I'm never one to think sporting events are fixed, but what happened last night between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley makes it nearly impossible not to.
Usually I brush away fans who pull this card, but they are right to assume it in this situation.
Pacquiao dominated Bradley Saturday night. Many who saw it believed Pacquiao won by a margin of at least 10-to-2.
Everyone except the judges, the only people who mattered. Conspiracy? Here are a few reasons why the fix could have been in.
Instead of just mentioning how much Pacquiao dominated, let's look at the numbers. According to Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, boxing experts had Pacquiao winning the fight decisively.
"Yahoo! Sports scored it 117-111 for Pacquiao, the same margin as Tim Dahlberg of the Associated Press and Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Dan Rafael of ESPN had it 118-110 for Pacquiao. HBO's Harold Lederman had it 119-109, or 11 rounds to one, for Pacquiao," said Iole.
Pac-Man landed 253 of 751 punches thrown, a connect rate of 34 percent. Bradley only landed 159 of 839, a connect rate of just 19 percent. Pacquiao's shots were much more powerful, too.
Generally, if the fight is close, judges will turn to the number of punches landed as the ultimate difference-maker.
Surprisingly that wasn't the deciding factor here. Hmm.
Bob Arum is the promoter for both Pacquiao and Bradley. He seemed semi-upset after Pacquiao's defeat, but this comment is kind of puzzling. According to Iole, Arum had this to say:
"This is a death knell for boxing, and I'm going to make a ton of money on the rematch," Arum said.
Boxing is about making money, but you would think he would hold that comment for another time, right? Or maybe he wouldn't say it to the media.
Timothy Bradley's Twitter
So maybe the first two bits of evidence don't entice you to believe it was fixed. Maybe this will.
On May 29, Bradley tweeted out this poster picture on his Twitter feed.
The poster says that the rematch will take place on November 10, 2012. Tickets are on sale June 10.
First of all, the fight wasn't even over until after midnight. Second, if the result of this fight wasn't a split-decision, would there even be a reason for a rematch? I don't think people would be wanting to see a second fight if Saturday's result had been unanimous.
According to Nick Giongco of mb.com.ph, Arum placed a rematch clause in for Manny in case he lost. Also, according to Arum, Bradley needs money to take care of his children.
“He is getting paid well in this fight and it’ll take care of his children,” noted the 80-year-old Arum..."
Bradley is said to be guaranteed five million dollars—a number five times his largest paycheck.
Were these two fights simply to give Bradley more money to support his children?
You Be the judge
After seeing the actual fight, Arum acting like he won the lottery and Bradley's tweet, fans are in the right to question the credibility of this fight.
How else can you explain it?
Boxing took another hit Saturday night and the sport should be ashamed. We'll probably never know the truth, but the proof may be in the pudding.