Guadalajara’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and world middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan slugged it out for an honorable draw on Mexican Independence Day in Las Vegas, although the decision proved controversial.
Golovkin was the main aggressor in an absorbing fight that swung back and forth but never really harmed the tough Tapatio who impressed judges with his resilience and some powerful counter punches.
The major post-fight talking point was the mystifying assessment of judge Adalaide Byrd, who scored the encounter 118-110 in Canelo’s favor.
“Did she actually watch the fight?” critics bellowed. The other two judges ruled 115-113 (Glolovkin) and 114-114 – both credible outcomes. It is doubtful Byrd will judge a major fight again after being “temporarily stood down” by the Nevada Athletic Commission.
Despite Byrd’s erroneous card, it is arguable that the three judges eventually reached the correct result. Both men raised their arms upward on the final bell in the 12th round but a conclusive result was never evident.Glolovkin, the marginal favorite before the fight, said he thought he had won but seemed content with the result, perhaps knowing that he never reached the level that he has shown in destroying opponents during his professional career. Canelo claimed he had won eight rounds (his mother said he was “robbed”), but most boxing experts flatly rejected that opinion.
Perhaps the most satisfied person in Las Vegas – apart from the bookies – was Oscar de la Hoya, the promoter and Canelo’s manager who can now look forward to a lucrative rematch, perhaps in May of 2018. Canelo said his next fight will be next spring but didn’t promise it would be against Golovkin.