By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Abel Sanchez’s suspicions regarding judge Adalaide Byrd unfortunately were validated Saturday night.
Sanchez was concerned when he learned Byrd was among the pool of judges the Nevada State Athletic Commission was considering assigning to the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin fight. Golovkin’s trainer grew even more worried when the NSAC approved her assignment Monday.
Just as Sanchez feared, Byrd’s dubious scorecard marred a terrific, fan-friendly fight between Kazakhstan’s Golovkin and Mexico’s Alvarez at T-Mobile Arena. Nevada’s Byrd scored their 12-round middleweight title fight 118-110 for Alvarez, who she credited with winning 10 of the 12 rounds.
The other two judges, Nevada’s Dave Moretti (115-113 for Golovkin) and Connecticut’s Don Trella (114-114), submitted scorecards much more reflective of what took place in the ring. Their three scorecards combined to result in Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) and Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) settling for a 12-round draw in their HBO Pay-Per-View main event.
“We had the kind of fight that I thought we were gonna have,” Sanchez said during the post-fight press conference. “I thought that one of the judges had her card filled out before she came to the fight. But that’s unfortunate, that in Vegas they seem to go to different schools to learn how to judge a fight. But if Canelo wants a rematch, I’m sure that they’ll put it together and we’ll have another great one.”
Bob Bennett, executive director of the NSAC, said during the press conference that he’ll have a discussion with Byrd to find out how she determined Alvarez won by such a big margin. Bennett praised the infamously inconsistent judge’s overall performance the past three years, though, and wouldn’t commit to any type of discipline for Byrd just yet.
Sanchez suggested that Byrd needs more training before she should be allowed to judge another fight.
“Like I said, I thought she had her card filled out before she got here,” Sanchez said. “But I voiced the question prior to the fight, when they were selecting the judges, that I thought that she was so up and down with her scoring. One fight she looks good, and then three, four fights she does terrible. I just think she needs to be reviewed. She can’t be that bad, or she can’t be that blind, I should say, that she can do that to so many fights.”
Byrd scored seven of the final eight rounds and each of the last five for Alvarez.
“I had some issues with her when they gave us the list of judges,” Sanchez said. “I said that she was so up and down with fights. She had one good one, and then she had three or four bad ones. I think she needs to be reviewed. I think she needs to go back to school and learn how to judge a fight.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.