On Saturday night in Los Mochis, hometown underdog Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr outpointed Rodrigo Guerrero to lift the IBF super flyweight title in a pretty big upset. There has been considerable questioning of the scoring out there. Today I got a chance to sit down and watch the fight, and I think the questions are valid.
First of all, the judge who scored it 119-109 for Sanchez (13-1-1, 7 KO) is totally insane. This should not be any kind of surprise, since that judge is Ruben Garcia, the guy who scored Donaire vs Vazquez for Wilfredo Vazquez Jr, somehow. That makes two really, really bad scorecards in two straight fights from Garcia, and it's odd because he's not some greenhorn judge and in his few notable fights in the past, he didn't have these problems. He also scored the Shantall Martinez vs Jackie Nava rematch on January 28, and was right in line with the other two judges.
The other scores, 115-113 and 116-112 for Sanchez, are more defensible -- 115-113 for Sanchez actually doesn't draw a big argument for me, but the 8-4 card was probably a bit wide, too. I wound up scoring it seven rounds to five, 115-113 for Rodrigo Guerrero. I don't see this as a true robbery, but that card from Garcia was absurd. I guess in a way you can consider it better than his Donaire-Vazquez card, since at least Sanchez had an argument for getting the win in this one, but it was just as badly scored since there's just no way that you could really see Sanchez winning 11 of these 12 rounds.
Much of the fight's pace was pushed by Guerrero (16-4-1, 10 KO), who did most of the coming forward while Sanchez has been accused of running in the fight. What hurts the "running" argument is that there were plenty of rounds where Sanchez did a lot and made the strategy effective, cutting off Guerrero's offense and landing hard, sharp shots of his own.
But there were also several rounds and some very key moments where Sanchez was flat-out avoiding the fight and not doing near enough offensively. Guerrero did some decent body work along the way, and was hampered a bit by a cut inside of his upper lip. He didn't have his best night, and if I were to say I feel he did enough to win, I could also just as easily say that Sanchez probably did enough to win, too. Neither of them were without serious flaws in this fight.
Guerrero wants a rematch, and I'd say it's perfectly well deserved. It was a competitive fight on a bit of an off-night for him, and with that 119-109 card he's got at least a little reason to believe that he was jobbed here, since he apparently had no hope at all of winning at least one of the scorecards.
Did anyone else see the fight? How did you score it?