Bonkers judging overshadows the biggest fight of the year 4 years ago

Bonkers judging overshadows the biggest fight of the year

Ain't that some bullshit?

After all of that, fight fans can rightly feel cheated. Not due to the quality of the bout but due to some absolutely scandalous judging that took place at the T-Mobile Arena.

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Gennady Golovkin and Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez left absolutely everything in the ring when their long-awaited clash finally came to fruition on Saturday night and they deserved to have their respective showings scored appropriately.

This contest was supposed to be the saviour of boxing and cast a spotlight on two of the sport's greatest talents but, instead, a dark shadow spread by inexplicable judging has left a sour taste in viewers' mouths.

Most had scored the fight for Golovkin, who was given a 115-113 victory by one judge, but it was the opinion of Adalaide Byrd, who saw a dominant 118-110 win in Alvarez's favour, that prompted shocked gasps in the arena.

And once Michael Buffer announced that the third judge reckoned it was a draw, accusations of shadiness understandably began doing the rounds. The fight was admittedly close so a draw on one card was not the egregious aspect of the result. It was the literally unbelievable 118-110 score that has fans demanding answers.

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The fight had an unusual progression insofar as Alvarez, an underdog according to bookmakers, looked great in the opening two and final two rounds but the middle portion of the clash was dominated by GGG.

Golovkin took the centre of the ring and forced the Mexican to fight off the back foot in the early stages but the feeling out process was brief and it wasn't long before leather was being thrown.

There was a lot of inaccuracy in the second round but the crowd was so excited that even grazing shots got the kind of roars that would suggest blows had landed flush.

Aggression picked up in the third as Golovkin's left hook found a home while his opponent looked to invest in the sort of body shots that he'd hoped might test the staying power of the Kazakh fighter later on in proceedings.

We saw gamesmanship on the part of the younger man in the next frame as 'Canelo' motioned for an onslaught while he stepped back against the ropes but Golovkin remained typically disciplined and didn't take the bait.

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If the fight had been on a slow boil through the opening rounds, bubbles began appearing in round five as both men landed hard but would not allow their poker faces to wilt.

Ever the showman, 'Canelo' was scolded in the sixth for throwing a hand behind his own back to connect with a holding Golovkin. It was never going to cause any damage but the crowd certainly appreciated it.

Golovkin continued to push the pace as we entered the second half of the contest and it was clearly in the 35-year-old's strategy to wear on the endurance of his thickly muscled opponent but one glance at the live feed of social media scores told you that nobody could say for certain who was in the lead at that point.

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Then GGG stepped on the accelerator.

In the ninth, the fighters got up close and personal as they pressed their foreheads against one another and looked to rip hooks in at close range and Alvarez's most solid shot of the fight was eaten flush by the stubborn Golovkin, whose path forward would not be blocked.

Fighters' chins typically diminish as they get older but Golovkin's ability to take a punch from one of the hardest hitters in boxing was legitimately concerning at times as one wondered what it would take to put him down because a gloved hand obviously couldn't do it.

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Having shown the effects of the pace for several rounds as he was reduced to potshotting, 'Canelo' came on strong in the final two but most knew what the result should have been.

Rather than prove that boxing was back in a big way, the fight will now just be the latest piece of evidence from detractors as to why the sport has the reputation it has.

Surprise, surprise. Talk of a rematch has already started and, being the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas will likely host the second meeting of Golovkin and Alvarez.

The millions of dollars that a rematch of that magnitude will bring to the city cannot be understated. That's all we're going to say.

We just hope that the judges assigned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission will pay closer attention to Golovkin vs. Alvarez II.