WBA, WBC and IBF world champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, 37-0-1 (33), from KZ now fighting out of L.A. kept his titles against former super welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 49-1-2 (34), of Guadalajara, MEX, after receiving only a disputed draw Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena. Golden Boy Promotions representing Alvarez and K2 representing Golovkin were the co-promoters.
When the champion Golovkin entered the ring first you knew he would need a knockout to win. After four even rounds with Alvarez back pedaling throughout and Golovkin chasing the champion would take rounds four through eleven using an effective jab and pinning Alvarez to the ropes each round.
Alvarez knowing he was behind finally made it the war that was predicted by his promoter Oscar De La Hoya in the final round. What seemed like a solid win for Golovkin started with the announcement of Judge Byrd 118-110 in favor of Alvarez. Between her and her husband referee Robert Byrd both should be put into retirement by the NV commission. In favor of Golovkin was judge Moretti at 115-113 with the final judge Trella calling it 114-114. This writer had Golovkin well ahead 117-111. Was a rematch scheduled prior to the fight? Kenny Bayliss was the referee.
Alvarez never lived up to the hype he got and fought like a super welterweight not a middleweight like the champion Golovkin who is truly one of the two best boxers in the world. How Alvarez who ran for eleven rounds could be given a draw only fighting the final round trying to pull out a win was a wonder only in boxing. Golovkin’s manager Tom Loeffler who also manages Roman Gonzalez had was the advisor for the Klitchko’s was not a happy camper let along his pride and joy Golovkin who fought more like a Mexican warrior than the Mexican Alvarez.
NABF Super bantamweight champion Randy “El Matador” Ballero, 24-1 (14), of Coachella, CA, lost his title big time to Diego De La Hoya, 25-0 (9), of Mexicali, MEX, 100-90 and 98-92 twice as did this writer have it.
Lightweight Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin, 20-0 (11) of Chattanooga, TN, now out of Cleveland, OH, easily defeated US debuting Francisco Rojo, 20-3 (13), of Mexico City, MEX, by split decision over 10 rounds. Scores for Martin were 96-93 and 95-94 while Rojo somehow got a 98-91 score. This writer had it 97-92 for Martin. Martin lost a point for a low blow in the ninth round after four warnings by referee Russell Mora in the last two rounds. Martin won the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title and retained his WBC Continental Americas title. Martin is managed by David McWater who has some 20+ boxers in his stable of prospects and contenders.
Featherweight southpaw Joseph Diaz, Jr. 25-0 (13), of Downey, CA, impressed in an easy win over game Rafael Rivera, 25-1-2 (16), of Tijuana, MEX, what looked like a shutout from this writers perspective. Tony Weeks was the referee.
How Nevada continues to get these big fights one has to wonder. No one shows up in the stands until the co-feature. The referee’s and judges are far from the best so why do they get these title bouts on HBO PPV or Showtime PPV? The event aired four bouts with not one knockdown in any of those bouts. Where was the excitement?