Manny Pacquiao losing by decision to Timothy Bradley has pushed the sport of boxing over the ledge.
Boxing has been on the ledge for quite some time, thanks to prior controversies and the sudden rise in popularity of mixed martial arts, but it was never fully over, thanks to Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather fights once or twice a year and the potential of the two meeting in a blockbuster matchup.
But when Pacquiao lost to a relative unknown in Bradley despite most people sitting around ringside having him as the winner, it permanently fractured the sport that has provided fans with so many great moments for decades.
This hurts the sport for a variety for reasons.
Firstly, it makes the sport look fixed in some manner. Any adult knows that professional wrestling is scripted. The outcomes are predetermined. From the perspective of a real sport, professional wrestling has no credibility, which is why it is commonly referred to now as sports entertainment.
Professional wrestling does not take itself as seriously as boxing does. Therefore, it gets away with it. This is a terrible thing for boxing. Despite losing popularity, boxing has always relied on the fact that it was a real sport at the end of the day, the sweet science.
Whether this fight was scripted or not, we will probably never know, but it did not look good, and it did not feel good for boxing purists to have the sport looked at in that light.
An even bigger reason is that it essentially kills the chances of a Pacquiao/Mayweather fight to ever happen. The fight was close to never happening anyway, but it is now next to impossible for this fight to ever happen.
With Mayweather sitting in prison for the next three months and Pacquiao set for a rematch with Bradley in November, it only pushes the fight closer to never taking place, which is a huge blow to boxing in itself.
According to Mayweather’s physician, he may never fight again anyway, so all of this could be a big pipe dream.
That fight was supposed to the biggest matchup of this generation and could have potentially saved boxing, but instead boxing fans are left with wondering what if, as the sweet science has been ruined by a shocking split decision.