Before Saturday night's 154-pound unification bout between Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Austin Trout, I was a proponent of open scoring. All that changed when I watched it ruin the broadcast of an otherwise good fight.
On one hand, it exposed the lunacy in Stanley Christodoulou's scorecard, per Box Rec (he was the judge that had the fight scored 118-109 in favor of Alvarez), but on the other hand, it made Alvarez coast in the final round.
Who can blame him? The fight was in the bag and unfortunately for us, he knew it.
The judges' cards were shared after the fourth and eighth rounds, so with Alvarez up by a wide margin on all three cards, the rest of the fight was anti-climatic.
National Football Post writer Joe Fortenbaugh had a great tweet about open scoring, and his scorecard spoke to how close the fight was.
Boxing committing self mutilation with open scoring.I bet Alvarez, but still scored it 114-113 Trout.— Joe Fortenbaugh (@JoeFortenbaugh) April 21, 2013
Austin Trout is not a knockout fighter, so the final four rounds were basically moot. There was no reason for Alvarez to press hard to finish and Trout doesn't possess the firepower to pull off the dramatic KO he needed.
After this fight, how do you feel about open scoring?
So once all that sunk in, I asked myself: Why exactly am I still watching this? That should never happen in a boxing match.
Officially, in addtion to Christodoulou's utterly insane scorecard, Oren Shellenberger (111-116) and Rey Danseco (112-115) had Alvarez winning as well, but with far more reasonable scores.
This fight was closer than the judges indicated, but we were robbed of the possibility of seeing any late-round magic. The fighters knew the scores and it was apparent in the way they approached the final rounds.
Truth be told, it was a difficult fight to score on some levels. Without question Alvarez landed the more telling blows, but Trout landed more and took control of the quiet rounds with his activity.
That's exactly why the open scoring ruined the drama. In a fight like this, neither man would have had an inkling how the fight was being scored. They would have had to stick to their game plans, or make adjustments to win it late.
Instead, the ending had all the excitement of watching a fight on tape delay when you've already had someone spoil the ending for you on Twitter.
I too had the fight scored for Alvarez at 115-113, as I called one round even. But the decision wasn't really the point here.
However you look at it, the right man won and that is what is most important. I just wish I hadn't found out after the eighth round.
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