It seems that just lately we really have been judging the judges. The three wise men who have the privileged and also incredibly important job of sitting closer to the action than anyone else in the house (with only the third man in the ring closer to the two men who are slugging it out out inside the squared circle) have been guilty of handing in some, shall we say, debatable scoring in fights. We’ve seen some bad scoring this year (see the Jermell Charlo-Brian Castano fight, the Gabriel Maestre-Mykal Fox fight, the Mikaela Mayer-Maiva Hamadouche fight, for just three examples).
And on Sunday, after his fighter Gervonta Tank Davis scored a pretty close decision over Isaac Cruz, superstar of the sport Floyd Mayweather became the latest big name to lay into the scoring officials. Davis won by just a two-point margin on two of the three cards, at 115-113, and Floyd was fuming.
“We got these judges in the fight game right now, “ Mayweather said to the media at the post-fight presser for Tank’s close win. “Judges are 75 years old, 80 years old. When it’s time to hang it up, hang it up. I’m not being biased. If Tank got his ass whupped, I’ma say, you know what, he got his ass whupped. There were probably four rounds the guy [Cruz] could have got. But eight rounds he was getting outboxed.”
How did you have the Davis-Cruz fight scored? Maybe those two 115-113 cards were guilty of being far too close (one more round for Cruz from those two judges and he would have got a draw). So, what can be done about controversial decisions in boxing? Is Mayweather correct when he suggests the judges, or some of them, are simply too old for the task at hand? Should there be a mandatory retirement age in judging a boxing match, just as there is a mandatory retirement age in almost every other job?
There has to be something done, and fans have been saying so for so long. But until something, who knows what, is done, controversial and flat-out bad decisions will continue to plague the sport. Who will be the next victim? Tank Davis got the win he deserved but it was, many people say, too close for comfort on two of the three cards. Fighters lay it all on the line each and every time they fight and they give it their absolute best. Ask yourself – can the same really be said of the judges?
Mayweather himself was the victim of a simply outrageous piece of scoring when he fought Canelo Alvarez getting on for ten years ago, when one judge somehow scored the fight a draw, this despite the fact that Floyd dominated the fight in a massive way. As was the case with Tank, the right man won the fight. Otherwise, we would have seen the sport suffer one of its biggest, ugliest and nastiest black eyes.