Approximately one year ago, Manny Pacquiao lost a decision fight to Timothy Bradley. And then the internet literally (read, not literally) exploded. The Twitter-verse got multiple jabs in on the topic, all of which shared the opinion that Pacquiao was robbed of a victory. The two judges who scored the bout in favor of Bradley: Duane Ford and C.J. Ross.
Now, Ross is under fire due to another extremely questionable decision. This weekend, the biggest fight of the year occurred when Floyd Mayweather took to the ring against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Both men had perfect records on the line, however Mayweather would come out victorious, in a split decision – only the second such score ever in Mayweather’s career (the other being against the formidable Oscar de la Hoya). Who was the lone judge who scored the fight not in Mayweather’s favor? You guessed it – C.J. Ross, who scored the fight as a draw, 114-114.
Keith Kizer, the NSAC executive director, released statements defending Ross’s actions on Sunday: “Just because a judge’s scorecard ends up even, doesn’t mean the judge necessarily thought the fight as a whole was even. It could be that a judge has six rounds for each fighter, but the six rounds she gave fighter A, she gave them to him easily and the six rounds she gave fighter B, they were really close rounds. That’s pretty much how it was last night.” In response to cries for Ross being fired, Kizer stated “Let’s say you don’t agree with her on the eighth round,” Kizer said. “One round out of 24 you disagree with her and you think she should never judge again? “How is that nothing more than mob mentality?” Kizer said that no disciplinary actions will ensue, but that he will investigate the decision and address any inconsistencies between Ross’s scorecard and the fight, if they exist.
When one looks at Kizer’s words, it does seem legitimate that Ross could have simply scored the fight round by round and resulted in a draw. She only gave 2 rounds to Alvarez that were not given to him by the other two judges. Two out of twelve isn’t bad, right?
However, when one looks at the numbers behind the bout, Ross’s decision makes no sense. According to CompuBoxOnline.com, Mayweather landed 46% of his total punches, compared to 22% for Alvarez. Not only that, Mayweather managed to land 53% of his power punches, compared to a paltry 31% by Alvarez. The biggest disparity came when their jab percentages are compared – 42% for Mayweather and only 15% for Alvarez.
When one compares Ross’s scorecard to that of other judges, her decision looks even worse. Boxingnewsonline.net compiled a collection of 86 scorecards from the press. The average scorecard from these 86 press members was 119-109 in favor of Mayweather, meaning that the average press member gave Mayweather 5 more rounds than Ross. In fact, the lowest score amongst the 86 gave the bout to Mayweather with a score of 116-113.
At this point, it is fairly evident that Ross was WAY off with her scorecard. But everyone is entitled to a bad day, right? Well, let’s take a look back at the controversial Pacquiao vs. Bradley bout. First, remember that Ross was not alone in her assessment of the contest. However, let the numbers speak for themselves. In terms of punches landed, Pacquiao scored on 37% of his punches, while Bradley scored on 19%.
When one looks at other scorecards, things don’t get any better for Ross. A panel of 5 WBO (World Boxing Organization) judges all scored the bout in favor of Pacquiao – 5 to 0. The boxing blog Fight Score Collector conducted a detailed analysis of scorecards surrounding the fight. Out of 265 total scores collected, only 10 cards were against Pacquiao. Out of 48 total press scores, only 1 was not in favor of Pacquiao.
All of these statistics aside, Ross has been a judge for a while and is perhaps entitled to two bad days in her career. A statement released by Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer , who owns the company that promotes Alvarez, stated that “The whole world was watching. That scorecard was a disgrace.” When the person who promotes the boxer you gave the win to cannot even believe your decision, you know you are wrong. Period.
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