The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, was rocking well before Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez began his walk to the ring to face Austin Trout on Showtime Championship Boxing. But the crowd's explosion when the Mexican superstar made his way from the locker room was one of the more goosebump-inducing moments in recent boxing history. And once the fight started the action lived up to the atmosphere.
Unfortunately, boxing has a way of spoiling the moment far too often with the garbage that comes with promoters and athletic commissions, and it happened again.
A back and forth battle that showcased the strengths of both fighters was marred by the "open scoring" system for the WBC and Texas, where the official scorecards are shared with the corners after rounds four and eight. While the scores were close after round four, when they were given to the corners after round eight, it was clear that the fight was already out of reach for Trout.
After eight rounds, I had the fight 76-75 for Trout while Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook had the fight 77-74 for Trout. The judges, however, had Canelo up 80-71, 78-73 and 76-75. This meant that one judge had not seen a single round to give to Trout in a very competitive fight.
The official cards when the final bell rang were 115-112, 116-111 and 118-109.
In the end, there were many fans and media that felt Canelo deserved the win (myself included). So once again boxing fans were left to cling to repeating "at least the right guy won," while ignoring the injustices carried out by the official judges.
On the positive side, as previously stated, the fight was high-level boxing at near its best. Canelo didn't open up with much by way of combination punching, but he did use surprising defensive tactics to avoid the attack of Trout. At times Trout would unload combinations while Canelo shifted and turned, causing all of the punches to hit nothing but air. Trout was aggressive though and at times was the bully in a fight where many felt he'd be trying to be the "cute" fighter, using footwork to avoid the bullrush of Alvarez.
Canelo resorted for much of the fight to throwing single power shots but was effective enough to earn rounds. In fact, he was so effective that he was able to land a crushing punch that dropped Trout for the first time in his career in round seven. A knockdown that gave Canelo the win in the eyes of many, but one that he turned out not to need as at least two of the Texas judges appeared to have filled out their scorecards sometime earlier this week.
With the win, Canelo improves to 42-0-1 with 30 KO while Trout drops to 26-1, 14 KO. Canelo could well be set up to fight Floyd Mayweather in his next fight, but a rematch between these two is both deserved and likely to produce another thrilling display of top shelf boxing.
The rematch would just need to be moved to a state with better judges ... just let me know when you find one.