By Mike Calimbas
Pacquiao-Bradley Rematch already targeted for November 10th in Las Vegas
“The fix was in.”
That’s what many in the press and fans around the world were proclaiming after the shocking split decision in the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley fight on HBO PPV this past Saturday night.
For this writer, it was more like “I must me drunk,” as I started in disbelief at my screen. Six or nine drinks later and that sentiment of shock has now past, giving way to a feeling of pure disgust at a result gone so appalling wrong courtesy of Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) appointed judges C.J. Ross and Duane Ford.
Looking at the numbers, it’s clear to see… Manny Pacquiao connected on more punches and at a better percentage than his opponent. Looking at the fight itself, it was also clear to see that he hurt Bradley on numerous occasions, though he did not succeed in knocking him out like he wanted to.
I’m no NSAC judge but in this writer’s opinion, Pac-Man was clearly in control of the fight – using his speed and precision to befuddle his opponent – clearly outclassing him every time his left hand found its mark. Bradley’s legs were unsteady on numerous occasions though he never went down. Despite that, the judges awarded Bradley a split decision victory by scores of 115-113 (Ross), 113-115 (Jerry Roth), 115-113 (Ford).
“I believe I hurt him every time I punched him,” Manny said. “His punches didn’t hurt me. I don’t believe any of his punches hurt me. I don’t remember if he hit me with one solid punch. That’s why I am surprised of the result. My goal was to knock him out. I give him credit for three rounds but almost every round I hurt him. I know he feels that.”
Seeing Timothy Bradley looking Stephen Hawking-like in his wheelchair at the post-fight press conference makes the decision look that much more incredulous. He hurt his ankle “really bad” in the second round, he says,
As for promoter Bob Arum, well he says he is “ashamed” of boxing following the decision and that he had the fight 10 rounds to 2 in favor of Pacquiao. “Nothing in my career has stunned me as much as this decision,” he said all the while having already set a date for the rematch, November 10th – an event that will likely earn him one last big money payday from his cash cow before Pacquaio likely moves on to retirement. Meanwhile, attendance for this one ended up at 14,206 for a gate of a little over $9 million according to Chris Mannix of SI.
Is this the death knell for boxing? Probably not. After all, people will most likely watch the Pacquiao-Bradley rematch in record numbers despite the outcry of disgust that has filled up Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of the social world following the fight. But what does it say about the state of the sport? Whether it’s pure incompetence on the part of the judges or dare we say the fix “truly was in,” it’s a sad reality that boxing is as much about the business aspect of things as it is about the sport.
It seems like there’s little to no purity left in boxing. The sweet science has turned sour and it’s definitely hard to swallow, especially for us long-time fans.
Oh well. At least we still have MMA.
Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley – Video Highlights