You know the old expression: Don't hate the player, hate the game.
Well, in this case, don't hate the judge, hate the scoring system. That was the message from Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) Executive Director Keith Kizer, who went to great lengths to shield judge C.J. Ross from boxing's "mob mentality" following "The One" last weekend in "Sin City."
By her estimation, the Floyd Mayweather vs. Saul Alvarez championship title fight should have ended in a draw.
But just because she turned in an even scorecard (114-114) for Saturday night's (Sept. 14, 2013) Showtime pay-per-view (PPV), which took place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, doesn't mean she thinks Mayweather wasn't "Money" from bell-to-bell, it just means she was a victim of the current scoring system.
Kizer explains to USA Today.
"I understand why there's criticism, because people think of the entire fight and think Mayweather was certainly the better fighter, so how can you have a draw? The answer is the scoring system. Discipline does not make sense here. It's a review process. What I plan to do is look at that eighth round. If I review a round and don't understand why the judge went that way, I'll (talk) with the judge. If I understand why the judge went that way, it would be unfair to criticize. Just because a judge's scorecard ends up even, doesn't mean the judge necessarily thought the fight as a whole was even. It could be that a judge has six rounds for each fighter, but the six rounds she gave fighter A, she gave them to him easily and the six rounds she gave fighter B, they were really close rounds. That's pretty much how it was [Saturday] night. Let's say you don't agree with her on the eighth round. One round out of 12 you disagree with her and you think she should never judge again? How is that nothing more than mob mentality?"
It should also be stated that Ross -- along with Duane Ford -- had a hand in Timothy Bradley's controversial upset win over Manny Pacquiao back in June 2012.
What's interesting to note is that even the Alvarez camp is calling the scoring in the majority decision win for Mayweather a "disgrace." Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer publicly panned the shoddy scorecard, rather than build a case for why "Canelo" was just as good as his opponent on fight night.
Probably because he wasn't.
In fact, it wasn't even close (see the replay here). By Kizer's own admission, Ross was acting within the confines of the current scoring system, despite no issue from her two colleagues. So if she was not the problem, like most of the combat sports "mob" would suggest, then perhaps it's the scoring system?
Either way, there's a problem.