Pacquiao vs. Bradley: WBO Review of Controversial Decision Is Hollow Victory

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 09:  (R-L) Manny Pacquiao lands a right to the head of Timothy Bradley during their WBO welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 9, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

Nearly two weeks after one of the most controversial boxing decisions in recent memory, the five members of the WBO international judging panel revealed that it scored the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight in favor of Pacquiao. 

According to Dan Rafael of, even though the WBO review concluded that Pacquiao won the fight, the result will stand. 

The five judges, whom (WBO president Francisco) Valcarcel said are accomplished judges with world title experience -- but whose names were not disclosed -- scored the fight for Pacquiao, 118-110, 117-111, 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113.

The fact that the review decision was unanimous and fairly one-sided just makes the original decision look that much worse. 

While it is easy to understand why the fight would be reviewed, I don't know what exactly this news accomplishes. We have been told that unofficially Pacquiao won, but we already knew that. Since the official decision isn't being changed, what does this really mean?

To his credit, Pacquiao told the Associated Press that he did not want to be handed the title that he lost. Instead, he plans to take it back the only way he knows how. 

Pacquiao said Thursday he would prefer a rematch rather than Bradley giving up the WBO welterweight title that he won on a split decision because "people may think I just usurped it."


"My supporters shouldn't worry. We're going to get that title."

I want to give credit to the WBO for doing what it had to in order to correct what was an injustice from its own organization. Everyone watching that fight knows Pacquiao won. Even Bradley admitted as much immediately after the fight, before the decision was announced. 

However, it doesn't change anything. We were always going to get a Pacquiao-Bradley rematch. The decision is still going to go in the record books as a loss for Pacquiao, and the sport of boxing will continue to be thought of as dirty and corrupt. 

The WBO review gives fans the decision that they all expected, but not the one they got. It is an empty victory for everyone involved.