Pacquiao vs Bradley: Judge Duane Ford Defends Decision

Kevin McRaeFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2012

Duane Ford says Tim Bradley outboxed Manny Pacquiao Saturday night. Most of the public disagrees adamantly.
Duane Ford says Tim Bradley outboxed Manny Pacquiao Saturday night. Most of the public disagrees adamantly.Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

One of the veteran Nevada judges at the center of the public's outrage over Tim Bradley's inexplicable decision win Saturday night is defending his decision.

"I thought Bradley gave Pacquiao a boxing lesson," Judge Duane Ford, who had the fight 115-113 for Bradley, tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "I thought a lot of the rounds were close. Pacquiao missed a lot of punches and I thought he was throwing wildly."

This is not likely to help the the boxing public move on from the controversy, as most, if not all fans from the casual to the hardcore feel that something was not right in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Ford doubled-down on Monday telling Yahoo Sports Kevin Iole, "If this were 'American Idol', without a doubt, Manny Pacquiao would have won," Ford said.

"But it was not. I gave an honest opinion. I had Pacquiao up 4-2, I think, at the end of six rounds. I thought he hurt Bradley a couple of times early in the fight. But when the bell rang to end that round, it was over and what happens in one round doesn't carry over to the next round. They're separate units.

"In pro boxing, you look for damage, and if the punches are equal and the damage is equal, you are looking for effective aggression, and that does not necessarily mean the guy going forward," Ford said. "Effective aggression can be a guy going back. And then you look at ring generalship, and that's all about control."

The problem with this line of thinking, and what most critics will immediately point out, is that the punches and damage were most certainly not equal. Pacquiao landed more and clearly had the heavier hands. Nor did Bradley's aggression appear particularly effective. In both areas of the fight, Pacquiao appeared to dominate.

With talk of a rematch, which only adds to the cynicism of boxing fans, beginning immediately after  the fight there has been speculation, most notably by ESPN's Teddy Atlas, that something was fishy about this outcome.

Promoter Bob Arum, who has contracts with both fighters, says not so fast. In comments to Yahoo Sports Kevin Iole on Monday, Arum says there will be no rematch without an investigation.

"I want to investigate whether there was any undue influence, whether the [Nevada Athletic Commission] gave any particular instruction and how they came to this conclusion," said Arum. "But the whole sport is in an uproar. People are going crazy.

"But there needs to be an independent investigation because it strains credulity that an event everybody saw as so one-sided one way all three judges saw it as close. It strains credulity."

While Arum would appear to be coming down on the side of the boxing public, who rightfully feels cheated and jobbed by the outcome, these comments could reflect mere dollar and cents calculations.

Right now there is simply no market for a Pacquiao-Bradley rematch. The public won't pay for it. And nor should they.