Boxing announcer Dave Bontempo has been in the business of boxing for over 30 years and has called many great events, featuring some of boxing’s biggest legends. He has worked with networks such as ESPN, HBO and Showtime and does the international broadcasts for events both in the USA and abroad. Being in the sport this long, Bontempo is also no stranger to bad decisions and confusing judges scorecards.
In my interview with Dave Bontempo, I discuss with him the controversial scoring for Canelo vs. Golovkin, getting his views on how the fight played out. Dave shares his score and talks about why he thinks the bout was scored the way it was and talks about what the sport can do to avoid controversies like this. In addition, Bontempo shares his thoughts on a Golovkin-Canelo rematch and who he would pick to win that fight. Here is what Dave Bontempo had to say.
Robert Brown: What were your thoughts on the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight?
Dave Bontempo: They both brought their A-game, Golovkin with the pressure and moving, and then Canelo finishing strong. It was a little bit of a surge for youth, and then the old thing laying up in the air for Golovkin about the fact that if he won one of the last three rounds, he walks away with the fight, despite that one scorecard.
When you get top fighters like these, they have the ability to negate one another, so that one guy can do something really spectacular for a while and then the other guy has the ability to take it away. I enjoyed the ebb and flow of what these guys brought to it.
Robert Brown: Who did you give the fight to?
Dave Bontempo: I had a slight edge to Golovkin, and I would not have been disappointed by either the draw or even a one pointer for Canelo. If one round was different on two people’s cards, it’s a two point swing, so I understand that. What was boggling to the mind is that that’s been the second time that there’s been an eye opening scorecard for Canelo, and the other one was when he fought Mayweather.
You have to be of the belief that somebody has a built in protect the cash cow mindset and over enthusiasm to score it that way and to make sure that every close round goes his way. That’s the second time that a scorecard really made you shake your head, as if to say that there’s something wrong with it.
Robert Brown: What do we do t solve the problem with bad judging?
Dave Bontempo: It’s a card that stood out blatantly and it’s a bad thing, and the reason nothing ever changes much over the years is because the sport always recovers from a fiasco. Take a look at Pacquiao and Horn and all the outrage over that, well guess what? They are talking about making that fight again and there’s a thought process of “well if they didn’t get the result right, let’s do it again and people will buy it.” It won’t change unless someone like Golovkin says, “No, I won’t do the rematch,” but Golovkin already said he will, so that’s the problem.
Robert Brown: Some people feel that Golovkin showed some signs of decline in the fight with Canelo, what are your thoughts?
Dave Bontempo: In the Daniel Jacobs fight, that’s the first time that I saw that there was a little bit of a weakness and Jacobs exploited that with his interesting and excellent switch of styles, to go lefty on him and show what a good big man can do against him, and you got the sense that Golovkin was approaching what he can really handle physically.
A younger fighter like Canelo, the expectation was that he could be hit more by a powerful guy like Golovkin. Canelo surprised some with the way he fought early, but the way he fought at the end and took those last three rounds is an indication that he’s hit the wall and has leveled off. The longer they wait to do the fight again, I think it is not to Golovkin’s favor.
Robert Brown: Would you favor Canelo in a rematch?
Dave Bontempo: I would favor Canelo in a rematch, yes. They probably won’t get it together for another several months to a year, so you add that into the mix. Canelo is coming into his own, so he would be favored in that matchup to me, I think he’d be younger, stronger and hungrier this time.