In true boxing fashion, a major fight ended in controversy. This time, an incredibly puzzling judging decision resulted in a draw in the big middleweight title fight between “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.

In the 12-round title bout, most people who were watching on pay-per-view and at T-Mobile Arena saw a great fight that seemed to indicate Golovkin the winner wound up being a draw. Dave Moretti ruled 115-113 in favor of Golovkin which seemed fair. Don Trella ruled a 114-114 draw where each boxer won six rounds which was a bit of a shock but not too terrible. Adelaide Byrd, however, was clearly watching something else, ruling a 118-110 score in favor of Alvarez, winning all but two rounds.

The ensuing controversy set everyone off and that included ESPN boxing analyst Teddy Atlas and First Take’s Stephen A. Smith. Atlas and Smith, like most boxing fans, have gotten angry at the sport before. Most notably, they sparred about another controversial end to a great fight when Jeff Horn won in a unanimous decision over Manny Pacquiao even though it seemed that Pacquiao would easily win. The two also got into it over cheeseburgers for some reason after the Mayweather-McGregor fight last month.

This time, the two talked about the controversial decision by the judge and how that evolved into how the sport of boxing is run.

Despite this quickly developing into a shouting match like just about any other debate topic, the two actually made some good points in terms of the sport. Stephen A. viewed what happened as a consequence of lots and lots of money being made and passed around and when that happens, there is a good chance of corruption. And while there may not be corruption in terms of the actual results of sporting events, there is corruption in almost every sport.

Atlas, on the other hand, is a boxing lifer and boxing is his sport. And the fact that there is corruption in other sports is irrelevant to the topic they were discussing. There is corruption in boxing and it seems like every time we write about boxing or anyone talks about boxing, it’s about something bad like this that happened.

Boxing is no longer a sport where everything seemed pure and was just about two fighters putting on a great match. It hasn’t been since I’ve been alive that’s for sure. Now, it’s all about a certain few people making obscene amounts of money, fans being price gouged of seeing any match of prestige since everything is on pay-per-view and almost every one of those fights ends in some sort of controversy that we talk about that than the actual fight. Maybe other sports have corruption but at least the on-field product is good enough to get people to at least find some way to like the sport. Boxing seems to just have corruption and situations like this arise that cause people to doubt the in-ring product believing something shady is going to happen.

On a side note, maybe this is because of all the political things that have revolved around ESPN over the past few days but I think I could watch a show where Teddy Atlas yells at random things on a big screen. It seems entertaining in a Howard Beale kind of way.


About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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