CJ Ross and NSAC Executive Director Speak Out on Mayweather vs. Canelo Scorecard

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2013

Sep 14, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Floyd Mayweather Jr. (blue gloves) and Canelo Alvarez battle it during their during their WBC and WBA super welterweight titles fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Despite Floyd "Money" Mayweather's virtuoso performance against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez on Sept. 14, the undefeated veteran only won via majority decision due to judge C.J. Ross scoring the fight a 114-114 draw. The judge has received plenty of criticism, but she and the Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director are comfortable with the scoring.

According to TMZ.com, Ross said, "I stand behind my decision," even in the face of finger-pointing from all fronts. 

ESPN's Dan Rafael scored the fight a 120-108 shutout in Mayweather's favor, and he was beside himself with regards to Ross' scorecard.  

As Rafael alluded to, Ross also scored the Timothy Bradley vs. Manny Pacquiao fight in favor of Bradley. The consensus seemed to be that Pacquiao won that fight easily, but another judge scored in Bradley's favor as well, so Pac-Man got the loss.  

Ross' questionable choice didn't cost Mayweather a win, but it has caused many to call for disciplinary action to be taken against her and other judges who make blatantly poor decisions.

One person who doesn't feel that way, though, is NSAC executive director Keith Kizer. According to Bob Velin of USA Today, Kizer rationalized Ross' scoring by claiming that calling a fight a draw doesn't have to mean that Mayweather and Alvarez were evenly matched.

Just because a judge's scorecard ends up even, doesn't mean the judge necessarily thought the fight as a whole was even. It could be that a judge has six rounds for each fighter, but the six rounds she gave fighter A, she gave them to him easily and the six rounds she gave fighter B, they were really close rounds. That's pretty much how it was last night.

Kizer also said that Ross was surprised to learn she scored the fight a draw because judges don't keep track of the score over the course of the fight.

Kizer said when he told Ross she had scored it a draw, she was surprised. "Good judges, they don't keep track of their scores," he said. "It's a round-by-round scoring system. All three judges thought Mayweather was the better fighter, that he won that fight as a whole. Because one judge had it even on the scorecard doesn't mean that judge thought both fighters did equally well."

When asked if he would consider disciplining Ross, Kizer said that Ross scored the fight in line with the majority besides the first and eighth rounds. He plans to review the eighth round, but disciplinary action seems unlikely unless Ross is unable to defend her scoring.

Kizer said he evaluates judges annually, and on a fight-by-fight basis. Ross, he said, is one of the NSAC's top judges, and he's not considering disciplinary action. "Discipline does not make sense here," he said. "It's a review process. What I plan to do is look at that eighth round.

"If I review a round and don't understand why the judge went that way, I'll (talk) with the judge. If I understand why the judge went that way, it would be unfair to criticize."

Mayweather initially seemed perplexed by the decision, and he even called it "a joke," per Velin, but he took a more diplomatic approach later by saying, "If they think she should be out there judging fights, then so be it."

If boxing fans and analysts had their way, it's possible that Ross would never score another big fight. The decision ultimately lies with the NSAC, though, and it has protected Ross thus far.

With that said, Ross is clearly going to be under the microscope with regards to every fight she scores. If she is allowed to score another big fight and makes a huge error again, the uproar will be even greater.


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