By Mike Sloan: Ever since Saturday’s mega event concluded, a sizeable chunk of the boxing buzz has not been about Floyd Mayweather’s masterful performance against Canelo Alvarez or Danny Garcia’s upset win over Lucas Matthysse. Because it’s the sport of boxing, one of the hottest topics has been a negative one: the absolutely dreadful and mind-numbing 114-114 score turned in by CJ Ross for the Mayweather-Canelo fight.
The score was so unrealistic, so preposterous that the first thing I thought was that 50 Cent paid her off. I’m not lying. I have no proof, obviously, but her score was so asinine that the only logical explanation is that she is either A) a complete halfwit, B) she walks with the aid of a seeing-eye dog, C) she’s narcoleptic, or D) she was bribed. Or maybe she’s so delusional that she actually believes in her heart that Canelo fought Mayweather to a draw. If that’s the case, then every promoter and boxer needs to file a restraining order against her to keep her at least 250 feet away from the nearest boxing ring.
To be fair, I admit that I know several of the Nevada judges personally, but not CJ Ross. I’ve never spoken a word to her ever. But if I did know her on a personal level, I’d actually be worried that she’d mistake me for Jackie Chan the next time she saw me.
My score of 119-109 in favor of Mayweather notwithstanding (and the countless other unofficial scores I’ve been given in that same ballpark), anybody with any sense of logic or a grasp of what boxing is all about would know full well that Alvarez only won –at most – two rounds. How somebody who has been a professional judge– and I use that term as loosely as possible – for as long as Ross can inexplicably score that fight a draw is beyond any and all comprehension.
Mayweather flat out dominated Canelo from the start. Though he wasn’t hurting the Mexican star and didn’t come close to knocking him out, he did whatever he wanted inside the squared circle and he did it for every minute of every round. Granted, a few of the rounds were a little closer than others; even the 116-112 score from Dave Moretti seemed a bit of a stretch. But a draw? That score was so atrocious that even Eugenia Williams almost choked on her water when Jimmy Lennon, Jr. read the official scores.
The overwhelming majority of the boxing sites and newspapers that cover the sport have been ripping into Ross and her absurd sense of what actually happened inside the MGM Grand. Various writers have been raking her name over the coals and calling for her to either be fired or in the very least, suspended. And anybody who believes this way certainly receives my support. But where every writer that I’ve read since Saturday night is lambasting her, it’s time to take things to the next level and actually try and change the way this sport is operated.
What is so infuriating about the nonsense that was written all over Ross’ scorecards is the fact that this is not the first time she’s done this. Obviously, it’s well known that she somehow thought Manny Pacquiao was the shorter, bald black man when he fought Timothy Bradley, but that’s not her only misstep along the way.
Throughout the years she has also scored the Juan Carlos Burgos-Luis Cruz a draw even though virtually everybody had Burgos clearly winning; he scored the first Abner Mares-Joseph Agbeko fight a draw, even though most scored it for Mares (because referee Russell Mora apparently was blindfolded during the bout and took no points away for the repeated low blows); down in Primm, she had a four rounder between two nondescript fighters David Tabatadze and Paul Mendez a draw when Tabatadze easily won every round; and she somehow thought Ben Tackie drew with Kendall Holt even though Holt clearly won almost every round. A little more research would inevitably turn up more results of her seeming inability to choose a winner, but there are word limits in these columns.
Virtually everybody who loves the Sweet Science laments the fact that it’s a sport run mostly by crooks and morons and that the officiating is constantly the worst in all of professional sports. Everybody complains and tries to come up with solutions, but almost nobody ever actually tries to do anything about it. I’ve always commended Nigel Collins and The Ring Magazine back in the day for making a stand against the crooked sanctioning bodies and creating their own legitimate world title for the sport. That, to a small degree, has caught on.
What needs to happen is a complete upheaval of sorts of these horrendous officials. The number of sanctioning bodies is one dilemma that can be eradicated if everybody within the sport not connected to the WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO, etc banded together, but that’s another column altogether. However, this putrid odor that stems from decades of ringside shenanigans can be cleaned up in a matter of months, if not sooner. Highway robberies have all but crippled boxing and it is one of the leading reasons why so many followers of the sport have left, never to return. When people ask me why how I can love a sport so much even when the winner has already been decided weeks in advance, it irritates me because for the most part, those people are correct. Or at least it seems that way.
But Mike, you ask, how in the world can this problem be solved? We always point out the horrible scorecards of these buffoons sitting ringside, but nothing ever changes! To answer that question, it’s quite simple.
To kick things off, we’ll start in Nevada because that’s my home state. I know it seems completely impossible because of how many multi-millionaires with tons of influence are among the “esteemed” panel that makes up the vaunted Nevada Athletic Commission, but changes can be made. Doctors, lawyers, shrewd businessmen and the like are what comprise the entire core of the commission and those guys are not about to give up their seats for anyone because, well, they like to be in charge. However, with enough pressure from the right people and a commission that actually holds people accountable for boxing-related travesties, things can be done.