On September 16th, 2017, when the final bell rang for Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin’s highly anticipated showdown in Las Vegas, many in the world of boxing were wondering how the three judges would score the close middleweight title showdown.
Former Executive Director of the New York State Athletic Commission, David Berlin, was one of the millions waiting to see who’d come out the winner. What happened next would shock everyone.
Upon hearing the first score, judge Adelaide Byrd’s 118-110 decision in-favor of Alvarez, Berlin would be startled by what he heard.
“My initial reaction was shock, it was absolutely a wrong score… there was something wrong there, something clearly incompetent,” Berlin exclusively told FIGHT SPORTS.
And while Berlin feels that second judge, Dave Moretti, was off with the score of 115-113, he believes that Moretti got the right winner in Golovkin.
Following the final decision of a 114-114 draw coming from Don Trella came down, Berlin was very matter of fact in his assessment,
“This fight was mis-scored, Golovkin was the clear winner of the fight. He should have had the decision. It’s the responsibility of those judges… The stakes were too high, but unfortunately they got it wrong.”
When looking at the scorecard, Berlin is bewildered by how Byrd scored the fight, “I can’t explain it. No argument can be made for her,” the former NYSAC executive director lamented, “I can’t see how anyone could see it in [Alvarez’] favor,” said Berlin, who personally scored the fight 116-112 for Golovkin.
As someone who not only has sat ringside for major title fights but has assigned judges and officials while leading the New York State Athletic Commission, he claims the judges need to do their best to avoid any outside influences during the fight, especially a partisan crowd.
“They need to cut out influences other than what they’re watching in the ring. It’s true that a crowd’s reaction to punches will naturally affect human beings, and there have been some suggestions in the sport that judges should wear ear plugs to cut out those sounds… I believe that a judge needs to be trained to concentrate… It’s a judge’s job to score fights correctly, and I don’t think we can give them excuses.”
Berlin claimed that there is no real defining criteria in vetting judges and that “it’s a subjective task…left to the commission.”
“I think what the commission is looking for is first of all, competence, accurate scoring, a history of that for a particular judge. In addition, experience in the biggest fights… but most of what we’re looking at is a record of good scoring, judges who always carry themselves as professionals.”
Following the controversial decision, Berlin believes the judges assigned for the September 15th return to Las Vegas are the best to avoid a repeat performance, Nevada’s Dave Moretti, one of the original judges of the 2017 fight, Connecticut’s Glenn Feldman and New Jersey’s Steve Weisfeld.
“I have faith,” Berlin told FIGHT SPORTS, and that the three were a “very competent panel.”
“Steve Weisfeld, is perhaps the best judge in the sport, Glenn Feldman, he’s a top, top judge, and Dave Moretti is the one judge who scored the first Golovkin-Alvarez fight correctly.”
Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez have their highly anticipated rematch on September 15th from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.