Sports Shorts


The so-called “one of the most exciting fights of year, or even decade” according to Golden Boy, between Miguel Cotto and Saul Canelo Alvarez didn’t quite live up to those high expectations.

Do not get me wrong, it wasn’t a war as some predicted, it was however a decent fight, intriguing, gripping and kept you watching for the full 12 rounds. But following the extensive hype (mainly from Golden Boy) the fight didn’t quite catch fire like expected.

This was probably due to Canelo being way the bigger fighter. Combined with the fact he was also the stronger and younger fighter by 10 years. Personally, though I would have loved for Cotto to cause an upset, I always expected Canelo to win.

Canelo v Cotto posterIt seemed so did Golden Boy, and the boxing hierarchy as after watching the fight for a third time. I am still flabbergasted by the 117-111, 119-109, 118-110 scorecards. I mean, seriously? What fight was they watching?

I know most, like myself who has been watching boxing for over two decades, has come to expect this type of judging. But just because we expect it and it has become the norm, should we accept this type of incompetency or just blatant bias?

Fair enough, I am no judging expert but after watching the fight live, I had Canelo winning 7 rounds to 5.

After watching the fight for a second and third time hours later (with the sound off), I was split between Canelo winning 7 rounds and both fighters winning 6 rounds apiece.

Seeing this, I could have accepted a close Canelo decision. But there was nothing in that fight that suggested such a landslide. I have seen landslide victories and know what they look like….Landslide performances like when Mayweather totally shut out Canelo in September 2013. Though judge CJ Ross scored that a draw. Hmmm

So the judges are actually trying to convince us that they saw Cotto winning no more than 3 rounds? One is saying he won no more than 2 rounds and the other is saying Cotto won only ONE round in that whole fight? That’s embarrassing and disrespectful.

Cotto v CaneloWhen I watched the fight live, I watched it on two screens, listening to two different TV broadcasts, from two different countries, and it was a stark contrast. While Boxnation in the UK where talking technical striking, tactics and the differences in styles.

HBO in the USA where content with talking up Canelo, urging to the fans how exciting the fight was, while taking indirect digs at Floyd Mayweather.

It seemed the US network already had their favourite, their winner, “their guy” and the scorecards proved it. Cotto didn’t stand a chance. For all his efforts Cotto deserved way more recognition than a landslide defeat. Especially as the older and smaller fighter.

To me, almost all the rounds were very close but some were closer than others. A fair few were extremely hard to judge. I.e rounds 4 & 6 which I scored to Cotto and rounds 5, 7 & 9 which I scored for Canelo.

After watching it for a second and third time, going into the 11th round I had it level 5 rounds apiece. The 11th was debatable and could have gone either way. Out of the three times I watched, I sided with Canelo twice but it could have been given to Cotto. Canelo then clearly closed out the final round.

Canelo v Cotto!In the fight, I noticed that Canelo tried to load up on power punches. He knew he was the bigger fighter and had the edge in power, so too often he was looking for that one big shot to hurt Cotto, then capitalise on. I didn’t see much slick boxing or 3/4 punch combinations.

Cotto showed more footwork and movement but sadly you could tell he didn’t have the power to back up Canelo, so he tried to stick and move, which looked as though it worked against him.

Unfortunately it seemed Cotto was just a pawn in the Golden Boy’s plan of creating and building this Canelo v GGG match up.

GGG on LemieuxTriple G recently defeated Golden Boy fighter David Lemieux, who is a decent boxer and champion. But we all know he’s not an elite fighter and it seemed Lemieux was built up for the very reason for GGG to come in and unify the middleweight titles to gain yet more recognition.

A shrewd move by Golden Boy.

Just like the way they matched Canelo against the exciting but limited James Kirkland, which ended even better than Golden Boy expected with an exciting and devastating knock out in the third round.

Canelo on kirklandNow it seems all roads lead to a mega fight match up between the two darlings (in the media’s eyes) of modern day boxing.

It yet again proves the politics of boxing is the overriding and dominant factor in this sport. Though I am happy and excited to see the Canelo v GGG fight. Cotto deserves to be treated better.

Quite frankly. I think Cotto’s camp should campaign for a rematch and seek an independent body to review the fight and pass judgment. I feel the more you watch the fight the more ridiculous the judges scorecards look.

I would have been satisfied with a close Canelo win. I would have also not argued if they scored it a draw, as a lot of the rounds were that close and up for debate. But a wide victory like that is just insulting the boxing public’s intelligence.

The problem is, we have too often seen these types of really dubious judging decisions, which are either blatantly inept or blatantly biased. It must be so disheartening for the likes of Cotto, to see all his efforts dismissed by the judges and he has to just accept it. Further more, it tells you that in such a sport about respect, their is non for the fighters.

Canelo and OscarSadly, that is the state, the sport of boxing is in today. If like me, you have over two decades experience watching boxing.

You will know it wasn’t the first and certainly wont be the last time you will scratch your head at a boxing judging decision. Unfortunately Money talks and bullshit is part of the sport.