I Know Why the Caged Byrd Sings

By Robert Ecksel on September 17, 2017
I Know Why the Caged Byrd Sings
Atlas gave an impassioned assessment of what going to hell in a handbasket must be like.

“It’s been years and years of the same garbage, the same trash. I’ve been in this business for 40 years. Where am I going to go? I got nowhere to go…”

Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 31 KOs), the knockout artist from Los Angeles by way of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, defended his middleweight belts by fighting lineal middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-2, 36 KOs), the freckle-faced wrecking ball from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, to an unsatisfactory draw after 12 eventful rounds.

The judges outdid themselves again. Dave Moretti had it 115-113 for Golovkin. No argument there. Don Trella had it a draw at 114 apiece. That was acceptable, if inaccurate. But Adalaide Byrd, the so-called Queen of Controversy, spoiled a perfectly good fight by having Canelo ahead by an unfathomable 118-110 margin.

The fight was close but not that close. The momentum changed hands several times. Canelo fought well. He took the first three rounds. He looked good. He outboxed Golovkin. He was landing counters. Triple G by contrast looked clueless and clumsy.

It did not last.

Canelo watched his punches bounce off Golovkin with no apparent effect. Size matters, especially in boxing, and this fight reaffirmed that salient truth. The Kazakh Kid took control in the fourth. The fight peaked in the championship rounds, as great fights often do, and the two men fought like real champions.

“I thought I won the fight,” said a dispirited Canelo. “I think I was superior inside the ring. I won at least seven or eight rounds. I was able to counterpunch, and even make Gennady wobble a couple times. It’s up to the people if we fight again. I feel frustrated over this draw.”

He’s not the only one. “This is terrible for the sport, for boxing,” said Golovkin. “I’m a champion. This is the biggest fight for boxing … This is terrible. Unbelievable. Unbelievable.”

Canelo is one lucky redhead to have gotten that draw. I have a hard time finding the seven or eight rounds Canelo says he won. He was also, sin of sins, unimpressed with Golovkin’s power. “No, truthfully, not really,” said Canelo. “He has power. It’s a different power than others I faced. But he’s also not the monster that everybody was talking about. There wasn’t any power that surprised me.”

Adalaide Byrd’s power resides in her ability to properly judge a fight. Her reasons for ruling as she did will be revealed in the days and weeks to come. The same will be true of her reckoning. She needs a remedial course in how to judge a fight. She needs to explain why she gave only two of 12 rounds to Golovkin.

Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett agrees.

“She has to articulate why she scored each round as she did,” he said. “She was off her mark. We’ll go over the fight and by and large we train very hard here to prepare for the fight. Unfortunately she has had a bad night. Adalaide, in my estimation, is an outstanding judge.”

If there’s truth in numbers, Bennett is correct.

“She’s done over 115 title fights and/or elimination bouts. She does a great deal of our training. Takes a lot of our judges under her wing. I think being a judge is a very challenging position. I’m not making any excuses. But look at her record over the last three years, the worst that you are going to find are maybe a couple of rounds [that were off]. I have confidence in her.”

Bob Bennett’s confidence is more consequential than my lack of confidence.

“Unfortunately,” he added sympathetically, “Adalaide was a little wide. I’m not making any excuses. I think she’s an outstanding judge, and in any business, sometimes you have a bad day.

“She saw the fight differently. It happens.”

Others are less sanguine. ESPN’s Teddy Atlas, for example, has launched a crusade against corruption in boxing. After witnessing Saturday’s C.J. Ross-type post-fight fiasco, when the word “robbery” was used and not lightly, Atlas gave an impassioned assessment of what going to hell in a handbasket must be like.

“It’s been years and years of the same garbage, the same trash. I’ve been in this business for 40 years, a life. Where am I going to go? I got nowhere to go. But if I did—I’d get the hell out of it. GET THE HELL OUT OF IT! I’m sick and tired of watching these fighters that put everything on the line. They get in the ring; they come out of the ring with less of themselves physically than they had when they came in. And this gets done to them by a bunch of cowards.”

Cowards to the right of me, cowards to the left, I want to be in a foxhole with Teddy Atlas.

And as far as Adalaide Byrd is concerned, thank you for your service, and for ruining an otherwise perfectly fine evening.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles


This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. raxman 09:17pm, 09/19/2017

    Timothy - Im saying its important to know the position and angle of her POV - historically she’s a good judge,neither corrupt nor incompetent, so she either had an off night, has got old and incompetent suddenly or she saw the fight she scored from the spot she sat. the first thing they teach you when you go for your judges accreditation is that you don’t guess. For instance if Canelo has his back to a judge and he gets his head snapped back by a GGG jab, the judge can not recognise that as a scoring shot - they teach you that Canelo may have just pulled his head back in same manner as if he were hit - so you’re taught to only score what you literally see. (and especially not by sound - a body shot blocked with an arm makes the same sound as if it hit the body, a parried jab in a stadium with 28k people sounds much like one that connects)
    The reason judges sit on different sides is so the entire fight can be seen - its the main reason you get varying score cards, and not anything arbitrary or corrupt. Unless its a bad judge, any preference for style of fight shouldn’t come into it, because they should all be using the same “how to score a fight” rule book. Now I’m not so naïve to think that a judges score isn’t affected by other things, but it shouldn’t be, and it would surprise me if an experienced judge like Bryd was unduly influenced.
    But I agree with everyone else, all things being equal 10rounds to 2 is ridiculous, but even if she scored it 7to 5 its still a draw. If the fights a robbery then the other two judges are to blame also - they ultimately saw the fight with only 1 rounds difference

  2. Timothy Agoglia Carey 09:28pm, 09/18/2017

    @raxman-She was close enough to get sprayed with blood, sweat and snot. She was close enough to hear the sound of the punches landing, the shoes sliding across the canvas, the grunts, the heavy breathing, the breaking of wind,  the cursing , the trash talk and you’re saying that she didn’t have a good vantage point to properly judge the fight. Here’s the truth of the matter ....a professional boxing judge should by able to tell by the sound of the punch that lands if it is a jab or a power shot and looking straight at one of the fighters backs should be able to discern when his opponent has landed an effective punch!

  3. raxman 05:02pm, 09/18/2017

    Byrd was obviously very wide but if she had scored it 115-113 Canelo would the same outrage be occurring?
    Its important to note we have the benefit of watching the fight from the perfect angle - if one camera is blocked by a fighters back they can switch cameras. From memory a lot of action happened in one corner and on one rope. Before Byrd gets put to the sword its important for the fight to be watched from the single camera angle that would most represent her view of the action - its possible she simply called it as she literally saw it
    As far as the result goes, I didn’t score the fight as I watched it live but when the bell went my general feel was a close win to GGG - but having said that, here is the problem with the 10point must system. The individual parts are greater than the whole. A fighter can win 100% of 5 rounds & 49.9% of the other 7 and he loses the fight. And I believe this is how the judges saw this fight - Canelo won his rounds close, and GGG won his rounds wide. I believe there were 8 definitive rounds: 3 to Canelo and 5 to GGG - the other 4 rounds could’ve been scored either way.
    The real problem is neither fighter was prepared to take the fight by the balls. Neither fighter was prepared to break out of their comfort zone and take the risks necessary to win. Neither fighter wanted to trade - although GGG came forward he stepped away when Canelo countered, and Canelo had his best success staying in the middle of the ring and getting off first but he gave that away after the early rounds. But the real deficit of risk for GGG was his refusal to attack Canelo’s body (fear of being countered?) and for Canelo he wasn’t aggressive enough with his counter punching (no doubt a result of his punches bouncing off GGG) he had the make him miss thing down pat but not the make em pay
    And please ignore Compu box stats. until we have computer program that can collate all of the different camera angles and uses some sort of punch recognition software, Compubox remains a huge misnomer. It should be called Calcubox - coz a calculator is the only technology being used here. the stats are viewed by one guy for each fighter from one angle, his eyes going from the ring to a monitor and pressing buttons. There is so much room for error and human bias, that as statistics they are pointless

  4. Koolz 02:51pm, 09/18/2017

    GGG said this will be a true fight like the greats of the past, true Mexican style.
    what that means is he was going to fight Canelo mano to mano as true Mexican war.  Both fighters slugging at each other.

    Canelo says GGG has not power and ran the whole entire fight.
    Their plan which was good, it was to move and then counter when GGG comes in.

    That’s the opposite of Mexican Style War or the Great fights of the past.

    no matter how you look at the fight, if you think GGG won 8 rounds to 4 or he just barely edged it it doesn’t matter, the point is GGG WON!

    Canelo’s team are bunch assholes, from the start they were assholes and after the fight they are still assholes.

  5. Yuk 12:29pm, 09/18/2017

    Hey Old Yank, were you with 11 other guys each of who had ring experience?

  6. fan 10:28am, 09/18/2017

    118-110 was the weight of corona ringside chicks!!!

  7. Kid Blast 06:48am, 09/18/2017

    Whenever someone goes on the stalk and sticks with it, his opponent will generally get tired. Canelo did not because he listened to his corner and came back firing on all cylinders. Sanchez had no answer. Canelo bookended the fight. GGG won the middle rounds, I can see a draw but I had it GGG by a——- hair.

  8. buddhabob 06:13am, 09/18/2017

    watching the fight again it is clear how gassed the Red Head was come the last rounds. Too bad they don’t go 15 rounds anymore. GGG would have knocked him out no question.

    The woman was a travesty and women should never be allowed to score boxing fights, its bad enough that they have the right to vote. She scored the fight like it was an Olympic, touch and go match. Ridiculous. That said it took GGG 2 rounds to really begin and he looked tight and possibly nervous. He was as well psyched out by Cinnamon Stick who was doing a lot of mugging and dancing and preening for the judges, this was tiresome and GGG needed to just walk right thru it and deliver the right hand.

    How many times did he get Cinammon in a corner only to watch him bounce like a bunny rabbit to his right with that cute head swing of his. Should have set up the right hand for a nice hook there and ended the fight in 6 by cementing it into the left side of the Mexicans head. I said it to all friends and bettors, the ONLY way GGG wins is by knockout. The Mex fan base is way too large of a cash cow for Vegas to do anything else.

  9. Fan 05:09am, 09/18/2017

    We need a judge that will see the fight from TV Room.

  10. Fil Sanchez 04:13am, 09/18/2017

    There are people who have fun being notorious. This lady has hers being ludicrous and grab the attention. She got it. She must be laughing out loud even in her sleep.

  11. C. Zimmerlee 12:12am, 09/18/2017

    Hey Bird, how much did Oscar de la Hoya paid you..

  12. rolly 11:58pm, 09/17/2017

    Bennett says, “she’s outstanding”! He’s maybe correct except perhaps when there’s MONEY involved!

  13. nicolas 10:41pm, 09/17/2017

    Just a thought on her, I have never cared for her as a judge. However, I guess something to consider. I was one of the very few who thought that Brandon Rios against Richard Abril was a draw. Two of the three judges gave Rios the win, and that was controversial. But it was Bryd who scored it for Abril. Many considered her to be the smart one that night. Many ill the US gave Hopkins over Calzaghe, a Calzaghe win which I think Joe deserved. She did score it for Hopkins. I wonder how old she is, perhaps that has something to do with her scoring, if not something more devious. Some have also said she has controversy with UFC fights as well.

  14. JJ Austin 01:57pm, 09/17/2017

    Canelo did not win the first 3 rds. He won the first, maybe the second. GGG won every round from the 3rd to the 11th. Canelo won the 12th. That’s it. You know it’s bad enough that uneducated boxing fans have commented on the site that canelo won any more than 3rds, let alone the fight!! But to have a so called “Boxing writer” with “Supposed” qualifications is not only a disgrace but laughable. HBO clowns are in the tank and have been for years. Lampley is a JOKE and Kellerman has become the biggest embarrassment in boxing.. Thank God for Teddy Atlas, Dan Rafael and a few other knowledge, objective, people. The rest of you in the boxing media are a complete and utter disgrace. Resign already and get a job you’re actually qualified to do.

  15. Timothy Agoglia Carey 12:35pm, 09/17/2017

    A Mexican Warrior is not supposed to run all night…. on Independence Day weekend no less and the Mexican fans responded accordingly to his post fight comments in the ring. Now we’ll have months of this sucker punching bugger (ask mini -Flyweight Ulises Solis about that) talking about “his era”! This bears repeating….that friggin’ jaw is getting scary!....as scary as Mikey Garcia’s! Test the bugger!....and test Adalaide while you’re at it!

  16. Norm Marcus 12:29pm, 09/17/2017

    Robert: I couldn’t have said it better myself. Ms. Byrd should have had to take a urine test right after that score card was turned in. Musta been high on something.
    PC run amuck! You no playa the game you no maka da rules.
    She should have her license revoked !

  17. Timothy Agoglia Carey 11:00am, 09/17/2017

    Imagine for a moment a “sport” where the deck can be stacked against one of the competitors in every way imaginable…..you’ve just imagined professional boxing. Lots of BS talk from Sanchez going in but he knew that the deck was stacked! GGG knew it too but the full realization didn’t hit him until he arrived at T Mobile last night and it showed in the lead up to the bell and the early rounds. But GGG gathered himself together and did everything but chase the Mexican warrior out of the ring on Independence Day weekend…..to no avail because Adalaide was having none of it. She says that she had a hard time finding two rounds to give too GGG….that’s her story and she’s stickin’ to it! If Julie Lederman had that score card last night we wouldn’t be talking this shit to death today!

  18. Old Yank 10:37am, 09/17/2017

    I had Dave Moretti’s card with one exception. Moretti gave the 10th, 11th and 12th to Canello, I gave Canello the 11th and 12th. My card was 116-112 for GGG.
    All three official judges (and most unofficial ones) gave Canello all three of the championship rounds (or at least the last two). Both fighters were seriously winded going into the 10th, but Canelo in particular found his reserve tank.
    100% agree! A damn good match was spoiled by Byrd and the outcome.

  19. Koolz 10:28am, 09/17/2017


    Jacobs knows something.

  20. Koolz 10:09am, 09/17/2017

    Hagler’s curse!

Leave a comment