Canelo Alvarez. Las Vegas. Scorecards. Judges. Listen, it’s getting really late and words are not just pouring out of me at the moment.
Suffice to say, pretty much every half-skeptical boxing fan figured that to beat Canelo Alvarez, Sergey Kovalev would have to knock him out or fully dominate. Ultimately we didn’t get to any real controversy, as Alvarez knocked Kovalevout in the 11th round to take the WBO light heavyweight title, but had the fight gone the distance, we were looking headed to plenty of debate.
Many media members and fans — including myself — felt that Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KO) should have been ahead at the time of the knockout, but two of three judges did, indeed, have Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KO) leading at that point, though not by a lot.
Here are the official scores turned in by Dave Moretti, Julie Lederman, and Don Trella:
Scorecards at the time of the Canelo-Kovalev KO: pic.twitter.com/s7o6npauVO— Corey Erdman (@corey_erdman) November 3, 2019
Through three rounds, Moretti had Canelo up 2-1, including bizarrely scoring the opening round for Alvarez, where he really did nothing at all. Lederman had Kovalev up 2-1, and Trella had Kovalev up 3-0, and was the only judge to give Kovalev the second round.
Through six, scores were 59-55 (Moretti) and 58-56 (Lederman) for Alvarez, and 57-57 (Trella). By the ninth, Alvarez led 87-84 on the cards of Moretti and Lederman, and was down 86-85 on Trella’s card.
Lederman and Moretti both gave Kovalev the 10th round, while Trella scored it for Canelo to even up his card at 95-all.
We got out of this without a big debate because Canelo finished things in the 11th, but we were definitely heading for more frothing rage. If the fight had gone the distance, and barring any knockdowns or deductions, the best Kovalev could have done was a majority draw had he won the final two rounds on all three cards, which would have made things 115-113 Kovalev on Trella’s card, and 114-114 on the Moretti and Lederman sheets.