Floyd Mayweather's majority-decision victory over Saul "Canelo" Alvarez showed exactly what is wrong with the sport of boxing in this day and age.
In a fight that wasn't even close, judge C.J. Ross was the lone dissenter in the scoring. She officially scored the bout a draw at 114-114 even though it was doubtful that Canelo earned even one round, let alone the six Ross claimed he did.
ESPN's Dan Rafael ripped Ross after the decision from his Twitter account:
Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix shared his feelings on what should happen to Ross, which is likely a common opinion among people who watched the fight, and even had the bout scored as a shutout for Money:
There it is CJ Ross. You should be fired.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) September 15, 2013
Shutout for Mayweather on my card. 120-108. Didn't feel there were any especially close rounds, either.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) September 15, 2013
Canelo himself even admitted to being outclassed in this fight. That doesn't sound like someone who thinks he earned a draw or even a few rounds, to say the least.
This wasn't the first time Ross has been involved in a controversial decision. Back in June of 2012, Manny Pacquiao dominated Timothy Bradley in the pair's fight, but the judges must have watched a different bout as Ross was one of two judges to score the match in favor of Bradley, thus giving him the win.
But if you're looking for some relief from the higher-ups in the boxing world, you won't get it.
According to Bob Velin of USA Today, the Nevada State Athletic Commission's executive director, Keith Kizer, defended Ross' decision and doesn't think it was an error on her part:
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.
As far as possible disciplined is concerned, it doesn't look like it'll happen in this instance. Velin wrote the following:
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.
Other than a total lack of judgement on her part, there is no clear motive behind Ross' poor scoring of the fight. But clearly there is a problem here, considering that this isn't the first decision she's gotten horribly wrong.
And it's decisions like this that make fans skeptical of the sport.
Corruption is nothing new in boxing and has been going on for quite some time now, as was expressed by boxing analyst Teddy Atlas after the Pacquiao-Bradley decision, per ESPN's Linda Cohn:
Cohn (@lindacohn) June 10, 2012
Boxing is walking a fine line at the moment.
Not only do fans not trust judges as it is, but now the failure to address such issues as Ross' pathetic attempt to score this fight will only add fuel to the fire. At this point, the sport would be wise to review its scoring system and perhaps consider giving it a tweak in order to avoid such blunders in the future.
If it's corruption that is behind these puzzling calls in fights, then this is a far bigger, systemic problem that may need a major overhaul in order to solve.
Don't hold your breath for that.
If nothing continues to be done, the sport will risk losing its credibility altogether, as this isn't the first time and won't be the last we hear of such a controversial decision.