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Manny Pacquiao vs Bradley Judge Selected for Mayweather-Canelo

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Cynthia J. Ross, a Nevada boxing judge with over 11 years of experience, has been picked as one of the judges for Saturday's superfight, Floyd Mayweather vs Canelo Alvarez - One of the most anticipated bouts in the last 20 years. What makes her selection so intriguing is she was part of what is, perhaps, the most controversial decision in the modern era - Timothy Bradley's split decision win over Manny Pacquiao last year.

Judge Ross scored it 115-113 in favor of Tim Bradley and, along with her compadres, received widespread criticism afterwards.

When the scores were announced for Pacquiao vs Bradley, a chorus of boos rained down from the crowd.

Ringside commentators and the vast majority of those who watched by television had Manny winning decisively.

So Ross may be a bit of a wildcard but, in her defense, even the judge who awarded the bout to Pacquiao saw a close fight, 115-113.

Let's take a closer look.
The PunchStats are as follows:

Fact: After 6 Rounds, Judge C.J. Ross had Manny Pacquiao ahead 4  to 2. She obviously liked what Manny was doing so what changed?

Moreover the other two judges had Manny ahead, 5-1 and 4-2.

Although this writer does not agree with the verdict, something obviously changed after Round 6 as at least 2 of the 3 judges awarded Bradley Rounds 7, 10, 11 and 12.

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Heading into Round 10, Manny Pacquiao was solidly adead on Judge Ross' card, 5 to 4.

In all fairness, instant replay shows that a few of those 'monster' Pacquiao combinations that we thought connected were exaggerated by the HBO commentators, didn't land cleanly or were missed entirely.

And although Manny enjoyed a solid Round 8, he began to get sloppy and was largely effective in spurts the second half of the bout. And that action, whether by design by Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach, PacMan's fatigue, or Bradley's effectiveness, may not have appealed to Judge Ross.

Judge: C.J Ross: Other Notable Verdicts

Mares vs Agbeko I
In August 2011, Ross scored Mares vs Agbeko a draw whereas the other two judges scored it 115-111 for Abner Mares. For several of the close rounds, the difference was seemingly an eye-catching Mares flurry which enabled him to "steal" the round in the eyes of some, if not most.

It must be noted, the referee came under tremendous criticism as Mares threw upwards of 30 low blows throughout the fight, with the referee only offering a few warnings and refusing to deduct points.

The scoring may have been different if the fight was better officiated.

Burgos vs Cruz
In November 2011, Ross was the only judge who did not score the bout heavily in favor of Burgos, instead seeing it as a draw. Judges Duane Ford and Richard Ocasio scored it 98-92 and 97-93, respectively. In that bout, according to CompuBox, Burgos threw more power punches, 327 to 245, and landed more, 112 to Cruz's 84.

Mayweather vs Canelo: Whose Style Will Ross Favor?
Who knows?

After reviewing a few of Ross' other verdicts, it appears she is not influenced by:
a) the crowd 
b) the main attraction (or the A-Side fighter) or
c) short bursts of flurries to steal rounds

Judging is highly subjective and its 4 criteria are: Clean and Accurate Punching, Effective Aggression, Defense and Ring Generalship.

Although 'Clean and Accurate Punching' is the most important element of scoring a fight, the fighter who lands the most clean shots in a given round is not always awarded the round. In addition to knockdowns and staggering an opponent, other factors, such as the intensity of punches landed and the other aforementioned criteria above, come into play.

In a close round, Judge Ross "may" give the benefit of the doubt to the fighter with the more sustained action, even if he is not completely overwhelming his opponent during that action.

Simply put: If Fighter A controls the first 2 minutes of a round while Fighter B mounts a strong attack the last 30 seconds, she's "seemingly" more inclinded to favor Fighter A (due to consistency) even though the biggest action of the round was provided by Fighter B.

After a close round, how often have we heard a commentator say, "That flurry provided the most action in the round and may have won him (the fighter who landed the flurry) that round."

In such cases, Judge Ross "may" not necessarily be as impressed if the fighter flurried against was more consistent during that round. 

There is no such thing as the perfect judge as everyone is biased, to a degree, on what intangibles should matter most.
This is neither a condemnation of nor endorcement for this judge. It's simply a theoretical assessment for you, the fan.


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