Judge C.J. Ross surrenders role
C.J. Ross, the embattled boxing judge whose draw scorecard from Saturday night's Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Saul "Canelo" Alvarez junior middleweight championship fight ignited a firestorm of controversy, has stepped down.
Ross, 64, of Las Vegas, sent Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer an email on Tuesday saying that she would step away from the sport she has judged for more than 20 years.
"I will be taking some time off from boxing but will keep in touch," Ross wrote.
Ross turned in a scorecard that read 114-114 for Mayweather-Alvarez, by far the sport's biggest fight this year. It seemed everyone else viewed the fight as one-sided in favor of Mayweather, who won by majority decision. The two other judges scored the fight for Mayweather 117-111 and 116-112, also too close in the eyes of many but clearly a victory for Mayweather, the world's No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter.
Even Alvarez and his team did not dispute Mayweather's victory in their comments after the fight.
"We respect her decision, and appreciate her love of the sport she has served for over 20 years," Kizer said. "She came into the [commission] office [on Tuesday] and spoke with chairman [Bill] Brady, commissioner [Francisco] Aguilar and me."
Although they did not review video together, they did discuss her scoring of the fight.
"She did not get too in depth, especially without a DVD of the bout," Kizer said. "She referenced it was round-by-round scoring, and that overall she thought Mayweather outperformed Alvarez."
Ross' scorecard was the second one she has rendered in the past 15 months that has come under intense scrutiny. She also was one of the two judges who awarded Timothy Bradley Jr. a split decision victory, and a welterweight world title, against Manny Pacquiao in June 2012, drawing worldwide condemnation because many believed Pacquiao had won with ease.
Still, Ross was surprisingly recommended to serve as a judge on Mayweather-Alvarez by Kizer and then approved unanimously by the Nevada commission at a meeting a couple of weeks before the fight.
It is possible that Ross could judge fights again, but it seems unlikely. Nevada judging licenses are issued annually and Ross' will expire at the end of the year. If she does look to renew it next year, the commission has the authority to decline.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Brady spoke Tuesday about the bad publicity Nevada has received over the decision with Gov. Brian Sandoval, who appoints commission members.
"I apologized to the governor for any embarrassment we may have caused the state," Brady told the newspaper. "He made me aware of his concerns. He wants things done right."
That means changing the process for selecting officials -- typically a rubber stamp of Kizer's suggestions -- beginning Sept. 25. That is when the commission is set to appoint officials to work Bradley's title defense against Juan Manuel Marquez on Oct. 12 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
"There will be more questions asked, and Keith will be held accountable for his recommendations," Brady told the Review-Journal. "We won't be a rubber stamp anymore."