This was no robbery.
Canelo’s win over Lara was extremely tight, competitive and, yes, controversial. But close, competitive and hard-to-score fights don’t equate to robberies.
It’s easy to throw around said term whenever you see a verdict you disagree with, but it’s not always accurate, and it devalues the concept.
In the post-fight presser, an obviously agitated Lara decried the scoring—117-111 and 115-113 for Canelo and 115-113 for Lara—calling it worse than his ridiculous defeat against Paul Williams in 2011.
Sorry, Erislandy, but that’s just not correct.
The loss to Williams was a robbery—it was crystal clear, beyond dispute and the official judges were suspended as a result.
That fight is controversial because it wasn’t close. This one is controversial because it was.
In the majority of rounds, Canelo was the aggressor, coming forward and trying to make the fight against the tricky, mobile Cuban southpaw. His attack wasn’t overly effective—he landed just 97 of 415 shots, according to ShoStats tracking—but his punches were clearly heavier and did more damage.
Lara was content to ride his bicycle for most of the fight, moving around the ring and frustrating Canelo. Every now and again, he’d pop him with a jab and a countershot or two, but he wasn’t terribly active or accurate himself, landing just 107 of 386 shots according to ShoStats—for comparison, he landed 224 punches against Williams—with 55 of his connects being jabs.
And that was pretty much the fight.
Canelo chasing, Lara moving and nobody landing a whole heck of a lot.
Most of the consternation about the verdict has to do with Levi Martinez’s 117-111 ruling. That score means he credited the cinnamon-haired Mexican with winning nine of the 12 rounds.
That does seem a bit wide, but media scorecards at ringside and on social media were so divergent—on both sides—that it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that you could find nine rounds for either man. It all depends on what you favor, and Lara has himself to blame for being too passive.
It’s hard to convince some judges that you’re winning a fight if you spend the entire 36 minutes moving backward and you’re not particularly active. And when you only land 10 more shots during the course of a fight, you can’t be mad when the harder puncher gets the credit.
Does Lara have a gripe? Absolutely.
This was just one of those fights where you could legitimately score for either man. A case can be made both for and against either, but in the end, the judges rewarded the more aggressive fighter.
And you can’t blame them for that.