*Update: Ross has stepped down as a judge since the backlash of her scoring decision.
Class was in session. Floyd Mayweather Jr was the professor and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was the giddy little kid trying to soak up as much information as he could. For Canelo, that information from Mayweather came in shots to the face and body and never really harming his teacher during “Boxing 101.”
The fight promoted as the “The One” featured two unbeaten fighters in Alvarez, 23, (42-0-1) and Mayweather, 36, (45-0) fighting for the WBA-WBC super welterweight title. Mayweather came out unscathed and a unanimous decision seemed to be in the books for the champ. The champ landed 232 punches and 46 percent of his attempts compared to Alvarez’s 117 and only 26 percent. But, of course this is boxing and someone has to make the sport look corrupt. Who better to do exactly that then C.J. Ross?
In the highly suspicious match between Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao last year, Ross is one of the judges who gave Bradley the victory in spilt-decision. The match was later changed in favor of Pacquiao after the WBO conducted a review of the bout.
In the Mayweather versus Alvarez title fight, Ross scored the fight as a 114-114 draw, giving Mayweather the lead in only six of the 12 rounds. Dave Moretti scored the fight 116-112 and Craig Metcalfe scored it 117-111, to give Mayweather a majority decision victory. The fact the other two judges had the bout that close was a surprise, but at least they weren’t completely asleep during the fight.
One must wonder, how does Ross even get assigned to perhaps the biggest fight in years after completely failing to do her job last year? In the NFL, NBA, or MLB etc. the sport will hire the absolute best referees or umpires to work the sport’s biggest games. The Nevada State Athletic Commission should be embarrassed for hiring her and needs to take some blame.
Mayweather’s father and trainer is upset with how Ross has hurt the game again: “She hurt the game. For the biggest fight in the world in the history of boxing, you know what everyone is saying? Boxing is crooked. It’s crooked.”
The fight was not the biggest in the history or boxing — not even close actually — but it was one of the biggest of the decade with one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters ever and of the biggest Mexican stars of all-time. Minus Floyd Sr.’s need of a history lesson, the rest of his statement was exactly true. Finally the public was on the edge of their seat and all seemed well with a sport that has seen its star-power diminish in the recent past, but fans have to talk more about the corruptness of the sport than Mayweather’s greatness.
With the stubborn attitude of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and their refusal of admitting Ross made a mistake, she is likely to blow another match.
The real question is, was this an act of just awful judging or real corruptness of the sport?
On the day of the fight, conspiracy theorists had their eyes fixed on Las Vegas. A draw opened as a 30-to-1 bet, but later in the day shrunk to 8-1. The thinking is, if the fight finished in a draw, the riches from the fight could be exceeded with a rematch in 2014. If there was a draw, in money terms, the fighters win, the bettors win, Showtime wins, Las Vegas wins and perhaps C.J. Ross wins.
If any of this happened and Ross had her money in Vegas, would any of us really be surprised? The sad answer, is no. In today’s sports world full of different cheating stories in both pro and college sports, Ross fits the mold perfectly. Now, in sports, you are guilty until proven innocent.
Right now, we live in a sports world where 14 baseball players were suspended for getting PED’s from a shady guy in Miami and one of those players is trying to propel a team to the playoffs. And thanks to those players and the PED users before them, there’s speculation with Chris Davis hitting 50 home runs or Mike Trout being the best player on the planet. There’s speculation if Adrian Peterson works his tail off after knee surgery and runs for over 2,000 yards.
In college sports, the latest scandal is the Oklahoma State football program paying players, changing grades, drugs being everywhere and using sex as a recruiting tool in the past. The saddest part of this scandal, is that it seems like virtually nobody cares, because nobody is surprised. With all the corruptness of college sports, the thinking is that some part of this is going on everywhere and everybody is guilty of it until proven innocent.
Sports have turned to a world of speculation and against our own principles of law. When Johnny Manziel was accused of signing autographs for money, everybody assumed he did it no matter how much they wanted him to play football.
Today, Ross fits the sports mold perfectly and the saddest part is that we have to expect the worst now.