Canelo Sidesteps Saunders Concerns: “There Are No Mexican Judges!”

Canelo Alvarez sidesteps the notion of bias in interview

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (left), Billy Joe Saunders
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (left), Billy Joe Saunders

Canelo Alvarez sidesteps the notion of bias in interview

Whether right or wrong, in the sport of boxing, there is no question that the A-side will get preferential treatment. Actually, this is just a simple fact in the life. The rich generally prevail over the poor. Also not news, the same goes for the popular over the unheard of and the beautiful over the ugly. It may not be fair, but its the reality of the world that we live in.

Currently WBO World Super Middleweight champion “Superb” Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KO’s) finds himself facing such an overwhelming dynamic. In his next bout, Superb will face WBA Super, WBO and WBC World Super Middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KO’s). When he does face the popular Mexican icon, he will do so in Arlington, Texas surrounded by Mexican fans before three presumably American judges. Naturally, Saunders feels that the deck is being stacked against him…and he is correct!


Is there any denying that Saunders has a tremendous task in front of him? Absolutely not! Love or hate him, there is no getting around the fact that Alvarez is one of the best fighters in the world at the moment. Over the course of his career, he has cultivated his defensive skill into an impressive art work that is at times beautiful to watch. Canelo sports a diverse and aggressive assortment of offensive tools that attacks the head and body fairly equally. In the past, it could be said that his stamina was one of his main liabilities. Yet, even that weakness seems to be a thing of the past. It is hard to give Alvarez a truthful summary and not give him credit for these attributes.

At the same time however, Canelo has often been accused of facing unworthy competition. Under this umbrella, fighters such as Avni Yildirim, Rocky Fielding, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Sergey Kovalev all come screaming to mind. Aside from being accused of routinely not fighting the best, in-prime competition available, Canelo has greatly benefited from highly questionable scorecards. This dates back to his high-profile prizefight with former boxing cash cow Floyd “Money” Mayweather. In that bout, where Alvarez was thoroughly dominated and outclassed, CJ Ross somehow found it to be a draw. That ruling will go down in history as one of the worst scores ever turned in.

When Canelo fought Erislandy Lara, the majority of viewers firmly believe that Canelo was soundly defeated. Yet, here he was gifted the win. Not only this, but the American judge Levi Martinez ruled that Alvarez won a landslide victory. It is also a popular belief that the redhead was lucky to escape with a draw rather than a loss in his premiere bout with IBF World Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Here again, the American judge Adalaide Byrd was wildly out of sync with the other judges or what anyone saw in the ring. Yet, she ruled in favor for Alvarez.

Admittedly though, Alvarez sufficiently dominated in the rematch. This trio of prizefights were presented to simply say that the notion that Canelo is “untouchable on the scorecards” is far from illogical or pulled from thin air.


When appearing on the Last Stand Podcast with Brian Custer, Alvarez was presented with Saunders’ mistrust of the judging situation for their upcoming duel. Canelo’s response to this concern about potential bias was rather dubious at best. Peeved at the fact that there were no UK judges for his bout, Saunders was quoted to say:

“I’m upset that there won’t be a judge from England judging this fight and I think that Canelo is trying to stack the deck against me. This is a man that’s had a long history of controversial decisions going his way.”

To this Canelo responded:

“We are in the USA country. I’m not from here, I’m from Mexico, he is from England! There are no Mexican judges, right? So it’s just excuses and excuses and excuses. But at the end of the day, I hope that I don’t need the judges.”

Canelo’s answer is concerning because, as outlined here in this article, he does have a long history of controversial decisions. Yet, he completely ignores and sidesteps that. Possibly even worse, he attempts to act as if the fight being in America makes it neutral. Yes, Canelo is Mexican. However, he is a Mexican that has not fought in Mexico in almost ten solid years.

In the last decade, he has fought every single one of his fights in America. Furthermore, virtually all of his questionable scores were provided by American judges. So saying they are fighting in America like that solves anything is a completely nonsensical answer and he knows it. It is impossible to have a comprehensive discussion about Canelo’s career and his favorable judging not be a huge topic of conversation. This would be the same as the Cookie Monster saying he does not understand why someone has a problem with him being the sole night guard at a Keebler factory. The Cookie Monster knows the issue and so does Canelo. Pretending they do not only makes the potential corruption more glaring.


Listen, let’s be clear. This scribe does not believe that Saunders has the ability to defeat Canelo. I think that he can make an entertaining fight, I believe he can have his moments or even rounds. Yet, I do not think that he has the overall skill to beat Canelo over twelves rounds and I certainly do not think he has the power to stop him. If Saunders does prevail or knockout Alvarez, I will be the first with a knife, fork and A-1 sauce to eat my crow.

To hear Alvarez pretend like Saunders is simply fabricating the issue is irritating, though. It is a common topic of conversation for a foreign fighter to either want a judge from their homeland or judges that are nationally neutral. Superb did not start that conversation or dynamic. Canelo is well aware of this as well. Had Alvarez said ‘he should let his performance dictate what the judges do’ or even ‘he sounds scared’ would have been better. Yet to merely slap the Band-Aid of “we’re fighting in America,” where he has gotten ALL of his controversial wins, on this slit jugular of an issue is pretty disappointing.

By: Bakari Simpson

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About Bakari Simpson 1795 Articles
Bakari is a writer and contributor for Visit to view more of his literary work.