ARLINGTON, Texas – Three American judges have been chosen to score the Canelo Alvarez-Billy Joe Saunders fight Saturday night.
BoxingScene.com has learned that the Texas Combative Sports Program has assigned Nevada’s Tim Cheatham, California’s Max De Luca and Connecticut’s Glenn Feldman to work their 12-round, 168-pound title unification fight at AT&T Stadium. Texas’ Mark Calo-oy has been appointed as the referee for the Alvarez-Saunders bout, which DAZN will stream from the home stadium of the Dallas Cowboys.
England’s Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) had hoped one British judge would be assigned to the biggest fight of his 12-year pro career, but Texas’ boxing commission prefers to use American judges for fights it regulates.
Eddie Hearn – whose company, Matchroom Boxing, promotes Mexico’s Alvarez and Saunders – told BoxingScene.com after Alvarez’s stoppage of Turkey’s Avni Yildirim on February 27 in Miami Gardens, Florida, that he wanted one British judge, one Mexican judge and one neutral judge assigned to their fight. It was later stipulated in the contracts of both boxers, though, that such an arrangement would not be possible in Texas.
Feldman is the only one of these three judges who has worked Alvarez fights with any regularity.
Most notably, Feldman scored Alvarez’s rematch against Gennadiy Golovkin a draw, 114-114, in September 2018. He was overruled by Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld, both of whom scored that 12-round middleweight title fight for Alvarez by the same score, 115-113.
Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) defeated Kazakhstan’s Golovkin by majority decision in their second bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Two fights later, Feldman scored Alvarez a 116-112 winner over Brooklyn’s Daniel Jacobs in their middleweight championship unification match. Moretti and Weisfeld also scored that fight 115-113 for Alvarez, who beat Jacobs by unanimous decision in May 2019 at T-Mobile Arena.
Feldman previously scored all 12 rounds for Alvarez against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Moretti and Adalaide Byrd joined Feldman in scoring that non-title bout 120-108 for Alvarez in May 2017 at T-Mobile Arena.
The previous May, Feldman had Alvarez ahead of Amir Khan, 48-47, when Alvarez knocked out England’s Khan in the sixth round of their middleweight fight at T-Mobile Arena.
De Luca has not worked an Alvarez fight since September 2011. He had Alvarez in front of Alfonso Gomez, 49-45, before Alvarez stopped Gomez in the sixth round at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Cheatham will work his first Alvarez fight Saturday night.
None of the three assigned judges – Cheatham, De Luca or Feldman – have worked any of Saunders’ 30 professional fights. Saunders will box in the United States for just the second time and outside of the United Kingdom for only the third time since the 2008 Olympian made his pro debut in February 2009.
Alvarez and Saunders will fight for Alvarez’s WBA and WBC super middleweight titles and Saunders’ WBO belt.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.