As a boxing fan of more than 20 years, this one was tough to see.
A tough, hard-nosed and likable guy like Timothy Bradley getting absolutely outclassed by a fighter for the ages. A good fighter doing his best but being beaten in every facet of the fight by a great fighter.
Every time Manny Pacquiao let his hands go he hurt Tim Bradley. Every time Tim Bradley let his hands go you just hoped he wouldn't get hurt. As the final bell sounded, I, like most everyone else in the arena, at ringside, watching on HBO PPV scored this fight decisively for Manny Pacquiao.
119-109 was reasonable. If you really favored Bradley's ineffective but aggressive style you could make the case for 118-110 and maybe if you pushed it 117-111.
So when Michael Buffer read the first card 115-113 and said it was for Manny Pacquiao, indicating a split decision, shock was an appropriate response. When the second card was read 115-113 for Timothy Bradley. shock turned to outrage.
When the third card was read, giving Bradley the decision victory, shocked turned to absolute stunned disbelief.
It was a decision so bad that the mind couldn't fully wrap itself around what had just happened. Manny Pacquiao landed more punches, threw more punches, landed the harder punches and rocked Timothy Bradley several times. It didn't appear that Bradley hurt Pacquiao or even bothered him once during the 12 rounds.
Now the term robbery gets thrown around too often in the sport of boxing. Not every close fight is a robbery. There are some fights that could legitimately go either way. It's a subjective sport and different people prefer different styles and see different things.
This was absolutely not one of those cases.
This decision would not have been worse if the judges actually had guns to their heads while scoring the rounds. It would not have been worse if the judges had their scorecards filled out for them before the fight began.
As boxing fans we are left with the following situation: In the best-case scenario this is gross, inexcusable incompetence on the part of all three judges. And yes this includes Jerry Roth, who gave the fight correctly to Pacquaio.
In the worst-case scenario this was outright corrupt. Now I'm not sure whether I believe that or not but again the point is there is no good outcome for the sport here.
You can't blame Tim Bradley for this outcome. He's a world-class, tough and gutsy fighter. And we can give him all sorts of credit for his heart and determination. But even if you have a lot of heart but you get hit more often than the other guy and hurt more often than the other guy, you still lose.
This was a horrific night for a sport in need of no more horrific nights. You can't even make a case for Tim Bradley losing the fight by a 115-113 score, much less winning it.
Just shockingly, horribly, unfathomably bad.