Play It Again, Sam

By Joe Masterleo on September 18, 2017
Play It Again, Sam
True to form, Atlas was clairvoyant—intensities, rants and redundancies notwithstanding.

Disgruntled boxing fans have learned to separate the chaff from the wheat, the shining tempered sword from its rotting scabbard…

With respect to the fight and not the judging, Gennady-Alvarez was a match that came mostly as advertised, living up to much of the pre-fight ballyhoo. As such, the bout was well worth viewing … on replay, the day after the night before. In Gennady Golovkin, as with former opponent Floyd Mayweather, Canelo Alvarez could only score in fits and starts, unable have his way in mounting a sustained offense before a superior, technically sound opponent whose style balances and harmonizes both “sweet” and “science,” poetry and prose. As Golovkin was the aggressor, taking the fight to and away from his opponent most of the evening despite an occasionally effective Alvarez flurry, I had Golovkin winning a minimum of eight rounds.

With respect to the judging and not the fight, there’s nothing new under the sun in this department, and nothing new that can be said that hasn’t been said before. Pre-fight, all week long Teddy Atlas predicted a controversial outcome with respect to the judging. Having been around the boxing barnyard (graveyard?) for decades, Atlas delivered another post-fight combination of well-deserved blows aimed at boxing’s brass, whose “mettle” has been long-since downgraded to zinc or tin, if not foul-smelling manure. True to form, Atlas was clairvoyant—intensities, rants and redundancies notwithstanding.

The adage that says “sometimes bad things have to happen before good things can,” hasn’t applied to boxing. Atlas is taking bets that Adalaide Byrd, the controversial judge and whose feathers are ruffled after laying her biggest scoring egg amid a clutch of bad scoring eggs (118-110 Alvarez), will live to judge another day. And “judging” by the post-fight comments of Bob Bennett, the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, “she’ll still be in the business ... but needs to catch her breath.” Uh-huh. Byrds of a feather…

Boxers aside, administratively, boxing is not a work in progress, it’s a work in regress.

In a world of smart phones and stupid people, we’ve played this scene before. One that will no doubt play again. The peculiar judging results in the context of the exciting bout itself again stole the show and limelight from the deserved victor, and took the luster off an otherwise electrified evening. At the same time it generated another predictable aftermath of protest and controversy that promises to prove without remedy. Like those before, a controversy that will sooner fade, only after generating more heat than light. We’ve played this scene before. One that will no doubt play again, Sam. Yet as the dust settles, disgruntled boxing fans have learned to separate the chaff from the wheat, the shining tempered sword from its rotting scabbard.

Paradoxically, the sleaziest joints sometimes serve the best suds, and irresistible vittles.

Withal, those who continue to enjoy the sport will be those most successful at holding the tension of its polarities and contradictions, navigating the middle-path between its stellar performers/performances and its dark unsavory underpinnings—accepting both the good and the bad as unified givens in the flawed world of life and sport.

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  1. Timothy Agoglia Carey 11:36am, 09/18/2017

    The only good thing here is that Adalaide won’t get the call for the second go round…..not too worry though…. they’ll just get another ringer to sit in for her and you can bet your ass it will be a female like say…. Patricia Morse Jarman! It’s not just these half assed PC judges…. it’s asshats like Benjy Estevez who let Irish Mike Perez bash the life out of Mago with those shitty forearm shivers!

  2. Timothy Agoglia Carey 09:33am, 09/18/2017

    As far as is known Robert and Adalaide Byrd make a decent living thank you on income derived primarily as boxing officials….since boxing officials are not that highly paid this in itself is a tad unusual. It would not be a stretch to assay that the bulk of their income comes from work they are assigned under the aegis of the NSAC. Long and short of it, they live and work in Vegas and it’s clear that Addie is very aware that what’s good for Vegas is good for her and Bob and so many others in the hospitality and entertainment industry. Which reminds insurance agent started as a waiter at the Bellagio and has sworn to me that he actually received a $10.000 tip from a high roller. Point being even the bus boys who share in tips do better on mega fight weekends….so the more big fights in Vegas the better for all concerned as civic minded Addie knows only too well!

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