LAS VEGAS — A veteran Nevada boxing judge who drew widespread criticism after scoring a weekend title fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez a draw is giving up her ringside job, at least temporarily.
“I’m taking time away,” Cynthia C.J. Ross told The Associated Press on Wednesday in a brief telephone interview from her home outside Las Vegas.
The 64-year-old Ross said she won’t judge any fights “in the immediate future,” and hadn’t made a decision whether to quit.
Ross scored the world 152-pound title fight a 114-114 draw on Saturday night, but Mayweather won a majority decision after two other judges scored Mayweather the clear winner. Those scorecards had the fight 116-112 and 117-111 for Mayweather, who remained an undefeated 45-0.
Alvarez fell to 42-1-1 before a big crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and a large pay-per-view audience.
Nevada boxing regulators generally backed Ross, although Nevada Athletic Commission Chairman Bill Brady told reporters the panel could have looked more closely at her selection for the Mayweather fight. Brady promised changes to protect fighters, fans and bettors. He didn’t immediately respond Wednesday to messages.
Ross also drew attention as one of two judges who scored Timothy Bradley the winner in a controversial split-decision welterweight title bout over Manny Pacquiao in June 2012 in Las Vegas.
The decision spurred a call by the manager of both fighters, Bob Arum, for a review by Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. She said she found nothing illegal or criminal in the scoring.
State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer said Wednesday he respected Ross’ decision to take time off and appreciated her more than 20 years of service to boxing.
Ross, a retired casino surveillance official and mechanical designer, said she has been scoring fights for 22 years and estimated that she had judged more than 30 previous championship bouts.
She defended her scoring of the 12-round Mayweather-Alvarez fight.
“I had six rounds for each fighter,” she said. “Every round was close. I (had) no idea of the controversy until the next day.”
Ross said she thought second-guessing on social media has changed boxing.
“Controversy happens in a lot of fights. With the help of social media, people expressing opinions, it brings things to a different light,” she said. “I’m taking the brunt of it.”
Immediately after Saturday’s fight, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer called Ross’ scorecard “a disgrace” and said she shouldn’t have been hired after the controversy of the Bradley-Pacquiao fight.
Mayweather, who was seen on pay-per-view television expressing shock that the fight had been scored a majority decision, was diplomatic in interviews.
“Things happen,” he told reporters. “The best commission in the world is the Nevada commission, so I’ll leave it in their hands.”
Kizer said all three ringside judges said Mayweather outperformed Alvarez overall. But the athletic commission executive noted the fight was scored as 12 individual rounds.
“Obviously, this fight was one of the most watched in history, so you’re going to be under a bigger microscope,” Kizer said. “Hopefully, the story by the time Mayweather fights again is what a great fighter he is and how well he fought.”