Mayweather vs. Alvarez: CJ Ross' Scorecard Latest Blow to Boxing's Credibility
Floyd Mayweather outpointed Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night to become linear light middleweight champion of the world.
Moreover, Mayweather proved himself beyond doubt as the best boxer in the world today.
Shostats confirmed his dominance. Mayweather landed 46% of his punches over the 12 rounds to Canelo's paltry 22%. Unofficial ringside scorers Al Bernstein, Steve Farhood and Paulie Malignaggi confirmed this lopsided performance:
Mayweather was as dominant as ever. Right?
Here's the problem: Mayweather won via majority decision on Saturday. From ESPN.com:
Although judges Dave Moretti (116-112) and Craig Metcalfe (117-111) had it for Mayweather, judge C.J. Ross scored it an unconscionable 114-114. She is also one of the two judges who gave Timothy Bradley Jr. a decision win against Manny Pacquiao in one of boxing's most controversial decisions in years. ESPN.com had it a 120-108 shutout for Mayweather.
Mayweather dominated the action from the opening bell. He battered the Mexican titlist from pillar to post Saturday night en route to his first linear championship in the junior middleweight division. According to ESPN, Mayweather was shocked by the close decision. But maybe he shouldn't have been.
"I'm not in control of the judges," Mayweather said. "I'm a little in shock, but everything is a learning experience."
Mayweather was simply brilliant on Saturday night. Where conventional wisdom said the naturally smaller man would need to use his feet to stay in the fight, the gifted Mayweather stayed right in front of the heavier Alvarez for most of the 12 rounds.
Sure, Alvarez had his moments, but Mayweather was more accurate, in charge of the action and the clear winner in almost every round.
It was brilliant.
But not according to CJ Ross.
Ross scored the bout a draw, 114-114. Anyone paying attention via social media would conclude the score was egregiously incorrect. Both ringside media and those who watched on television concluded it was Mayweather who deserved the nod.
Even those who had it close would concede the overwhelming majority of onlookers saw the bout go Mayweather's way. It's only reasonable.
Regardless, Ross scored it 114-114. No matter Mayweather's higher connect percentage. No matter his ring generalship or the overwhelming support among those in attendance—Ross saw it differently.
Ross also gave Timothy Bradley the nod after his 2012 bout against Manny Pacquiao, 115-113.
Here's the problem: Where pay-per-view watchers and fans might get caught up in the moment, Ross is a professional boxing judge. According to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com, Ross made $8,000 on fight night.
There's simply no excuse.
And no one but Ross believed Canelo Alvarez deserved the draw against the masterful Floyd Mayweather on Saturday evening.
And yet here is boxing's biggest problem. Judge CJ Ross was paid good money to do a competent and professional job on fight night. It was perhaps the biggest event of the year. And yet the scorecard she turned in reflected a score that almost no one else on the planet could see.
That's her job, and she got it wrong.
Mainstream media makes a habit of saying boxing is dead. Mayweather's popularity says otherwise, but perhaps they're correct in a way.
Boxing isn't dead insomuch as no one wants to watch it. But boxing is dead in that no one can be trusted to make sure its results are fair and accurate.
And that certainly is a shame.
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