9/16/2017-Las Vegas- Someone should’ve awakened judge Adelaide Byrd last night to tell her she was missing a really good fight. It wasn’t the first time she was ringside and missed a fight, though. I’m surprised she was able to find her seat and where was her dog sitting or was HE blind, too? She’s the wife of Floyd Mayweather’s personal ref, Robert Byrd and if HE’D been reffing the fight, she would have given the decision to HIM. This lady didn’t even have the smarts to make it a ‘close’ fight. Had she done that, I don’t think she’d be catching as much hell today, but hey, why blame her, she didn’t SEE the fight. ‘Vegas officials say “she’s a fine judge”, yeah, especially for someone that can’t see. I never thought I’d give a boxing judge the lead in my story but I believe in giving the handicapped the credit they deserve, it’s the LEAST I can do. And now, last night’s action.
Let’s see, there were 46 rounds of action aired, with NO ko’s, NO knockdowns and NO TKO’s, in fact, I’d be hard pressed to find anything CLOSE to a knockdown. I DID see some blood in the prelims, though but not $80 worth, which is what I gave up. In the main event in which once AGAIN, Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1-34K) promised to “show the world how a REAL Mexican fights”, spent as much time scooting around the ring like Speedy Gonzalez, as he did, fighting. Yeah, there were times when he’d stop and fire sets at champion Gennady Golovkin (37-0-33K) but he didn’t seem to wanna’ really get down and go for it. He wasn’t nearly as accurate and explosive as he normally is and admitted he was always “aware of his power”. GGG was the aggressor most of the night but Alvarez showed good lateral movement and pretty much stayed in a safe zone. After getting off to a quick start, the Redhead started to fade a tad around the seventh and eighth rounds, languishing longer and longer on the ropes, searching for counters. His corner screamed to “stay off the ropes” but when a fighter knows what he should be doing and doesn’t do it, it’s usually due to what his opponent is doing to HIM. There were some serious exchanges but the predicted fight for the ages never broke out. In the end, this was called a draw with the scores reading 118-110 for Canelo (Byrd) ,115-113 for GGG and of course 114-114 to guarantee the rematch, GOOD JOB, VEGAS AND OSCAR.
There was mutual respect shown earlier and it seemed Canelo’s ‘hit and git’ style was offsetting GGG. GGG was looking for the “war” he was promised but didn’t get it. He said afterwards, “I wanted REAL fight”. It seemed like Canelo was having more trouble than he anticipated in landing his shots, credit GGG’s underrated D. Being a big GGG fan, I didn’t see the savagery he usually displays in his fights, given he’d waited so long for THIS fight. Is he slowing down, possibly. Neither guy was really hurt badly in the hotly contested battle. Canelo seemed to get his second wind and landed some two-three punch sets on Golovkin and had a slight edge in the last two rounds but the champ was STILL in pursuit and as most people think, ‘you should have to BEAT the champ’ to take his hardware. IMO, GGG did enough to win by a slim margin but even BEFORE the verdict (even the blind lady’s) was announced, I saw Golden Boy’s matchmaker, Eric Gomez tell GGG’s people “it was a draw”. So it seems as if Oscar DeLahoya got his wish, a rematch. Now, Canelo has (naturally) said “ I won the fight, I won 7-8 rounds”. When the Blind Byrd lady goes to her optometrist, she should take Canelo with her. I just hope Canelo doesn’t pull a Danny Jacobs and milk this ‘victory’ for the next two years. A rematch is already being discussed and somewhere, the Byrd Lady’s saying, ‘damn, I’d like to SEE that one’. GGG seems ok with doing it again, but his clock is ticking fast. Did this scrap match the hype, do they EVER? I don’t think so but I still saw GGG winning, maybe 7-5 in rounds.
The undercard looked promising on paper. In the opener, tall, lanky, smooth boxing Ryan Martin (19-0-11K), lightweight prospect won a tougher than it should’ve been ten rounder over the game, Francisco Rojo (30-0-13K). Rojo was the stalker, pushing Martin all around the ring, while Martin was uninterested in getting overly involved with the tough shit. He was JUST like hot prospect Caleb Plant was a few weeks ago, doing JUST enough to win and satisfied with it. He seems to have a nice skill set but when the heat was turned up, he didn’t seem to REALLY wanna’ risk his ‘0’. His corner was imploring him to work more, “we need to drop this guy, it’s too close man”. Ryan was like, ‘oh please, I’m winning’. He doesn’t get rid of some if that ‘coolness’, I see the same thing happening to him that happened to that other hotshot, Amir Iman.
Roughneck Randy Caballero (24-014K) did all he could but was slightly overmatched by the undefeated Diego DeLahoya (19-0-9K) over 12 rounds. This was a back and forth affair with both guys having their moments. Diego finished much stronger down the stretch and left no doubt, especially since The Byrd Lady wasn’t involved in the judging. She would’ve given it to OSCAR DelaHoya instead of Diego.
South ElMonte’s Joel (JoJo) Diaz (23-0-13K) won a twelve round decision over late replacement, but game, Rafael Rivera (25-0-16K). This was a WBC featherweight eliminator. I don’t see how a late sub should be involved in an ‘eliminator’. I ALSO don’t see how Diaz can focus with his coach, Joel Diaz screaming instructions NON-STOP during the fight AND between rounds. You could here his screeching over the crowd noise. One would think after all the instructions during training his guy would have SOME sorta’ idea what to do in the fight. But hey, whatever leads to success, right?