For Floyd Mayweather Jr., Saturday night was just another night on the job.
Mayweather dominated Canelo Alvarez and remained undefeated over 45 fights with the victory before a glittering crowd of 16,746 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. He was highly compensated, earning $41.5 million plus a pay-per-view that could result in a direct deposit of around $100 million.
But boxing’s biggest payday didn’t translate into this being its best moment, thanks to a scoring controversy involving one of the judges. Mayweather’s performance may have solidified his position as the best boxer of his generation, but he won by majority decision. Two out of three judges scored the bout for Mayweather. A third, C.J. Ross, had it even. This is the same C.J. Ross whose scoring was called into question after Timothy Bradley beat Manny Pacquiao — a result that even Bradley was uncertain about — and she was hammered for her scoring of the fight early Sunday morning.
the 114-114 score was horrible, that was so wrong for any judge to make a judgement that bad they should never be allowed to judge fights
— Evander Holyfield (@holyfield) September 15, 2013
“Floyd won the fight easily, but didn’t receive a unanimous decision. Why? Because Ross scored it 114-114. Yes, Ross scored it 6 rounds to 6. A draw,” Larry Brown noted at Larry Brown Sports. “She thought Mayweather and Alvarez had an even fight, even though Floyd landed about 100 more punches and was hardly touched. Ross also scored the Timothy Bradley-Manny Pacquiao fight 115-113 (7 rounds to 5) in favor of Bradley to help him win a split decision last year.”
Judge Dave Moretti scored it 116-112 in favor or Mayweather; Craig Metcalfe had it 117-111.
— Luke Thomas (@SBNLukeThomas) September 15, 2013
“I thought it was a joke,” Mayweather told ESPN of Ross’s scorecard. “I was kind of shocked, but I’m not the judge. My job is to go out there and fight.”
In the post-match press conference, he was more philosophical (which isn’t difficult given the ease of his win and the size of his paycheck).
“I’m not in control of what the judges do,” he said. “I’m a little shocked. … Things happen in the sport of boxing. Everything is a learning experience.”
Teddy Atlas, the veteran trainer and TV analyst, railed on ESPN about “another black eye for boxing. Boxing is like a Cyclops, and, guess what, there are no more eyes to blacken. ….. Boxing is destroying itself.”
Mayweather, perhaps counting the zeroes on his impending paycheck, was more sanguine. “If they [the Nevada Athletic Commission] think she should be out there judging fights, then so be it.”