweight crown. Still, Canelo has a reputation for being a judge’s favorite. Going as far back as his 2013 victory over Austin Trout, it’s been argued by some that Canelo generally gets the judge’s nod when the fight is close. Even when the fight isn’t particularly close, judges have been accused of providing Canelo with some scoring assistance. After all, most felt Floyd Mayweather easily handled a young Canelo, yet one of the three judges that night decided to rule the bout a draw.
Middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin is more painfully aware of what some might call Canelo preference than anyone else. Most seem to feel his 2017 fight with Canelo was ruled a draw because of biased judging. Golovkin, so the reasoning goes, had clearly bested his superstar opponent. Likewise, the second Canelo-GGG match saw the judges hand Canelo an outright victory on the cards, though many disagreed with their overall scoring. So prominent is the belief that judges favor Canelo it’s generally felt by some that Golovkin simply will not be allowed to win on the cards should his third fight with Canelo, which goes down September 17th in Las Vegas, go the distance.
Needless to say, the Nevada State Athletic Commission hasn’t given those suspicious of unfair scoring a reason to breathe easy. Steve Weisfeld and Dave Moretti, both of whom scored in favor of Canelo after his second fight with Golovkin, have been assigned as judges for Canelo-Golovkin 3. The officiating cast is being rounded out by judge David Sutherland and referee Russell Mora. Although it’s unfair to call judges corrupt without solid evidence to back that assertion up with, more than a few individuals believe that judges, as a rule, take a real shine to Canelo’s rugged fighting style, which features thunderous shots – often to the body – and a slippery, underrated defense.
With certain fans arguing every Canelo opponent enters the ring several rounds behind Canelo on points before the fight even starts, the Nevada State Athletic Commission is in need of some reputational repair. Or not. The Commission, rightfully or not, seems content with judges’ scoring and relatively unmoved by the criticism it receives. Something to keep in mind, however, is the fact that Canelo isn’t the one scoring the fights himself. In other words, he is no way responsible for how judges score his performances. If there’s unfair behavior to be found it isn’t because of the man who may well be boxing’s top attraction.
Send this to a friend