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Bernstein & Loeffler: GGG won 12th round


Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin

By Sean Jones: Last Saturday night’s replay of the Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin 2 rematch on HBO World Championship Boxing gave a lot of fans and members of the media a second chance to rewatch the fight to decide which of these two fine middleweights deserved the decision. In second viewing, it didn’t go well for Canelo. He was viewed by the fans as getting a gift decision by the judges in Las Vegas much like he did in the first fight.

Based on what I saw on social media last Saturday night following the Canelo-GGG2 replay, the fans felt that Golovkin deserved the victory or at least a 12 round draw.

Al Bernstein of Showtime, Dan Rafael of ESPN and Tom Loeffler of K2 all had Golovkin winning round 12. Two of the judges that worked the Canelo-Golovkin 2 fight on September 15 gave the 12th round to Canelo, which turned out to be the deciding round of the bout. Those two judges giving Canelo the 12th round allowed him to win the fight by the scores: 115-113, 115-113 and 114-114. If those two judges [Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld] had scored round 12 for GGG the way that many in the boxing world had done, it would have been a draw across the board at 114-114 x 3 instead of win for Canelo. It’s unclear what Moretti and Weisfeld saw in Canelo’s performance in the 12th, as Golovkin landed more punches and the harder shots in the 12. Canelo was exhausted and had lost most of the power on his shots. The 12th round was fought at a fast pace, and not surprisingly, Canelo’s form broke down and he looked ragged from exhaustion.

“Well, I just reviewed round 12 of GGG-Canelo. The rest of the fight notwithstanding, round 12 decided the fight. IMO there is no way Canelo won that round. GGG landed more punches and landed many hard ones,” Bernstein said on his Twitter.

“Al Knows GGG won that 12th round no question,” Loffler said in response to Bernstein’sabove tweet about round 12 of the Canelo vs. Golovkin 2 fight.

Here’s what Dan Rafael said about the 12th round of the fight:

“10000000% GGG won Rd 12.”

If the boxing fans what to judge the 12th round based on which of the two fighters was applying the pressure more and fighting in the ‘Mexican style,’ as Golovkin likes to call it, then there’s little question that GGG won the 12th. He was the one that was coming forward looking to land his big power shots, and he out-landed Canelo in the round and clearly connected with the bigger shots.

What’s odd is that Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez gave an interview after the fight in which he said he felt that GGG had taken round 12 off. That’s a strange thing for a trainer to say about his own fighter, but perhaps Sanchez’z memory was faulty for what had happened in the final round. The Golovkin fought more than well enough to rate the 12th round based on the criteria of landing more punches and the harder shots. Canelo was aggressive, but he wasn’t as effective as he had in the earlier rounds of the fight. Canelo was exhausted after the first seven rounds, and he sort of caved in and allowed Golovkin to get back into the fight with him appearing to win rounds 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. The judges gave Canelo a huge break in giving him the 12th. The boxing fans are asking today was it bias on the part of the two judges to give Canelo the 12th or did they have a different set of criteria that they used to score the round?

A lot of fans reacted with anger last Saturday in watching the replay of the Canelo-GGG2 fight on HBO. Seeing the fight for the second time was like rubbing salt into the wounds of the fans, who now more than ever feel that GGG was robbed by the Nevada judges for a second time. The first time came last year in September 2017 when the Nevada judges scored the Canelo-Golovkin 1 fight a controversial 12 round draw.

The fans saw the fight as an easy victory for Golovkin by 8 rounds to 4 or 9 rounds to 3. Canelo didn’t come close to getting a draw out of the fight as far as the boxing public was concerned. The fans weren’t biased in favor of GGG. They just saw a fight that was scored in a way that made absolutely no sense. One judge scoring it 10 rounds to 2 in Canelo’s favor was a perfect example of that. In an odd move, Golden Boy Promotions chose to bring Caneo-Golovkin back to the same venue at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada rather than taking it to a different city/state for the rematch. Common sense would tell you that it would be a wrong move to take the fight back to the same venue where your fighter was perceived as having been given a gift draw.

Even if the fight made more money in that venue, you’ve got to see how this would be perceived by the boxing public when your fighter got what many fans felt was favorable treatment by the Nevada judges. That arguably a dumb move on Golden Boy’s part. If you want to show the fans that nothing shady is going on, then you move the fight to a different state for the rematch instead of going right back to the same venue [T-Mobile Arena] in the same city in Las Vegas. With Canelo getting a controversial 12 round majority decision over Golovkin in the second fight at the same venue in Las Vegas, a lot of boxing fans see it as another robbery. So instead of Canelo being celebrated by the public, he’s once again being vilified by them. Again, this could have been avoided by Golden Boy if they had taken the Canelo vs. Gennady 2 rematch to a different state like New York rather than going back to the same venue in Las Vegas for the second fight at the T-Mobile. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results. Golovkin’s promoters at K2 clearly dropped the ball in agreeing with Golden Boy to allow the second fight with Canelo to go back to the same place as the first fight. It was Canelo’s desire to take the fight back to Las Vegas at the T-Mobile. Had Golovkin and Loeffler refused to go back to that location and that city, perhaps he would have won the fight. We’ll never know. One thing is for sure if there is a third fight between Canelo and Golovkin, it needs to take place in a different state in order to ensure that there’s less suspicion from the boxing public. They’ve got to be able to trust the process for them to want to purchase a third fight on PPV, and right now I think many of them are jaded by what they’ve seen from the Nevada judges in the first to Canelo-GGG fights for them to want to see a third fight.

The way judges score fights needs to change. Instead of the judges being at the location of the fights where they’re potentially influenced by the cheering from the crowd, they need to be in a sound proof booth away from the fight so that they’re scoring the fights based on what’s happening rather than by the cheering from the fans. When one watches fight with the sound off from their televisions, you see the fight in a completely different way than when you watch it with the sound on. Golovkin fighting Canelo on a Mexican holiday at his favorite venue in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena where the crowd is predominantly pro-Canelo, it clearly put GGG at a disadvantage. When you add in the possibility of the judges being influenced by crowd noise, it’s no wonder that Canelo won the fight. It’s a surprise that the scoring wasn’t even wider in Canelo’s favor given all the advantages that he had in the fight.

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