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ROSS AND BYRD OF THE SAME FEATHER


PhilBoxing.com




The Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez tussle was being hailed as one of the most awaited and most attractive middleweight title fight since Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Tommy "Hitman" Hearns squared it off atop the ring in what was billed as "The War." It didn't have the drama of a knockout but the 12 rounds fought by the two middleweight giants pounding each other for 36 exciting minutes packed the T-Mobile Arena and glued countless fans to their TV sets. The ring battle resulted in a split draw which failed to satisfy thousands and thousands of GGG supporters who cried foul over the judging.

* * *

Golden Boy president Eric Gomez requested reporters not to make so much commentary and news about the judging. He thinks that the fight stories should be about the outstanding performances by the two of boxing’s best fighters pound-for-pound. But they could not prevent these negative criticisms as long as judges would continue to be too biased in their scoring. The Golovkin-Alvarez tussle was a wonderful fight, however it was completely overshadowed by the scorecard of Adelaide Byrd, the controversial judge who in the first place should haven't been assigned to score the fight.

* * *

Last year, Top Rank attempted to exclude Byrd from Vasyl Lomachenko-Nicholas Walters super featherweight title fight. In a communication to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Top Rank discussed several Byrd’s arguable scorecards. She scored 100-90 for Jose Benavidez in a win over Francisco Santana. The two other judges saw it much closer for Benavidez, 96-94 and 98-92.

* * *

In the fight where Jessie Magdaleno won over The Filipino Flash Nonito Donaire, Byrd had a 118-110 card for Magdaleno in his win over Nonito Donaire. The two other judges scored the fight for Magdaleno but of closer margin at 116-112. Dan Rafael wrote: "ESPN had Donaire winning 115-113, and many at ringside had it even."

* * *

Byrd’s scorecard in the Alvarez-Golovkin middleweight championship was by far the most controversial.
Her 118-110 score for Alvarez is a huge difference from Dave Moretti’s 115-113 for Golovkin and Don Trella’s 114-114 draw. Most of the mediamen who covered the fight scored it too close, with a margin of one or two points for either fighter or even a draw. Golovkin clearly dominated the match, but Byrd scored just the fourth and seventh in favor of the Kazakh. Even Alvarez’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, was surprised at Byrd’s 118-110 scorecard and said “What was that?”

* * *

Byrd, who is married to Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor referee Robert Byrd, will rest from judging any big fights. Nevada Athletic Commission head Bob Bennett said Byrd will be taking “a small break” from judging major fights. “I’m not going to put her right back in,” Bennett declared. “She’ll still be in the business, but she needs to catch her breath.”

* * *

Bennett said that NSAC would conduct an inquiry and have a replay of the fight with Byrd asked to explain her analysis of each round. “Like in any profession, you have a bad night,” Bennett said. “Unfortunately, she didn’t do well. I can tell you she conducts training for us, takes judges under her wing, but her score was too wide.”

* * *

Byrd has been a boxing judge since 1997. In her 20-year career she judged several very important fights in America. Most often she officiated bouts by Golden Boy Promotions. She also acts as judge in MMA. The Gennady Golovking-Canelo Alvarez middleweight championship was the 442nd fight she officiated.

* * *

When Joe Calzaghe faced Bernard Hopkins for The Ring Magazine light-heavyweight title in 2008, most experts chose the British fighter as the winner, although he was knocked down in the third round. Judge Chuck Giampa scored the bout 116-111 and Ted Gimza had it 115-112 all for Calzaghe. Byrd scored the fight 114-113 in favor of Hopkins.

* * *

"She's done over 115 title fights and/or elimination bouts. She does a great deal of our training. Takes a lot of our judges under her wing. I think being a judge is a very challenging position," says Bennett. "Unfortunately, Adalaide was a little wide. I'm not making any excuses." The NSAC executive think Byrd is an outstanding judge. "In any business, sometimes you have a bad day. She saw the fight differently. It happens," he told reporters.

* * *

Another well known judge underwent the same situation as Byrd. C.J. Ross of Las Vegas, sent Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer an email saying "that she would step away from the sport she has judged for more than 20 years." It resulted also from a series of controversial judging in high-profile championships.

* * *

Ross scored a debatable card of 114-114 for Mayweather-Alvarez, the biggest fight of the year 2013. Almost everybody analyzed the lopsided fight in favor of Mayweather, but he won only by majority decision. The two other judges scored the fight for Mayweather 117-111 and 116-112, although these were too close for many fans but it was clearly a victory for the undefeated titlist.

* * *


As one of the judges for the first Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight, Ross scored the bout for Bradley, 115-113. Her scorecard was heavily criticized, since the scores resulted in a split decision in favor of Bradley. Judges Duane Ford and C. J. Ross scored the fight 115–113 for Bradley, while Jerry Roth scored the fight 115–113 in favor of Pacquiao.

* * *

That scoring was severely attacked that only 3 of 55 reporters who scored the bout agreed with Ross and Ford. The WBO would later ordered five judges to evaluate the replay of the fight and all of them had Pacquiao the clear winner. However the WBO did not reverse the outcome of the fight but ordered a rematch.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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