Pacquiao vs. Bradley and the Worst Professional Boxing Has to Offer
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I am absolutely at a loss.
Having loved the fight game since the days of all three networks showing fights on the weekend in the 1980s, I have seen more than my fair share of fights. With that, I have seen some tough decisions. Nothing I have ever seen remotely compares to the decision that was made Saturday night as Timothy Bradley somehow defeated Manny Pacquiao.
Of the millions of people who watched the fight, I am hard-pressed to find three people who thought Pacquiao was defeated by a game, but clearly outclassed Bradley.
But you do not need three people to win a fight. In this case, two were sufficient as judges Duane Ford and C.J. Ross both scored the fight 115-113 for Bradley. Even the third judge that saw it 115-113 for Pacquiao seems a little vision challenged. I could not see how Bradley won more than three rounds.
As such, in my humble opinion Bradley's decision victory was the single biggest travesty in the history of modern boxing. Worse than the Oscar de la Hoya decision over Felix Strum. Worse than Shannon Briggs being gifted a heavyweight title shot with a decision over George Foreman. Even worse than the draw that was somehow given to Pernell Whitaker the night he boxed Julio Cesar Chavez's ears off in San Antonio.
No, this goes far beyond a decision in fighting styles or the interpretation of punches thrown and landed.
This feels much worse.
It's almost a tipping point closer to moving toward reforming the sport of boxing. This is particularly bad considering the mega fight everyone wants to see between Pacquiao and the incarcerated Floyd Mayweather Jr. may be permanently cast aside. That's because a rematch between Bradley and Pacquiao will almost certainly happen in November. And once Mayweather regains his freedom, he will have something even more precious on a professional level: Leverage.
Beyond the obvious, I actually feel bad for Bradley. His professional moment, a career defining victory, will always be stained. No matter what he does in a presumed rematch, there will always be the cloud of being gifted a decision that to anyone impartial made no sense whatsoever.
My only hope is that someone will realize that with all the money that comes with these Vegas fights, also comes the threat of corruption.
Tonight, the strong stench of that word can be smelled from The Strip to all the living rooms of the people who purchased the fight on pay-per-view.
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