LAS VEGAS – Not everyone goes home from an evening in Vegas $8,000 in profit but Cynthia J. Ross did just that on Saturday night. And even though Ross, a ringside judge, pocketed approximately 5,000 times less than Floyd Mayweather, it is hard to argue that she deserved a cent of it.
While every pay-per-view customer around the world, every fan at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, both Mayweather and his opponent, Canelo Alvarez, and even the guy with the wonky eyesight squinting from the nosebleed section saw that this was one of the biggest blowouts in recent boxing history, a lady with one of the best seats in the house missed it.
Ross scored the contest, if you can call it that, as a 114-114 draw, handing six rounds to each fighter. To all other witnesses, it seemed like the Mexican youngster barely landed six convincing punches, let alone did enough meaningful work to deserve a judge's nod.
In Ross' defense … (crickets).
Horrendous judging does nothing for the credibility of boxing and her reported paycheck of $8,000 should at least demand a certain level of competence. Mayweather's response when the decision was announced – "What the [expletive] is that?" said it all. Of course, boxers are routinely able to delude themselves over the actual veracity of the decision-making but there should have been no confusion here.
"It was so one-sided," boxing legend Bernard Hopkins said. "I don't care who it is, when it is not right, it is not right. I don't know where it came from."
Just as Mayweather knew that he had convincingly won just about every round, so too was Alvarez well aware of how badly he had been beaten. The 23-year-old's corner even told him at the midway point that he needed to win every round from that stage onwards, evidence that they believed he had been shut out until then.
Even the cards of Dave Moretti (116-112 to Mayweather) and Craig Metcalfe (117-111) left something to be desired. Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole scored it 120-108, while all three Showtime television experts gave Alvarez no more than two rounds.
The official statistics showed that Mayweather landed a total of 232 punches, compared to 117 for Alvarez. He was especially dominant with the jab, connecting with 139 to 44.
"He was simply too good," Alvarez conceded after the fight.
That sentiment was obvious to everyone except Ross, who incredibly gave Alvarez rounds 1, 3, 8, 9, 11 and 12 was also one of the judges that gave Timothy Bradley a laughable decision over Manny Pacquiao last June.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer was furious that boxing's biggest fight of the year was tainted by such ludicrous judging. Ross was appointed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which selects all judges for fights within its jurisdiction.
"The whole world was watching and obviously that scorecard was a disgrace," Schaefer said. "How that judge could be appointed after the decision of Bradley and Pacquiao is not a question I can answer. How can that happen? Is it going to happen again?"
For his part, Mayweather took the high road (sort of) when asked about the judging controversy.
"The best commission in the world is the Nevada commission, so I’ll leave it in their hands," Mayweather said. "[Ross], I think, could be older. I believe it’s a woman, she could be kind of older."
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- Floyd Mayweather
- Canelo Alvarez