The sport many have claimed all but dead due to the rise of MMA is getting the most attention it's received in years due to the split-decision call that lead to Pacquiao's first loss in seven years.
While a majority of that attention is negative, with the word "fix" being thrown around quite a lot by some skeptics within and outside the sport.
ESPN's Bill Simmons took to his Twitter account after the decision came in:
Never been more stunned by a boxing decision. So disgusted right now. Now we know why the odds dropped all week. #future30for30
Top Rank's Bob Arum (who represents both Pacquiao and Bradley) talked with ESPN's Dan Rafael after the fight in a rather colorful manner, stating:
Something like this is so outlandish...This is f------ nuts. I have both guys, and I'll make a lot of money in the rematch, but it's ridiculous. You have these old f---- who don't know what the hell they're looking at. It's incompetence. Nobody who knows anything about boxing could have Bradley ahead in the fight.
The summer of 2012 has not been the most squeeky-clean in terms of sports events. Serie A (Italy's premier soccer league) is under investigation for fixing for the second time in six years while this season's NBA playoffs and draft have been riddled with ghost calls and improbable lottery "miracles."
What this controversy does for the sport of boxing however, is allow hype to build for the Pac-Man vs. Bradley rematch in November and keep the limelight on the pay-per-view driven sport.
If Pacquiao had won yet another fight Saturday, the highlights would show up on local and national sports shows, then the world would continue to spin on. Now, the sport will get a huge increase in coverage and discussion due to the wonderings of whether or not the match was indeed fixed.
The decision that resulted in Bradley's victory over arguably the biggest name in boxing will go down in history, and for better or worse the event that is keeping the sport relevant.
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