When the closing bell mercifully called a conclusion to the 12th and final round Saturday, everyone in the packed MGM Grand Garden Arena knew that Floyd Mayweather manhandled Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, securing his status as the pound-for-pound king with a sweltering boxing clinic.
Everyone except for C.J. Ross, who happened to be one of three people in the world whose opinion mattered.
Mayweather controlled the entire fight, hammering away at his younger opponent. Despite his size disadvantage, he still stayed in front of Alvarez, letting his offense do just as much talking as his superb defense.
As Showtime Stat's Twitter account illustrated, Mayweather dominated the fight.
#ShoStats: Percentage of Total Punches Landed/Thrown thru 12 Mayweather 45.941% Canelo 22.243%— SHO Stats (@SHOStats) September 15, 2013
ESPN's Dan Rafael also felt it was an open-and-shut case.
So Money easily won by unanimous decision, right? Not exactly. Ross ruled the fight a 114-114 draw.
If the name sounds familiar, it's because Ross also stirred controversy when she helped Timothy Bradley gain a stunning victory over Manny Pacquiao.
She and Duane Ford awarded Bradley the 115-113 edge even though Pacquiao landed 34 percent of his punches to Bradley's 19.
Is math really that hard?
Before jumping down this judge's throat, maybe she just views the sport through a serene lens of clarity that allows her to dissect elements of boxing that remain unfathomable to us mortals.
Or maybe every single statistic proves that Mayweather boxed circles around Alvarez, which is why he was so shocked at Ross' ruling.
Yep, let's go with that. Going back to CompuBox for actual data, something that would probably help in deciding a match that set an all-time record with a $20,003,150 gate, Mayweather connected a higher percentage of punches in every round, with Alvarez matching his total blows struck just once.
|Jabs Landed/Thrown||139/330 (42%)||44/294 (15%)|
|Power Punches Landed/Thrown||93/175 (53%)||73/232 (31%)|
|Total Punches Landed/Thrown||232/505 (46%)||117/526 (22%)|
Mayweather landed 20 more power punches at a much higher efficiency and also accrued 95 more jabs. He manhandled his opponent. Anyone who shelled out money to watch it or is capable of using a search engine can tell you as much.
Even the man on the other side knew it. Here's what Alvarez said (through a translator) to Rafael.
Honestly, I couldn't find him. In the later rounds, I felt frustrated. I recognize that he beat me. I tried to connect on him, but I just couldn't.
Haven't you heard, Canelo? In the eyes of someone who received $8,000 to judge a match with legacies and millions of dollars in revenue on the line, you fought him to a draw.
There are officials in every sport that can blow the calls. The Green Bay Packers lost a game last season because the real referees were on strike, and Major League Baseball pitcher Armando Galarraga was robbed of a perfect game in 2010 because umpire Jim Joyce mistakenly ruled the runner safe.
That's why those sports are implementing instant replay to avoid further embarrassment. What is boxing going to do to address this problem? With all the available data and technology, it's painfully antiquated to have three onlookers subjectively decipher who deserves to win.
Boxing better get its act in gear before it becomes the laughingstock of sports. On second thought, a quick look at Twitter proves that it's probably too late, as people like NBC Sports' Joe Posnanski are having a field day at Ross' expense.
Interestingly. CJ Ross also scored the Apollo Creed-Drago fight a draw.— Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) September 15, 2013
Just imagine if one of the other two judges took her faulty side.