Better late than never….I was finally able to see the replay of the Canelo Alvarez v. Erislandy Lara bout last night. I had planned on watching it live last Saturday; however, in route home from vacation, my flight was delayed and I exited the airport for home as the fight started. I was fortunate enough to not be tasked with the driving responsibilities and was able to follow the fight on social media, Twitter more specifically. I follow many tweeters who are directly involved in the sport and continually refreshed my phone to keep the updates coming. This would be interesting, watching the fight through the eyes of the social media world before watching it myself. See what others are seeing as detailed in their tweets and what feelings they are having about the fight in the exact moments it is occurring; some at the fight, some watching on PPV, some past/current fighters, some boxing experts, and some the casual fan. I wanted to see if the majority opinion would match the judges at ringside.
As I watched each update it was evident early on by the accounts of others that Lara was winning this fight. Other than tweets about Canelo’s body work, all indications in the early and mid rounds were that Lara was clearly out boxing Alvarez. This was the overall and dominant consensus of the round by round updates. The tweets then took a slight turn and favored Canelo’s more aggressive attack for a round or two but again returned in favor of Lara. After reading tweets that said the fight had ended and that it would go to the scorecards, it seemed clear that Lara was the winner, according to overall opinion of those I was tracking.
As it turns out, that is not what happened and again a scoring controversy reared its ugly head in a big fight, complete with another “what fight were you watching?” scorecard submitted by Levi Martinez, 117-111 Alvarez.
It was evident that this was a close fight. All of the tweets would suggest as much but I now had my chance to watch the replay and see if the “world” had lied to me or if the judges had gotten it right.
As I watched the reply, as each round started, I played my own “game within the game”, give Canelo 10 points and make it Lara’s job to change my mind. Lara did a pretty good job of convincing me as I had him winning 8 of the 12 rounds, 116-112 Lara. Actually it was pretty simple to score. Lara’s lateral movement and ring generalship were the difference in my review. I don’t ever remember seeing Canelo swing at air so many times. Lara’s movement made Canelo reset over and over. Canelo stalked Lara but did a poor job cutting off the ring. Canelo’s best work was done to Lara’s body, he threw damaging punches when he was able to corner Lara but his inability to land punches to the head was due to Lara’s excellent movement. Lara scored beautifully with sneaky straight rights and lefts, solid jabs, and timely power shots.
It’s called the sweet science for a reason, hit and don’t get hit. Lara did just that. For those proponents who felt that Lara “ran” would probably find it interesting to know that Lara landed more punches. Pretty hard to outland your opponent if you run. Another favorite of the proponents is that Lara would not engage toe-to-toe with Canelo, so in their logic Lara should play to his opponent’s strengths putting him at a disadvantage. Good thing they don’t manage fighters for a living.
The bottom line is Lara won this fight and it’s a shame that the scores didn’t reflect that. It’s ok if the rightful winner is awarded the victory, that’s the way it’s supposed to work.