GGG V Canelo: The Byrdwatch Continues



GGG V Canelo: The Byrdwatch Continues

Lying is the new honesty.

At the post fight presser following egregious scoring for what was a solid showdown between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, a bewildered media was giving NSAC boss Bob Bennett the business. Principle to all of the angst was the 118-110 scorecard of judge Adalaide Byrd, a woman who appeared to have been chosen by Golden Boy for one specific reason: Not knowing what the fuck was going on. How she actually got the 7th round right for Golovkin while judge Don Trella was apparently staring at ring card girls, is a another Las Vegas mystery. From this point of view, it's indicative of a scorecard being filled out prior to the fight actually happening– and possible corruption.

Lost in the furor over Byrd's really far away from 20/20 vision, was that caveat, one which would've correctly given the fight to Golovkin and preserved what should remain an unbeaten record. An embattled Bennett assured everyone that he would get to the bottom of things; and, well, I guess he did with a little help from Mayweather Promotions. That TMT was allowed to reach into the bottom of an officiating basket and pull out a rotten apple in Byrd for this weekend's assignment is both inexcusable and offensive.

You'll forgive me for being extremely “truculent” (as Howard Cosell once called an irritated Muhammad Ali), but here in New York, I'm still pissed off about insurance regulations that make it difficult for smaller fight venues to get around a $1 million dollar policy to stage events for the intermediate pro. It is the commission's job to fight for the fighter and his/her best interest(s), and NYSAC Ndidi Massay, a rare minority woman of power in sports, tries to do just that.

All of the assembled press heard Floyd Mayweather express discontent with the judges back in January, following an iffy majority draw between Badou Jack and James DeGale. Though “Money” threatened to never spend any time in New York ever again following the outrage, how can Mayweather Promotions justify adding a known terrible official to this weekends card? Consider that Julie Lederman, who qualifies as a great judge, was one of the three judges for DeGale V Jack. Is it fair to say that Lederman could've have received a benefit-of-the-doubt “draw” over Byrd?

While we're at it, care for a little history on just how bad Byrd is? Going beyond her boxing infractions (there's more of those than sheets in a roll of toilet paper), Byrd absolutely blew everyone's mind at UFC 155 in December 2012. In one of the most ridiculous scorecards ever submitted in the history of combat sports, Byrd actually scored James Varner V Melvin Guillard 30-27 in favor of Guillard. For perspective, not only did the other two judges have it in favor of Varner by scores of 30-27, but he dominated every second of every minute in that fight while scoring seven takedowns to zero.

So when we watched Teddy Atlas turn bright red and nearly go into cardiac arrest on ESPN following the verdict for GGG V Canelo, actions such as this assignment only flaunts a disregard for fair play when convenient. It should be obvious to fans and various officials of the sport that Byrd is being given assignments for being poor at what she does. Let a McDonald's worker put too many Big Macs in a bag that should've included just one hamburger and see what happens. He's not then sent to other stores because he's good for profit.

I really hope the World Boxing Super Series is a soaring success that serves as a model for how things can be done the right way. Because what little integrity remains in the bodies that govern boxing is adjacent to the still pursued value of a dollar at any cost.

Senior correspondent for NY Fights and author of upcoming book, "The Fist Club." Conscious indie recording artist "T@z" and humanist advocate for the Green Party.