AS a fight Canelo-Golovkin was everything we could have hoped for. It ebbed and flowed as both fighters showed heart, skill and courage – not to mention cast iron chins. But the shocking ineptitude of judge Adelaide Byrd was a stain on a night of great boxing.
Middleweight king Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) retained his titles in a back-in-forth war that was ruled a draw on Mexican Independence Day in front of a sold-out crowd of 22,358 raucous fans at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Cannel Alvarez is now 49-1-2, 34 KOs.
Byrd inexplicably scored the fight 118-110 for Canelo. Dave Moretti scored the fight 115-113 for Golovkin, and Don Trella had them even at 114-114.
“I thought I won the fight,” said Canelo Alvarez. “I think I was superior inside the ring. I won at least seven or eight rounds. I was able to counterpunch, and even make Gennady wobble a couple times. It’s up to the people if we fight again. I feel frustrated over this draw.” When asked if he felt Golovkin’s power, Canelo said, “No, truthfully, not really. There wasn’t any power that surprised me. In the first rounds, I came out to see what he had. Then I was building from there. Yes, of course I want the rematch. Obviously, if the people want it, then yes.”
“It’s a big drama show,” said Gennady Golovkin. “I want to thank all my fans. I want to thank all my Kazakhstan fans for supporting me, for coming out. Of course I want a rematch. This was a real fight. Look, I still have all the belts. I’m still the champion.”
Elsewhere on the show Joseph Diaz, Jnr. (25-0, 13 KOs) scored a dominant 12-round unanimous decision victory against Rafael Rivera (25-1-2, 16 KOs) to earn a shot at the WBC featherweight title. Diaz, a native of South El Monte, California, boxed comfortably from his southpaw stance throughout the fight, pawing with his right hand before unleashing powerful right hooks and straight left hands on Rivera, a native of Tijuana, Mexico. Diaz won with two scores of 119-109 and one score of 120-108.
Diego De La Hoya (20-0, 9 KOs) outclassed Randy Caballero (24-1, 14 KOs) over 10 rounds to win the NABF and NABO super-bantamweight titles by unanimous decision. De La Hoya, of Mexicali, Mexico, started off explosively by landing a fusillade of punches that caused Caballero’s left eye to swell by the third round. Caballero, who fights out of Coachella, California, was the aggressor for much of the fight, but De La Hoya’s speed and size advantage nullified Caballero’s offense. De La Hoya won with scores of 90-100, 92-98, and 92-98.
Ryan Martin (20-0, 11 KOs) opened the HBO Pay-Per-View telecast with a 10-round split decision victory against Francisco Rojo (19-3, 12 KOs) to unify his WBC Continental Americas and the vacant WBA Intercontinental lightweight titles. Martin, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, used his footwork and high-guard defense to box from the outside, while Rojo cut off the ring to land hooks to the body and head of the Mexico, City, Mexico native. As the rounds progressed, Martin and Rojo exchanged more and more explosively, though Martin was deducted a point in the ninth round for excessive low-blows. By the end of the fight, Rojo was coming on stronger, though it was not enough to win on all the judge scorecards. Martin won with scores of 95-94 and 96-93, while one judge scored it 98-91 for Rojo.
All photos: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy & Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports