By now you’ve all heard or seen Timothy Bradley’s “win” over Manny Pacquiao from last Saturday. There have been calls and accusations of a fix and plain ol’ judging incompetence. In fact, other than Duane Ford and CJ Ross, only 10 people out of 265 from various media members, boxing sites, and notable fan forums actually gave Bradley the decision. Well the WBO announced today they will “review” the controversial fight even though any knowledgeable boxing fan knows it will amount to nothing.
WBO President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel said in a statement Wednesday that the WBO’s championship committee will review video of the fight with five “recognized international judges” and make a recommendation. He said the WBO does not doubt the ability of the scoring judges.
Most reporters seated ringside and the vast majority of fans inside the MGM Grand arena on Saturday night thought Pacquiao had easily defended his welterweight title against Bradley.
The first surprise came when ring announcer Michael Buffer announced that there was a split decision, and the biggest surprise came in the reading of the scores. Jerry Roth had it 115-113 for Pacquiao, while judges Duane Ford and C.J. Ross had it for Bradley by the same score.
The Associated Press scored the fight 117-111 for Pacquiao.
“The public saw the fight and they’re outraged, and we need clarity here,” Arum told the Associated Press on Wednesday. “We need those responsible to investigate, to see what happened, how the judges could be so off.
“Was there any funny business going on? Or no funny business? Did they have a conversation with each other?” Arum asked. “We need to get clarity. The public is demanding it.”
Arum’s powerful promotional company, Top Rank, has staged thousands of fights over more than four decades, including some of the most significant in the history of the sport.
He said that the scoring of Saturday night’s fight was among the worst he’s ever seen.
“It puts boxing in a very horrible light,” he said. “I’m looking for the sport to do damage control, and the only way it does damage control is if you do a full and complete investigation.”
This is simply a review and nothing more. Five judges who weren’t at the fight will score it themselves and submit their cards on Monday. There will be no overturn, no stripping of Bradley’s welterweight belt (and there shouldn’t be), and probably no consequences for Ford and Ross for this mess.
Speaking of Ford….
Duane Ford was interviewed and gave his reasons for pulling 7 rounds out of his ass to give to Bradley … and OH BOY is it a doozy.
“I thought Bradley gave Pacquiao a boxing lesson,” Ford said. “I thought a lot of the rounds were close. Pacquiao missed a lot of punches and I thought he was throwing wildly.”
Bold emphasis is mine. “Pacquiao missed a lot of punches” is about as inaccurate a statement as one could possibly make. According to CompuBox numbers, Pacquiao landed 34% of his total punches and 38% of his power punches. Bradley landed only 19% of his total shots and 28% of his power punches. So whatever boxing lesson Pacquiao was given was a bad one, as Bradley missed 680 of 839 punches and was outlanded in all but two rounds.
Now let me make this clear, I watched the fight on Sunday, with no HBO commentary (I had Russian announcers), and scored it 116-112 Pacquiao. I gave Bradley rounds 1, 6, 10, and 12. It was not the total wipeout Harold Lederman somehow had on his scorecard for HBO, but under no circumstances did Timothy Bradley win more than 4 rounds. This was a clear as day robbery and in this case I think the statistics prove the case for Manny Pacquiao. Bradley is not a powerful puncher, he’s not a knockout artist (he’s now 28-0 with 13 KOs), so the few shots he landed never fazed Pacquiao at any point. Pacquiao had Bradley hurt three times in my book, most notably a left hook to the chin that staggered him in the 5th. Of course, Bradley somehow got the nod on two of the scorecards at ringside having landed just 8 of 68 punches.
I have paid less and less attention to modern-day boxing because of these shenanigans and honestly I can’t see how Duane Ford and CJ Ross can get another major title fight after this debacle. The rematch is scheduled for November per Pacquiao’s contract (to squash the conspirators, Pacquiao and Mayweather pretty much always have this), and hopefully it’s as far away from Las Vegas as humanly possible and out of the hands of the Nevada and Texas athletic commissions, because frankly speaking they bungle things way too often.