Bradley Defeats Pacquiao: Was Pac-Man's Legacy Destroyed by Crooked Judges?

Stephen FennellCorrespondent IJune 10, 2012

One of a number of punches the judges seemed to miss.
One of a number of punches the judges seemed to miss.Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

Like all things in life, it's best not to leave anything to chance.

Where boxing is concerned, it would be advisable never to leave a decision in the hands of the judges.

There have been a string of strange and questionable decisions in the history of the sport, and it's par for the course that not every one will be accounted for correctly.

Decisions such as Roy Jones Jr.'s silver medal against South Korea's Park Si-Hun in the 1988 Olympics and Pernell Whitaker vs. Julio Cesar Chavez still baffle most observers to this day.

The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. last night played host to another title fight that will be added to the list of shocking boxing decisions.

What kind of an impact it has on the careers of both men remains to be seen, but it's safe to say that a potential clash between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is now further away than ever.

The highly dubious decision that saw Timothy Bradley take a split-decision win will immediately lead to calls for a rematch of a fight that has already been decided in most peoples' minds.

Prior to the bout, it had been suggested that Pacquiao was a fading force in boxing, although his display would suggest otherwise.

If Pac-Man had been toying with the idea of retiring from the fight game, this will certainly add weight to his decision.

Given his commitments outside of the ring in terms of political and philanthropic engagements, he may not see the need to avenge this defeat.

It would be a travesty to see a boxer of his stature retire on such a sour note. In the grand scale of things, his reputation and legacy remain intact.

What will most affect the the way in which he is remembered is his inability to formulate a fight deal with Floyd Mayweather.

A loss against Timothy Bradley takes nothing away from Pacquiao.

If anything, it heightens it.

At this time, nobody but the man himself can say for certain what his next move will be. For boxing's sake, we can only hope last night will further spur him on to arrange a clash with Mayweather.

Crooked judges will always be employed in a sport as murky and ambiguous as boxing, but a fighter with wins over Erik Morales, Antonio Barrera, Oscar De La Hoya and Miguel Cotto will never have their legacy destroyed by something as blatant as last night.