LAS VEGAS — While middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez delivered on their promise to put on a memorable, action-packed fight, it might be remembered more for the scorecard of judge Adalaide Byrd.
Golovkin retained the title for the 19th consecutive time in what was ruled a split draw Saturday night before a sold-out crowd of 22,358 at the T-Mobile Arena.
In an action-packed classic, Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin fought to a draw with wildly different scores from the judges — including a 118-110 score for Alvarez — in their middleweight title bout Saturday night.
It was a close, competitive fight that judge Dave Moretti scored 115-113 in favor of Golovkin and judge Don Trella scored 114-114. It was Byrd’s scorecard that was the stunner.
She had it 118-110 in favor of Alvarez, giving Golovkin only the fourth and seventh rounds on a scorecard that likely will go down as one of the most shocking in boxing history.
In an unusual move, Bob Bennett, the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, came to ringside shortly after the fight to speak to the media and address the controversy of Byrd’s scorecard.
He recommended all three judges for selection to the panel, and they were approved by the five commissioners. Bennett lauded Byrd as a quality judge but made no excuses for her scoring of the fight.
“Adalaide, in my estimation, is an outstanding judge,” Bennett said. “She’s done over 115 title fights and/or elimination bouts. She does a great deal of our training. Takes a lot of our judges under her wing. I think being a judge is a very challenging position.
“Unfortunately, Adalaide was a little wide. I’m not making any excuses. I think she’s an outstanding judge, and in any business, sometimes you have a bad day. She saw the fight differently. It happens.”
The judges are not made available to the media following fights.
This is not Byrd’s first controversial scorecard. She had Jessie Magdaleno defeating Nonito Donaire 118-110 to win a junior featherweight world title in 2016 in a fight the other judges had closer. Another example was the 2012 junior middleweight title fight between Austin Trout and Miguel Cotto. Trout won the fight, but Byrd’s 119-109 scorecard in favor of Trout was a stunner.