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Canelo vs GGG slug to a draw, predictably no one happy

In fight sports there is a popular parlance: “Never let it go to the judges.” If you need an explanation as to why just ask Gennady “GGG” Golovkin after last night’s controversial draw ruling. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went the distance against Golovkin in a particularly brutal match of even skill. While Golden Boy Promotions really wanted you to believe this was going to be an all-out, ugly slug fest it was anything but one. Golovkin and Canelo each put the other to the test in a very skilled match-up.

Both have been accused of looking good on paper but a.) in Canelo’s case having yet to beat a great, still haunted by the specter of his 2013 loss to Mayweather and b.) Golovkin, while a certifiable wrecking ball, had yet to contend against “elite” fighters. In this case, the bout was to prove both their claims as elite, if there was ever any serious doubt.

The fight was ruled by judge Adalaide Byrd 118-110 Canelo,  Dave Moretti 115-113 Golovkin and Don Trella 114-114 for the split draw. Most under fire is Adalaide Byrd who is probably not having a great morning right now. Last night Bob Bennett, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, went ringside afterward to try and address Byrd’s decision:

Unfortunately, Adalaide was a little wide. I’m not making any excuses. I think she’s an outstanding judge, and in any business, sometimes you have a bad day. She saw the fight differently [than the other judges]. It happens.

True we all have bad days. For example, I ripped my pants right down the middle bending down at work the other day (true story). Though to dismiss this as a bad day for Byrd does Golovkin and Canelo disservice, especially after the two gave no ground and took the fight 12 rounds. While Canelo played careful tactician throughout most of the fight, picking his shots and primarily acting on counter-offense, Golovkin had volume. The numbers don’t lie, Canelo slowed down and GGG simply did not.

To a certain extent the fight was very much a draw as neither man gave ground to the other. Canelo carefully chose his spots for counter-attack, but Golovkin was absolutely relentless with his jabs which proved too much for Canelo at times. Hard shots were thrown but both men knew the other had an iron chin. Canelo set a fast pace for Golovkin early on, but around the third/fourth round the tide began to change and Golovkin found his rhythm just stifling Canelo with his barrage of jabs.

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So went the majority of the fight, with Canelo finding enough gas within to push back against Golovkin, reminding him that he too hits fucking hard and Golovkin pushing Canelo back into the ropes with his barrage of hard jabs. Canelo for his credit faced Golovkin head-on nearly every time never having been knocked down once. He ultimately didn’t land or throw enough either. It did get a bit chippy though, with Canelo throwing a cheap shot and GGG immediately returning the favor.

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Oscar De La Hoya literally cannot wait for a rematch as he, of course, immediately demanded one. In all likelihood he’ll get what he wants, as it seems neither fighter was happy to let this be a split draw. Miguel Cotto wants his absolute final fight to be against last night’s winner but who knows how that’ll pan out now.

This was definitely the fight boxing desperately needed after this summer’s other spectacle, but not at all the ending it was hoping for. Hard to believe a rematch won’t loom next year, but in the interim, what do we do with my man Cotto? And will Adalaide Byrd find respite from being the rogue judge once again? Probably not.

Here are some choice moments from last night’s brutal bout.

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The Fallout: The Money Fight- McGregor vs Mayweather

Somewhere in the middle of a circus a fight broke out. That’s perhaps the best way to explain Saturday night’s “mega-fight” between UFC darling Conor McGregor and 49-0 “retired” champ Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. The expectations for the bout were wildly varying, maybe with each fan-base still too high on the inordinate of hype this fight produced. Either way you stood, the actual bout was a fairly impressive show from the Irishman who maybe actually didn’t receive the credit he deserved.

The bout began with McGregor going in furiously at Mayweather, landing a significant amount of powerful strikes. Mayweather played it off for the first four rounds, though frustration set when five rounds in McGregor was still landing some punishing strikes. This was probably the most hits Mayweather has taken in a fight since his bout with Marcos Maidana (which you can see here, forgive the dubstep).

Though to call this a boxing fight might be a bit of a misnomer. McGregor was allowed to get away with a lot of illegal hits which would’ve ended any other fight in a DQ, or at the very least some points reduction. Instead, the ref remained insolvent while McGregor gleefully go for a clinch then hammer fist. This wasn’t a few times either, this was almost each round. A pretty fight this was not. The crowd was pretty amazed McGregor was giving the grand champ such a hard time. Was it a sign he would take him off his feet? His confidence was swelling and he was landing a lot of good jabs, frustrating the smaller Mayweather.

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Still in the end it didn’t do McGregor much good. Come the 9th round, McGregor, very visibly exhausted, began getting absolutely battered by Mayweather who now was unleashing every bit of frustration McGregor had been causing him. The end came in the 10th when Mayweather battered him against the ropes, where McGregor looked momentarily helpless.

Some may argue the fight ended too early, as the ref saw McGregor not defending himself and pressed against the ropes calling the fight a TKO. McGregor contested after the fight being confused and tired is a natural thing, he would’ve recovered. And maybe that’s true. But for a solid minute Mayweather had McGregor looking real bad. If it wasn’t the 10th, it would’ve been the 11th. Either way, Mayweather still had the gas to go hard each round to the finish. McGregor simply didn’t.

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It’s unlikely there will be a re-match unless Mayweather changes his mind about retiring again. He reiterated at the conclusion of the fight that this was it for his career, no reason to chase win 51. But hey, Bernard Hopkins did it, Jay-Z did it, Eminem did it, so there’s precedence for retirement comebacks.

Either way, as it was always meant to work, McGregor still won even in defeat. First and foremost, the fight was always about the money. Fuck the pride, the notoriety, or the dumb argument about who would win, a pure boxer or mma practitioner in a boxing fight. It was always about that fat-ass purse waiting at the finish line. According to a report from ESPN, McGregor took home a cool $30 million while Mayweather took $100 million (remember, whole fight was under the Mayweather Productions banner).

This isn’t the end for McGregor in any case. While uncommitted to whether he’d continue in boxing, he did reassure he was going to return the UFC. He is, after all, still backing up the lightweight division after holding the featherweight division hostage to go up to lightweight. I’m sure the UFC will be damn glad to have McGregor headlining one a ppv again, considering they just recently lost Jon Jones after having him come back. For all intents and purposes, McGregor never got knocked down and was TKO’d on his feet. He can at least say he went toe to toe with boxing’s absolute best and came close to the distance.

We can finally lay this filthy beast to rest. Mayweather won. The world continues to spin. And today you’re a $100 shorter today.

Linkin Park singer, Chester Bennington dies at 41

According to a TMZ report, Law enforcement sources informed TMZ Bennington apparently committed suicide by hanging. He was found today just before 9 a.m. in private residence in Palos Verde, L.A. County. Shortly after they reported the information, Los Angeles county coroner’s office confirmed his death.

The singer had been a victim of sexual abuse at 7 years old and considered suicide. Throughout the years he struggled with alcohol and drug addictions.  “I was a full-blown, raging alcoholic. I don’t drink. I choose to be sober now. I have drunk over the last six years, but I just don’t want to be that person anymore.” His addictions, were the blame for his first failed marriage.

He was very close to singer Chris Cornell, who also committed suicide by hanging in May of this year. Today Cornell would have been 53. Bennington sang at his funeral and  dedicated the album’s title track to his friend who death was taken very hard.

Linkin Park released their 7th album in may and dedicated it to Chris, they were going to start their “One More Light world tour” on July 27th. The band had many hits over the years including: “In the End,” “Numb,” “Crawl” and their collaboration with Jay-Z.