Pacquiao Got Robbed
To call Timothy Bradley's split decision over Manny Pacquiao late Saturday night/Sunday morning a bad decision is to miss the point entirely. God knows there have been classic bad decisions in boxing history--the first being the Joe Louis-Jersey Joe Wolcott fight in 1947. Louis was awarded a decision despite hitting the deck twice. Another was the Oscar De La Hoya-Shane Mosely fight in 2003, in which de la Hoya cleaned Mosely's clock but had his victory stolen by the officials' seeing eye dogs.
But what happened in this fight wasn't in the same universe. This wasn't a bad decision, it was an out-and-out lie. Nothing so crooked has been perpetrated on the ticket-buying public in this generation - or any other that I know of.
ESPN.com's Dan Rafael, probably the sharpest boxing writer around, scored it 119-109 Pacquiao, and HBO's unofficial judge, Harold Lederman, probably the best scorer in boxing right now, also had it 119-109, which means, in effect 11-1 rounds for Pacquiao.
I had it 10-1-1. In hindsight, though, I was probably being a little generous..
The CompuBox numbers back us up, showing that Pacquiao landed more punches than Bradley in at least 10 of the 12 rounds. Manny landed 253 of 751 punches thrown (34%) while Bradley landed just 115 of 839 (19%). Pacquiao also landed 82 more so-called "power shots," 190-108.
Yes, I know the argument against CompuBox scoring - simply landing a punch doesn't mean that you landed he harder punch, and a power puncher like Rocky Marciano could land one power punch which negated 100 thrown by his opponent.
Okay, but the vast majority of fighters are not Rocky Marciano, and in any event there was not only no knockout last night, there weren't any knockdowns. The naked eye confirmed what the statistics said: Manny Pacquiao not only landed far more punches, he landed the much harder punches, staggering the unbeaten Bradley at least three times during the fight.
Let me make this as clear as possible: I did not see Bradley land one hard, clean shot the entire bout. And in case you award points for aggressiveness, there wasn't any question as to who the aggressor was: Pacquiao was the one moving forward the entire fight.
And here's how the officials scored it. Judge Jerry Roth scored it 115-113 Pacquiao - that's 7 rounds to 5. Officials C.J. Ross and Duane Ford both scored it 115-13 Bradley, meaning they thought Bradley won 7 of the 12 rounds. .
Here's what I think of Roth's scoring: if he thought Pacquiao won only 7 rounds of the 12, he should retire from judging fights. As for Ross and Ford, I don't know what motivated them, but their judgment was disgraceful.
The fight's promoter Bob Arum thought so, too: I couldn't believe the decision. This was totally lop-sided. I had it 10 rounds to 2 for Pacquiao."
Good for you, Bob - but let's review who benefited most from this travesty. I hear people asking why Arum or anyone fix against Pacquiao knowing that there was such a huge bundle of money to be made on a Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather, Jr fight? Well, you wouldn't if you thought that fight would ever happen. But I think three years of fruitless side-stepping from Mayweather's corner - all this stuff about Pacquiao being n performance enhancing drugs and that he needs to take drug tests under condition agreeable to Mayweather's camp - clearly indicates that Mayweather isn't ever going to fight Pacquiao. And Pacquiao, who has been under contract to arum, is soon to become a free agent.
So the biggest payday out there by far would be a Pacquiao-Bradley rematch. - and quel surprise! - Arum already has a contract for the rematch. In fact, Bradley actually tweeted a photo of the rematch poster back on May 28! The rematch is set for November 10.
No one knows exactly how deep this corruption goes. Rumors have been rampant that Pacquiao has spent through much of his fortune an actually had to take a $2 million advance from Arum a couple of months ago. Are HBO or anyone else connected with this rematch going to step up and say something?
I'm betting that whatever happens, which will probably be little or nothing - in other words the fight will go on in November as if there was nothing rotten about it - ESPN's Teddy Atlas will not be involved. No sooner was the decision announced than Atlas, visibly staggered by the absurdity of the decision, told another ESPN commentator, "Unfortunately, the scorers of rights are often incompetent. Sometimes they're more [sic] than incompetent. Sometimes they're corrupt. Boxing doesn't have a national commission like other sports do. Doesn't have a police body, like other sports have. And therefore you get this kind of situation. I'm not sure if it's accurate that Pacquiao was about to leave one of the kingpins of the sport, Bob Arum " - it is accurate, BTW - "his contract was running out ... And when that happens, sometimes funny things happen. But the bottom line is, if you're an honest man, if you're a competent person that knows what he's watching, Pacquiao won that fight ..."
"It's an injustice to the sport, injustice to the fighters, injustice to the fan base. It's one of the fallacies, it's one of the problems with the sport of boxing right now, is that the wrong guy wins sometimes."