Mario Lopez is among the many fight fans who were shocked on Saturday night.
The Hollywood star was present for the highly-anticipated boxing title bout between middleweights Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez that took place Sept. 16 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. The fight sparked plenty of controversy, as it ended in a draw that included a lopsided 118-110 scorecard favoring the Mexican boxer from judge Adalaide Byrd.
Although the contest was competitive, many observers who watched the fight, including Lopez, believe Golovkin did enough that night to outpoint Alvarez.
“This fight was a great fight,” Lopez told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour. “I think it delivered on it’s promises: It got intense, it got heated. It’s hard to root against either fighter, I happen to know both fighters — I’ve actually sparred with both fighters — and I know them well and they’re gentlemen outside of the ring. They’re class acts, they’re really cool, but I felt like the nod should’ve maybe gone to Gennady.
“When it was all said and done, he initiated most of the action, he let his hands go through more, he had the constant pressure. And although Canelo showed resilience, a stout set of whiskers, he looked comfortable at middleweight, he countered, I just felt like fighting in 30 second spurts wasn’t enough.”
Despite Alvarez vs. Golovkin generally being regarded as a great fight that delivered plenty of action, Lopez feels it’s unfortunate that the talk leaving one of boxing’s most biggest bouts of the year is not about the athletes, but instead about Byrd’s controversial scorecard.
“You should never know a judge’s name, and whenever the judge is starting to get more (publicity) and it’s overshadowing a really good fight between two of the best boxers in the world, that’s just such a stain on the evening,” Lopez explained.
“She literary gave ‘GGG’ two rounds of the fight. That was criminal. She should’ve been arrested. It looks like a predetermined scorecard from the get. And the irony was that there was a lot of buzz that she should’ve not been involved from the get. She’s judged hundreds of these before and she’s been met with controversy before, so it was unfortunate. The other two judges had it a little more in line.”
Many within the boxing community, such as legendary trainer and analyst Teddy Atlas, blamed the questionable scoring on corruption and the sport’s desire to stage a big-money rematch. However, with the way the fight went down, Lopez believes that a rematch would’ve been warranted anyways, even with the proper scoring.
“It was very, very close,” Lopez said. “It’s not the worst decision in the world and I’m not incredibly upset about the draw, a rematch would’ve been warranted regardless if Gennady would have gotten the nod. I think regardless they could’ve done it again and everyone wins.”