By Dan Ambrose: Teddy Atlas of ESPN wasn’t happy to learn last night that WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) was ahead on two of the three judges’ scorecards heading into the 6th round in his fight against Amir Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In the eyes of many boxing fans, Khan appeared to be well ahead of Canelo going into the sixth. Many fans had Khan leading four rounds to one at the time that Canelo scored a knockout in the 6th round. However, two of the judges had Canelo ahead.
Judge Glenn Trowbridge had Canelo ahead 46-49 which was four rounds to one, and another one Glenn Feldman had Canelo leading 47-48. The only judge that had Khan winning was Adalaide Byrd, who had it 48-47. Atlas thinks the scoring of the fight for Canelo was just wrong and he’s troubled by it.
“This is a corrupt sport. How one judge could have it four to one for Canelo — really, they should arrest that judge,” said Atlas to Fighthub. “I wish we had some kind of federal oversight, like you had when baseball was having problems, all of a sudden the federal government would get involved. Nobody cares about the fighters? Nobody cares about the sport?”
It was impossible for me to give Canelo more than one round and that was the fifth. Canelo had done nothing in the first four rounds other than plod after Khan, missing with left hook after left hook like he was lacking coordination or something. The punch stats were wacky as well, as they had Canelo landing almost 40 percent of his punches and landing more shots than Khan.
I saw a different fight. I saw Canelo missing over and over again, and looking like he was lost in the ring against the speedy Khan. The only good round that Canelo had before he scored the knockout in the 6th was the 5th, and he only landed three good punches in that round. Canelo missed with most of his punches in the 5th. It wasn’t impressive stuff from him. But when you look at the judging of the fight, it was pretty sad. It was like these guys were watching a different sport.
Atlas is right. It is good that there was a knockout in the fight, because if it had gone to the cards with Khan still dominated the fight, it would have looked really bad if Canelo had his hand raised. The fight showed you how hard it is to beat Canelo. Even Floyd Mayweather Jr. was given a draw by one judge. If you saw that fight, you would be hard pressed to give Canelo more than three rounds, and those were rounds where Mayweather backed off and let Canelo do some stuff.
“What a travesty it would’ve been — let’s say he continues to box, let’s say that Khan didn’t get caught with that punch,” said Atlas. “Oh my God, what a travesty it would’ve been to have him continue boxing that way and have him lose the fight. One judge have it four to one. Two judges had Canelo ahead. One judge had Khan ahead. But one judge had it four to one! How do you do that? It can only be one of two things: it can only be incompetence or corruption. And I don’t believe anyone can be that incompetent not to see those rounds for what they were. Really, it’s terrible. It’s just terrible that a great sport, great athletes get in there and put so much on the line, put their life on the line, that the people that are supposed to look out for the sport, that they could be that corrupt and that poor and that bad. Something has to be done,” said Atlas.
Canelo is a popular fighter with good punching power. Perhaps the judges were more impressed with the one or two punches he was landing in the first four rounds and were ignoring the fact that Khan was out-landing him by a wide margin and making him look bad. When I watched the Canelo-Khan fight for a second time this morning, I still could only give Canelo one round going into the 6th.
Khan clearly won the first four rounds of the fight in my view. But then again, I had Mayweather easily winning against Canelo, and we saw what happened there with one judge. I also had Erislandy Lara beating Canelo, and Lara lost that fight. I had Canelo vs. Austin Trout fight scored a draw, and Canelo won that fight by the scores of 115-112, 118-109 and 116-111. The 118-109 score by one of the judges was completely shocking because he gave Trout no credit for having fought Canelo to a standstill in that fight.