The recent Manny Pacquiao-Tim Bradley debacle highlighted one of the major issues facing boxing and combat sports generally—bad judging.
Two of Nevada's three judges scored the fight, almost unanimously considered a blowout win for Manny on press row, for Bradley.And like that, Pacquiao’s winning streak was over. Hopes were dashed that Manny would ever face Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring.
Once again, boxing disappointed hardcore and casual fans alike when it found its way underneath the bright lights.
The resulting outcry was deafening, but not loud enough to demand Nevada and other state regulators change their ways. The judges were defiant and the Athletic Commission's executive director Keith Kizer steadfastly supported their decision.
Unfortunately for the health and well-being of the sport, judging is not the only problem plaguing boxing.
The sport continues to vacate what little hold it has remaining on the American consciousness. At one point, boxing, baseball and horse racing were America’s sports institutions. Only one remains in the top tier. And it isn’t boxing.
Slowly but surely, boxing is fading as a mainstream sport.
Is it inevitable? Will boxing, no matter what steps are taken, continue to slide into sporting obscurity?
I don't believe so. In addition to fixing the incompetent (some would say corrupt) judging, I've highlighted three areas that the sport needs to fix in order to thrive in today's media landscape.
What would you do to fix boxing?
Have I hit the nail on the head? Or completely missed my target? Let me know in the comments!
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