At the end of the bout between Floyd Mayweather and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, it was C.J. Ross' name that too center stage. Ross was one of the three ringside judges for the fight and quite possibly the only person of any "credibility" on the planet who saw six rounds for Canelo in the fight, scoring the bout a draw.
Mayweather put on arguably his career best performance, Canelo put in a hell of an effort for a 23 year old against the best fighter in the world and we were reduced to talking about the judge who just couldn't do her job right.
Amazingly, Ross is one of the two judges who scored the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley bout for Bradley, giving him an inexplicable win. Her scorecard was defended in that case by Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) executive director Keith Kizer. And Kizer once again rode to her defense after the Mayweather/Canelo bout, managing to be wrong and insulting at the same time:
Kizer said when he told Ross she had scored it a draw, she was surprised. "Good judges, they don't keep track of their scores," he said. "It's a round-by-round scoring system. All three judges thought Mayweather was the better fighter, that he won that fight as a whole. Because one judge had it even on the scorecard doesn't mean that judge thought both fighters did equally well."
"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?
"I understand why there's criticism, because people think of the entire fight and think Mayweather was certainly the better fighter, so how can you have a draw?" he added. "The answer is the scoring system."
Kizer has always been cordial to me, we've communicated about plenty of issues in the past. I haven't been able to get in touch with him since the fight on Sunday despite leaving messages at the NSAC offices.
But I have to wonder why Kizer deserves to keep his job at this point. One of his main functions is to provide a safe and fair environment for fighters. In defending scores that make no sense he is sending a message to fighters and fans that defending the "chosen few" judges is the most important thing.
Ross' scoring in Bradley/Pacquiao and Mayweather/Canelo was horrid and indefensible. This idea that it's "people thinking of the entire fight" is insulting nonsense. Kevin Iole of Yahoo! knows how a boxing match is scored and had it a shutout for Mayweather. Dan Rafael of ESPN had it the same. Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook had it 11-1. I had i 10-2. Boxing media is well aware of the way a fight is scored and no one agreed with Ross' card. The idea that the people who complain just "don't get it" is ridiculous.
Ross has turned in similar odd scores in the past such as Juan Carlos Burgos vs. Luis Cruz on Pacuqiao/Marquez III as a draw despite it being a clear Burgos fight or Mares/Agbeko I as a draw.
Kizer appears to defend judges at all costs, never giving the impression that fair competition matters as much as not besmirching the good name of the good ol' boys and girls club that gets to judge championship fights in Nevada.
To his credit, NSAC commission chairman Bill Brady did take responsibility for the nonsensical scoring, stating to the press that he "let the public down" and accepts the blame for not preventing Ross' appointment. He also said they need to improve their review processes for judging assignments.
Personally, I think it would be a joke were Ross ever allowed to judge another world championship fight. She's proven incapable of the task. And if Kizer continues to appoint her to fights and continues defending blatantly wrong scorecards, I don't really think he has a place left in combat sports either.