There’s an old lesson boxing and mixed martial arts fans were reminded of in the past two weekends of major pay-per-view fights: Never expect to win a fight through the scorecards.
It’s why Jon Jones won a narrow decision over Alexander Gustafsson in UFC 165 last week, and it almost cost Floyd Mayweather, Jr. his fight with Saul Alvarez.
While the main event of UFC 165 was one of the closest title fights in UFC history, many viewers thought Gustafsson won at least three of the fight’s five rounds. The judges unanimously ruled that Jones won the majority of the rounds.
There’s an unwritten code in combat sports that says when in doubt, the champion will usually get the benefit of the judges’ scorecards, mainly because of who he or she is.
On the flip side, it came close to backfiring on Mayweather.
While Mayweather clearly dominated Alvarez, one judge, C.J. Ross, scored the match as a draw, giving Mayweather a mere majority-decision victory.
Previously, Ross scored the controversial Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley fight for Bradley when most viewers thought Pacquiao had won hands down.
It’s a sad concept, but that’s what makes combat sports intriguing. It’s also another reason everyone loves an old-fashioned knockout.
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