When it became official that Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez would be taking on a real world class operator in fellow title holder Austin Trout, the immediate reaction was to give praise to the young fighter. He doesn't need to fight anyone dangerous, and frankly, he wasn't expected to do so because of the money he can generate. Props to Team Canelo for taking a chance, and making a fight that is legitimately interesting.
The problem is that the powers that be have made one thing rather clear to me: Austin Trout will not win a decision.
The World Boxing Council and the Texas State Athletic Commission like money. They have a long, shady history of making sure certain connected fighters are protected. When a WBC does a fight with a popular fighter in Texas, that fighter isn't going to lose if it goes to the cards. Boxing fans accept this as a fact well before the first bell. We've seen it far too often to ignore.
Apparently the head of the WBC, a rather despicable reptile they call Jose Sulaiman, promised Trout that the officials would be neutral. Unfortunately that is not the case. Of the 4 officials, 3 are appointed by the WBC, with 1 representing Trout's WBA title.
Lawrence Cole is one of those officials. For those of you who are familiar with his dirty work, he has a reputation as perhaps the most blatantly corrupt referee and judge in boxing.
One of the other WBC judges is Rey Danseco of the Philippines. He was the WBC's judge of the year in 2012, which tells you most of what you need to know about his relationship with the sanctioning body. He has officiated one championship fight in the States. You guessed it, a Julio Cesar Chavez Jr fight... in Texas.
This situation mirrors the old Don King way of fixing fights where he would bring in a newbie with greasy palms to take the fall if things don't go according to plan. Had anyone heard of Eugenia Williams before Lewis-Holyfield 1?
As I write this, I am trying to find out who the third judge will be with Danseco and Stanley Christodoulou (WBA), but it looks like the commission and the WBC have their boy Cole as a ref AND judge.
If that doesn't confirm that the fix is in, nothing does.
Let's not forget that Trout was far from plan A for Alvarez, either.
Austin Trout, you need a knockout tonight.
Prediction: Trout controls the fight and deserves to win, but comes out of it with a loss or a draw. Because he doesn't beat Canelo up or totally dominate him, it will be explained away by everyone as another instance of judging be "so subjective". Alvarez will throw a few pretty, but mostly impotent combinations a round, and that will be enough.
I have nothing invested in this fight. Canelo doesn't excite me at all and I only saw Trout fight for the first time last night. I just believe that the underdog is being set up, and I don't think "they" are even trying to hide it.