Fight week and fight night brought out thousands of passionate fans, the brightest Hollywood stars, delivered a solid undercard and a memorable Middleweight clash that helped make my first visit to Las Vegas an unforgettable one.
Here are a few thoughts from my trip.
Byrd Is the Word
It’s unfortunate that the majority of fans are focused on one person who wasn’t in the ring for the main event, but helped to determine the outcome–Adelaide Byrd.
Byrd’s scorecard was downright horrendous, and goes against what I feel I saw on Saturday, but it shouldn’t outweigh the in-ring action. Many fans feel wronged by the decision, especially those who shelled out money for a ticket or ordered the HBO Pay-Per-View broadcast.
I certainly feel that those folks are in their right to voice their displeasure, but they should also remember how good the fight was.
While I don’t think Canelo quite lived up to his end of the bargain–claiming before the fight that he’d do everything in his power to make sure Saturday was a historic night–I do think he should be commended for a gutsy performance against one of the best fighters in the world.
I for one did not think that Cinnamon would be able to sit on the inside with Golovkin and eat the sort of leather he did without leaving the scene on a stretcher.
And let’s not forget that Canelo hit GGG with some pretty solid stuff himself. His gas tank was on empty by the time the final bell rang, but most guys would’ve been on their back half way through that fight after taking those shots from the Kazakh heavy hitter.
I’ve covered boxing for nearly six years and in that time I’ve attended tons of fights along the east coast.
I must say I’ve never seen such passionate fans during a weigh in and on fight night. The closest thing I can relate that intense atmosphere to is a world-class soccer match.
There is a reason why promoters host fan events and pre-fight tailgates for fights on the west coast.
Press Conference and Media
Michael Montero should be given credit. During the post-fight press conference, Montero asked Eric Gomez (President of Golden Boy Promotions) and Bob Bennett (Executive Director of the Nevada Athletic Commission) some tough questions regarding what the process would be in reviewing Byrd’s score.
They were respectful, but tough questions that needed to be asked. Hopefully we get some follow-up from Bennett on how his review goes as he explores what the hell Byrd was actually watching on Saturday night.
Aside from the main event, I was most impressed with Francisco Rojo, who gave Ryan Martin a hell of a fight in the HBO Pay-Per-View opener.
I think Rojo got jobbed, but being that he’s only 26, hopefully this performance earns him another big-stage opportunity.
And Another One
As soon as the rematch is set I’m booking my flight!
Header photo by Julio Sanchez/RBRBoxing