By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – If the Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez rematch goes to the scorecards, Abel Sanchez is confident the judges will get it right this time.
Golovkin’s trainer firmly believes Golovkin deserved a victory in their first fight, which resulted in a 12-round draw that caused considerable controversy. The only judge who’ll work their rematch that also scored their first fight is Nevada’s Dave Moretti, who credited Golovkin for a 115-113 victory last September 16 at T-Mobile Arena.
Moretti will be joined around the ring by Connecticut’s Glenn Feldman and New Jersey’s Steve Weisfeld, two highly respect judges, Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. Feldman and Weisfeld have replaced Connecticut’s Don Trella, who scored their first fight even (114-114) and Nevada’s Adalaide Byrd, who erroneously scored 10 of those 12 rounds for Alvarez (118-110).
“I think that this time around we have a great set of judges,” Sanchez said. “Steve Weisfeld is probably the most respected [judge] in the world. Dave Moretti is an exceptional judge. And Feldman, who I don’t think I’ve worked with before, I don’t see any discrepancies in his scoring. … He’s generally very, very accurate. The referee, I’m happy that they brought somebody from out of town, out of state.”
The Nevada State Athletic Commission assigned New Jersey’s Benjy Esteves Jr. as the referee for this HBO Pay-Per-View main event.
Nevada’s Kenny Bayless was the referee for their first fight. The teams of Golovkin and Alvarez would’ve welcomed Bayless as the referee again, but a scheduling conflict prevented Bayless from working this rematch.
“I never really worried about or started arguing about the judges,” Alvarez said through a translator. “I just [have confidence] in the commission and I respect that. But initially, they were gonna leave the judge [Moretti] who gave him the victory in the first fight. And we said, ‘Well, how are you gonna take all the judges, but keep that one judge there?’ But again, I don’t worry about that. I trust the commission and I [have confidence] in them for this fight.”
The 36-year-old Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) is slightly favored to defeat the 28-year-old Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) in their 12-round, 160-pound rematch. Their highly anticipated second bout will headline HBO Pay-Per-View’s four-fight broadcast, which is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT ($84.99 in HD).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.