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Bob Bennett: Nevada commission will ‘move forward’ with judge Adalaide Byrd

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Gennady Golovkin v Canelo Alvarez Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

It was announced this past week that Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin will have a rematch of their highly debated bout from last September. One of the key figures in that fight, which was ruled a split draw, was Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) judge Adalaide Byrd.

In a bout many thought was won by Golovkin, Byrd scored it 118-110 in favor of Alvarez. Golovkin, at the time, called the decision “terrible.” And the pitchforks have been out for Byrd in the media and among fans. Alvarez vs. Golovkin 2 is set for May 5 in a location yet to be decided.

NAC executive officer Bob Bennett told MMA Fighting on Friday that Byrd was never “benched” by the commission, despite reports following the bout. She did take some time off, which was her choice, Bennett said. But since Canelo vs. GGG on Sept. 16, Byrd has worked four boxing cards in Nevada, including one bout on Oct. 21. She worked a Mayweather Promotions card last weekend in Las Vegas.

Bennett said he did sit down with Byrd to talk and they watched film of the Alvarez vs. Golovkin fight together. But now they have “moved forward.” Bennett compared her to a good quarterback who threw a few interceptions in one game. It doesn’t mean the end, he said.

“If you’re an athlete and somebody has a bad day, you don’t bench them,” Bennett said. “You put them back to work.”

Byrd has had other controversial decisions over the years, in boxing and in MMA. However, Bennett said in his time with the NAC, she has produced solid and consistent scores. Though he said the September miscue was “unfortunate for the fighters and the fans,” he’s confident in her knowledge due to her three decades in the business.

“I’d still say in the last 3-1/2 years, she’s done a great job,” Bennett said. “I don’t want to hear about 2012. As long as I’ve been here, she’s done a good job. … She’s a great judge. One fight sure as heck doesn’t define her career.”

Bennett would not comment on whether or not Byrd would work the Canelo-GGG rematch, because it’s not even known yet where that fight will take place. As far as other high-profile fights in the future, the commission director said they’ll take a wait-and-see approach.

“We’ll take it one step at a time,” Bennett said. “We’ll make sure that she’s comfortable. We’ll continue to move forward. She’s been spot on [in recent fights] and she’s tough. I have a great deal of respect for her. She got raked over the coals, but she wants to come back. She’s a warrior and still wants to judge fights.”