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An Unofficial Judge Scored 9 Rounds for Canelo; Feel Free to Hoot and Holler

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  • An Unofficial Judge Scored 9 Rounds for Canelo; Feel Free to Hoot and Holler

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    By Arne K. Lang

    The auxiliary press section at the T-Mobile Arena is quite a distance from the boxing ring. I’ve been in auxiliary press sections before, but never one that was up so high. It was here that I found myself on Saturday night, peering down on the ring far below and like everyone else checking out the big screen between rounds for a closer look at key moments.

    From this vantage point, the ring is both smaller and bigger. It’s bigger in the sense that it opens things up a bit. Your eyes see more space between the fighters and you are better able to judge which fighter is controlling the distance. Think of the picture from the overhead cam in a football game. Looking straight down, the playing field doesn’t look as congested. The holes that open for a North-South running back bursting into the secondary get wider and from this panorama you are better able to judge the work of the offensive line.

    Having said that, this is really no place to adequately judge a boxing match, so I can be forgiven for scoring the fight 9-3 for Canelo. For what it’s worth, however, the fellow on my right had it the same. The fellow on my left had it somewhat tighter, but also scored it for Canelo. And for the record, neither of these guys were Hispanic so they weren’t blinded by tribal loyalty.

    At the T-Mobile, when the main event ends, the scribes in the auxiliary press section are literally held hostage. They are prevented from going down to the post-fight press conference until the arena has thinned out.

    This reporter couldn’t get his laptop to function properly and had no patience. I’m not comfortable working on my cellphone, so it was imperative that I get home in a jiff and be there when David Avila’s ringside report turned up in my e-mail. On a fight of this magnitude, the boss wants the bread-and-butter post-fight story up on the site in a hurry.

    Aware of the hostage situation, and my own technological limitations, I had the foresight to scope out the arena for an escape route just in case I needed to get away fast. And so, before a hostage-taker could rope me in, I was off and running, scurrying down a little used staircase. I had my car parked in the right spot for a quick getaway, traffic was light, and I was home at my work desk in less than 30 minutes.

    I didn’t wait around to hear the scores. To me it was a foregone conclusion that Canelo would have his hand raised. Heading home, I had the car radio tuned to an all-sports station. And when the scores came across the radio, I thought to myself, well, I was wrong and I was right. I thought GGG would win and I was wrong about that, but I was right, I thought to myself, that the judges would be disposed to give GGG the close rounds. In my mind, the scores (114-114 and 115-113 twice) gave GGG the best of it. Granted, several rounds were tough to score, but yet the fight wasn’t that close.

    Au contraire !

    To my amazement, the vast majority of those seated in the ringside press section scored the fight a draw or had it shaded toward Triple-G. In fact, according to one survey, which included those in the building and a select few watching at home or in a TV studio, only two of the 59 people that were polled had it for Canelo with 17 scoring it even. The most cantankerous of the GGG faction was ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas who apparently had it 117-112 and labeled the decision a robbery.

    No I won’t defend my scoring. Let me see the fight on TV (and with the sound off, natch), and I’ll get back to you. But I’m still flabbergasted that my score was so out of whack with the consensus.

    Odds and Ends

    Although the fight was announced as a sellout, there were empty seats scattered around the arena. The announced attendance was 21,965, roughly 1,400 less than for the first encounter last September.

    The first Canelo-GGG bout set the attendance record for an indoor fight in Nevada and came in third all-time in gate receipts, surpassed only by Mayweather-Pacquiao in 2015 and Mayweather-McGregor in August of last year. But that’s a distant third to the leader. The gross gate for Canelo-GGG I ($27,059,850) was far below Mayweather-Pacquiao which raked in an astounding $72,198,500.

    Although there’s more money in circulation each year and more fat cats willing to pay an enormous sum to attend a mega-fight, I doubt the Mayweather-Pacquiao record for gate receipts will be broken any time soon.

    The crowd, needless to say, was skewed heavily toward Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. And while it’s often said that members of this ethnic group are true fight fans, the reality is that when they come to Las Vegas they act just like the Anglo high rollers, which is to say that they arrive at a big fight fashionably late.

    When the first of the four PPV fights started, the arena was not more than 15 percent full. When the semi-main started, the arena was perhaps one-third full, notwithstanding the fact that it was a title fight featuring a boxer from Tijuana.

    The old outdoor fights at Caesars Palace were thick with celebrities who were acknowledged by the ring announcer. Saturday’s fight at the T-Mobile was something of a throwback. The roll call included movie stars Denzel Washington, Will Smith, and Mark Wahlberg, comedians Dave Chappelle and Cedric the Entertainer, and sports personalities Lebron James, Charles Barkley, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Triple H – to name just a few.

    Standing in the ring as GGG and Canelo made their way from their dressing rooms was a fashionably dressed woman wearing a dress that one would associate with a Latin country. I assumed she was there to sing the Mexican National Anthem. In my younger days, the Mexican National Anthem was sung so often at big fights in Las Vegas that I could eventually mouth the words.

    But no, there was no National Anthem whatsoever, neither U.S., nor Mexican, nor Kazakhstani. I was told that they did do anthems before the first of the preliminary fights. This would have been about 3:00 in the afternoon when there were not more than a few hundred people in the joint.

    Was this a reaction to the brouhaha set in motion by Colin Kaepernick? That’s a fair assumption.

    Not only were the anthems missing, but so also was Michael Buffer, a fixture at HBO shows for decades. I’m told that he now works exclusively for Eddie Hearn. He’ll be back on the job this coming Saturday at Wembley Stadium in London.

    Joe Martinez, Buffer’s replacement, did a solid job, as did referee Benjy Estevez who was working his first big fight in Nevada. Of course, Canelo and GGG made it easy for him. No matter your opinion of the scoring, I think we can all agree that these two great warriors engaged in a very clean fight.

    By all accounts, this was a very good fight for the bookies. The expectation that there would be late Canelo money in Las Vegas on Mexican Independence Day weekend wasn’t born out. At one establishment, the odds favoring GGG rose from 7/5 to 9/5 (minus-180) in the last few hours of betting. I’m told that it nicked above 2/1 at a few places offshore.

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  • #2
    Canelo won legit.

    I had it 116-113 and wrote a full round-by-round breakdown.


    • #3
      And it's published right here on the Forum and I enjoyed reading it, Jeff.


      • #4
        Arne, your scoring was _______________


        • #5
          Scoring a boxing jatch is actually hard work.

          Nobody has a better view than the judges.

          They got it right here. Canelo won the fight.


          • Kid Blast
            Kid Blast commented
            Editing a comment
            Not so sure of that. I think TV offers a better view. Just my opinion.

        • #6
          For the record, I had the fight even 114-114. Going into the 10th round, I had Canelo up 87-84. I gave GGG the last three rounds to make this a draw on my card.

          This was a very difficult fight to judge. Almost every round I had circled as close. As such, I can see a totally plausible argument for 117-111 on both sides. It was that difficult to score.

          Different style of fight but this kind of reminds me of the intense scoring debate that happened after Canelo-Lara. Canelo of course got that nod and I had that very wide in favor of Canelo.


          • Kid Blast
            Kid Blast commented
            Editing a comment
            A draw would have been excellent

        • #7
          Well, after careful consideration I have come to the conclusion that Gennady Golovkin was robbed.


          I had to wait and be careful about this to make sure I was not biased.

          As, I initially (as my good friend Dino will attest to) thought Triple may beat Canelo and had not disregarded the consideration that despite that, the combination of, Vegas, a majority Latino crowd, and other factors, may intentionally or otherwise sway the judges.

          But after watching the fight 5 times I can’t find more than 4 rounds for Canelo as they both headed into the 11th round; and there is no way Saul won both rounds, 11 and 12.

          Canelo fought a good fight, and his punches thrown (not those necessarily landed) looked impressive and were often accentuated by the crowd and also with large body movements.

          But many punches within his combinations and/or otherwise didn’t land too.

          Whilst Triple did step backwards a few times throughout the fight, it was never to the extent of backpedalling that Canelo did in their first fight, and often he did so whilst formulating/executing an offensive plan.

          Also, throughout the fight, Canelo - whilst he is credited for coming forward - still, never once backed Triple up against the ropes.

          I think the above-mentioned factors combined with the fact that Canelo actually stood his ground a lot more than the previous fight, which ensured Gennady Golovkin didn’t completely dominate as much as he usually does, simply persuaded more than it should have if a rational set of objectives were used to score.

          Perhaps also, Triple (in the eyes of the “establishment”) made too much of the PED matter before the fight.

          Although, I believe they were justified in doing so, as I maintain that Canelo’s 2 positive Clenbuterol tests were not accidental; I certainly thought both him and Sanchez might have publicly invested in it too much, prior to the fight.

          In my opinion (even though Canelo fought really well) Triple won the recent Gennady Golovkin V2 Saul Alvarez fight.

          Whilst I am sure there are many that may disagree with me; there is a video out on the interweb of Paulie discussing the fight, and I think he pretty much has it down pat with his assessment.

          What was perhaps as interesting as it seems to have largely gone unnoticed, is - particularly during the break between rounds 7 and onwards - how;
          A) Little Alvarez was short of breath.

          B) Much Golovkin was short of breath.

          And, Gennady Golovkin trains in high altitude.

          Which means . . . .

          It would not be unusual to find that Triple’s V02, aerobic, and anaerobic capacity was on par with someone that blood dopes.

          As, with training in high altitudes, you're effectively doing the same thing (as what blood doping sets out to achieve); but naturally by triggering the boy’s hypoxia mechanism.

          However, as we all know, both fighters apparently had their azzes taxed by VADA before the fight.

          There is no suggestion here that Canelo does or does not blood dope.

          But, it should also be said that today/currently it probably is one of the most effective PED forms.

          Equally so (adding to why blood and/or EPO doping is popular; for those that can afford it and know what they’re doing) passing an EPO doping test is probably as easy as it is an effective form of blood doping.