WWE: How Does Bradley over Pacquiao Stack Up to the Montreal Screw Job?
Timothy Bradley's controversial split-decision victory over Manny Pacquiao last night was yet another one of those potentially Twitter-breaking moments where outrage spilled onto the social media scene in droves.
I was one of the many observers who turned off the fight prior to the decision given the certainty of a Pacquiao victory. There was no way he was going to lose this one.
Pacquiao was the consensus favorite via the eyeball test, and although he won the fight in the court of public opinion, two of the three judges simply did not see it that way.
Usually, when a fight goes to the scorecards in the at-times shady sport of boxing, it's the big money promoter who has the biggest influence on the decision.
Unfortunately, famed boxing promoter Bob Arum promotes both Bradley and Pacquiao, and while he remains publicly incensed at Pacquiao's abominable loss, the black cloud of suspicion caused by Saturday's result hovers ominously over the Top Rank executive.
Among the suspicious activity surrounding the ongoing Pacquiao-Bradley saga, the sudden announcement of a rematch for November 10, 2012, raised even more eyebrows.
The opportunistic rematch between the still-undefeated Bradley and former pound-for-pound king Pacquiao has since been put in question, according to The Los Angeles Times.
With Mayweather vs. Pacquiao seeming less likely as the days go by, a popular conspiracy theory suggests Arum has pounced on the opportunity to build up his undefeated prodigy at the expense of longtime client Pacquiao in order to set the stage for a now lucrative rematch.
The latest black eye for boxing has caused inevitable comparisons to pro wrestling, where the results are predetermined, as opposed to what is supposed to be pure competition in prize fighting.
Arguably the biggest scandal of this nature in professional wrestling was the Montreal Screwjob. This was the infamous incident where Bret Hart saw his illustrious WWE career come to an end in sudden and heartbreaking fashion via an elaborate scheme orchestrated by Vince McMahon.
Unlike boxing, this outcome was very real as the match was rigged to change a previously predetermined decision. The bizarro world of professional wrestling suddenly became too real once the screws were put to Bret Hart in his home country.
It was the anti-fix.
While the Montreal Screw Job initially looked like it could have spelled doom for the WWE, with many wrestlers either contemplating departure or actually leaving in disgust, the incident lead to the creation of the Mr. McMahon character who served as the perfect foil for Stone Cold Steve Austin.
The WWE went on to enjoy more success than ever before during the Attitude Era.
Many boxing fans and critics crying foul at Saturday's decision argue that the sport will forever be compromised, and fans will boycott any potential rematch given the outrage caused by the original bout.
However, given the unprecedented outpour of anger and embitterment from Bradley's split-decision victory, a Pacquiao victory over Bradley is the only way this atrocity will be made right.
Rest assured, money will be made if and when the rematch happens. Should a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao match ever happen, assuming Pacquiao regains his momentum, the sport of boxing could undergo a temporary renaissance on the strength of two highly-demanded fights.
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