Controversial boxing judge Adalaide Byrd will have a major title fight to score on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
This weekend’s busy boxing schedule includes a tripleheader on Showtime on Saturday, with WBC super-middleweight champion David Benavidez taking on Mayweather Promotions fighter Ronald Gavril in the night’s co-main event. Five months ago, Benavidez won a split decision over Gavril in a thrilling fight that could’ve gone either way.
Of note for the rematch is that the Nevada Athletic Commission has opted to use the same three judges from the first fight: Glenn Trowbridge (116-111 Gavril), Dave Moretti (117-111 Benavidez), and none other than Adalaide Byrd (116-111 Benavidez).
Byrd was heavily criticized for her 118-110 Canelo Alvarez scorecard in Canelo’s eventual draw vs. Gennady Golovkin last September. After taking some time off, which Nevada Athletic Commission executive Bob Bennett said was her own decision, the Byrd judged smaller boxing events in October and November, judging a series of four, six, and eight-rounders. She then flew out to Japan to judge a pair of WBO championship fights, neither of which went the distance.
Benavidez vs. Gavril II marks Byrd’s first world title fight in the state of Nevada since GGG vs. Canelo.
In case you’re wondering how Bob Bennett feels about Byrd’s judging abilities, he pretty much considers the 118-110 Canelo scorecard as an off night, and has nothing but praise for her throughout his own time as NAC executive officer.
“I’d still say in the last 3-1/2 years, she’s done a great job,” Bennett recently said to MMA Fighting. “I don’t want to hear about 2012. As long as I’ve been here, she’s done a good job. … She’s a great judge. One fight sure as heck doesn’t define her career.”
“If you’re an athlete and somebody has a bad day, you don’t bench them. You put them back to work.”
Byrd has had a fairly extensive history of questionable scorecards, both in boxing and the UFC. One of her more bizarre scores came at UFC 155, when she somehow gave Melvin Guillard a 30-27 win over Jamie Varner, who got 30-27s from the other two judges. She was also one of two judges to score Leonard Garcia as the winner over Nam Phan in their first fight.
In 2016, Top Rank Boxing requested to the NAC that Byrd be removed from judging Vasyl Lomachenko’s fight vs. Nicholas Walters, but their wish was not granted.
Hopefully Byrd isn’t going to be chosen to judge the Golovkin vs. Canelo rematch, which is set for May 5th and will most likely be in Las Vegas.