Boxing judge Adalaide Byrd has been stood down from any major fights for the foreseeable future after her controversial scoring of the split decision draw between Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez over the weekend.
Byrd has come in for intense criticism, including from Golovkin himself, after scoring the Las Vegas bout 118-110 in favour of Mexican Alvarez, despite most others awarding the victory to the Kazakh. Fellow judge Dave Moretti scored the fight 115-113 to Golovkin, while Don Trella returned a level scorecard of 114-114, resulting in a split decision draw and the likelihood of an immediate rematch.
However, while both fighters were praised for their bravery and willingness to fight, attentions were focused on Byrd’s performance, which left fans inside the T-Mobile Arena booing Canelo even though he was not to blame for the score.
Bob Bennett, the executive director of the Nevada Athletic State Commission, confirmed that Byrd will be stood down from future events in order to review her performance and give her a “small break”.
“I’m not going to put her right back in,” Bennett said. “She’ll still be in the business, but she needs to catch her breath.”
He added: “Like in any profession, you have a bad night. Unfortunately, she didn’t do well. I can tell you she conducts training for us, takes judges under her wing, but her score was too wide.”
Golovkin was unhappy with the split decision draw, a result that ends his 100 per cent professional record, and while Canelo claimed he felt he did enough to claim victory, the WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight champion Golovkin did not hold back in his assessment of Byrd’s performance, labelling her scoring “terrible” and “unbelievable” before adding: “This is not good for the sport of boxing.”
Byrd only awarded Golovkin two of the 12 rounds – the fourth and the seventh – although Trella decided that Canelo had edged the seventh, leaving the scorecard nothing short of a mess come the end of the fight.
Golvkin’s team also expressed their disappointment with how the rounds were scored, with trainer Abel Sanchez calling on the relevant authorities to improve the standard of judging following a string of unusual scores.
“I think she [Adalaide Byrd] turned in her scorecard before the fight started,” said Sanchez. “I had suspicions when they gave us the list of judges. I think she needs to go back to school and learn how to judge a fight. But something has to be done about the judging.”
This isn’t the first time that Byrd’s scoring has fallen under scrutiny, with at least two of her previous boxing scorecards being deemed at best controversial and at worst way off the mark compared to the other judges in each fight.
In 2016, Byrd was the only judge that had Britain’s Amir Khan leading Canelo when he was knocked out by the Mexican, and she also judged American Bernard Hopkins to have beaten Welshman Joe Calzaghe in their 2008 encounter. Byrd also controversially scored two MMA fights, having been the only judge to have Nam Phan winning The Ultimate Fighter finale against Leonard Garcia as well as awarding Melvin Guillard the victory over Jamie Varner at UFC 155.
The NASC have dealt with a similar scenario in the past by axing one of their judges for two poor performances. CJ Ross scored the 2013 bout between Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao in the former’s favour that ultimately led to his highly-disputed victory, and later that year Ross was the only judge who had the bout between Floyd Mayweather and Canelo as a draw, which proved to be his last fight with the organisation.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies