The Real Reason Pacquaio Lost?
Sports are well-known for their share of bad calls; Machida v. Shogun 1, Maradona’s “Hand of God”, Brett Hull’s skate in the crease in Game 6 of the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals, and so on. Manny Pacquaio’s split-decision loss to Timothy Bradley last night will likely be one to join that list for generations to come.
Manny Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) is widely considered to be one of the best Welterweight fighters/champions in pro boxing history. Pacquiao, or “Pac-Man” as he affectionately referred to by his fans, has had one heck of a run over the last number of years that has spanned nearly a decade, coming out with fifteen wins, and five belts in five weight classes; leaving him a stunning record total of eight belts. The only thorn that has been in his side has been a back-and-forth war of words with Floyd Mayweather Jr. – but, we’ll get back to that.
Last night Manny faced contender, Tim Bradley, who was by no means a write-off opponent, but victory was nearly assured for the boxing stalwart – if not, expected. Pacquiao was somewhat less active than Bradley, however, he was landing more punches, and more significant punches. After twelve rounds the judges (or at least two of them) felt that Bradley had done enough to secure the victory. Jaws around the world dropped in unison as the decision was read, and the arm of Bradley was raised.
The Reaction of fans, commentators and boxing experts, was swift and damning.
Bradley’s manager said that he scored the fight 8 rounds to 4 for Pacquaio.
Promoter Bob Arum called the decision, “Bizarre, So Bizzare”
Pacquiao said. “I didn’t listen to the announcement (from the judges) because I thought I won (with) all three judges.”
Howard Lederman called the decision “a crime” and “incredible”. He said the decision was “one of the worst in boxing history.” HBO’s scoring expert had the fight 119-109 for Pacquaio. Lederman may have even known the result was coming, calling out the qualifications of judges CJ Ross and Duane Ford before the fight even started.
Dana White called the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the worst Athletic Commission in the country.
Interestingly, there was a ton of late money or action on Bradley last night. At 2pm the money line for Bradley was -432. When action closed and the fight was set to begin was -397. A move of $35 on the money line this late before a major fight is huge, and while not unheard of, it should certainly raise suspicions. When you add it to an absolutely ridiculous judging decision, the question becomes whether this fight was more fixed than a WWE match.
So What is the fall-out from the fight? One name: Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The dream match-up that everyone has been anticipating to happen for years will now, in my opinion, almost certainly happen. The match itself has been held-up for years by unreasonable testing demands by Floyd – which have been tactics on his part to stall the fight with Pac-Man. Mayweather is widely considered to be one of the greatest pound for pound boxers in the history of the sport, and is ageing. A loss to Pacquiao at this late stage in his career would sully his legacy… at least in his mind.
With Pacquiao losing, Mayweather probably feels that the filipino is not the invincible machine he has been made out to be. So, while Pacquiao rebuilds over the next few months, and wins the re-match against Bradley (which he will almost certainly do), Mayweather will be planning in his prison cell like Lex Luthor, for what will most likely be billed as “The Biggest Fight in the History of Boxing”.
Note: Bob Arum has already announced a re-match between Bradley and Pacquaio for later this year.
… and that is the last word.
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