Monday, 18 September 2017 02:01

Canelo vs Golovkin scoring controversy: Why even round scoring would solve a lot

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It happened again.

Another scoring controversy in boxing.

Last night, the world's best middleweights battled to a 12 round draw in an exciting, action-packed affair.

And while most, including yours truly, had Golovkin wining decisively, the judges weren't on-board.

Judge Adalaide Byrd scored the fight 118-110 in Canelo's favor while Judge Dave Moretti scored it 115-113 for Golovkin and Judge Don Trella had it a draw, 114-114.

People are questioning which fight Byrd was watching and, in truth, they should. She had a really bad night and there's no defending her result. However, she should have been overturned by the other judges.

So, what happened? Even Dave Moretti's of 115-113 for Golovkin is seems to be a little too close for comfort.

The A-side
As FightSaga predicted, a relatively close, competitive bout would favor Canelo. In boxing, the A-side fighter usually enters the ring with a slight, albeit unfair advantage and it's nothing new.

In life, perception often trumps reality so star power means a lot in boxing. And the A-side fighter will usually get the benefit of the doubt.

Joe Louis vs Jersey Joe Walcott I, Muhammad Ali vs Ken Norton III, Sugar Ray Leonard VS Marvin Hagler, Oscar De La Hoya vs Felix Sturm, Ward vs Kovalev I, De La Hoya vs Whitaker, Ali vs Shavers, Marciano vs LaStarza I and more....


In fact, both Canelo and Golovkin have arguably benefitted from being the A-side in their razor close decision wins over Erislandy Lara and Daniel Jacobs, respectively.

Even round scoring
Example: Canelo vs Golovkin - Round 1

Because the system dissways even rounds, judges are forced to award a round to a fighter (and it's usually the A-side) as part of the 10-point must system. Take Round 1 of Canelo vs Golovkin, for example. If a judge saw it even, like I did, she/he probably awarded it to Canelo instead of scoring it 10-10.

If there were 2 or 3 other rounds a judge deemed very close, Alvarez was likely awarded those 2 or 3 stanzas, even though he failed to win those rounds outright in that judge's eyes.

Had those 2 or 3 very close rounds been scored 10-10, Golovkin would have likely won a spit decision.

Fighter A vs Fighter B
So hypothetically, Fighter A could clearly win 6 rounds while Fighter B clearly wins only 2. If Fighter B is awarded the 4 rounds that were too close to call, the fight is a draw even though Fighter B clearly won just two of 12 rounds.


Fans and the media blame the judges even though most are very competent. Hence, there were certainly at least 3 or 4 rounds that were very close last night. When forced to pick a winner of those rounds, they selected the A-side, Canelo, instead of calling it even.

Boxing needs a more liberal scoring system where judges are encouraged to award even rounds for stanzas where one fighter doesn't decisively separate himself from his opponent.

As many as 25 percent of all rounds might be scored even but instances in which fighters are awarded rounds they didn’t win would be greatly reduced. And subsequently, verdicts would be more accurate.

Lee Cleveland

Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.


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