Pacquiao vs. Marquez and the 10 Biggest Robberies in Boxing of This Era
Boxing, probably more than any other sport, is unfortunately known for having some of the worst official calls and decisions.
One of the reasons is because if a fight goes the full distance to a decision then it is up to three judges to score the bout in what pretty much is a very subjective manner.
From personal bias to just plain corruption, a boxing judge can totally alter the outcome of a fight so much so that many fight fans and media may be quick to call that decision a robbery.
These robberies are overall bad for the image and reputation of the sport of boxing and for the most part, fight fans and media feel betrayed and even disgusted when a clear blatant robbery has taken place right before their own eyes.
A robbery is when one fighter clearly wins a huge wide unanimous decision of about nine rounds or more, but gets screwed when the decision is announced and his opponent who clearly lost gets awarded the decision win.
Other top boxing journalists expressed to me that a robbery can also be other things. For example, after Pacquiao vs. Marquez III, one journalist told me, in his view, when a highly favored fighter loses to a big underdog in a fight where most do not give that underdog a chance, then that is a robbery.
I disagree with this definition of robbery, for I view it more of an upset than anything.
Another related term to this discussion is the term gift as in a gift decision. A gift decision often is awarded to a fighter who wins a fight that most view he lost.
Fighters who win a gift decisions may be the far more popular fighter guaranteed to generate future bigger fights and bring in the money to most everyone involved with that fighter winning.
Another reason why a fighter may be awarded a gift decision is because of a hometown decision. Meaning the fight is in that fighter's hometown and they have all the full on advantages influencing the judges to score the fight for that particular hometown fighter.
Some of the more notorious hometown decisions where judges and even referees are often influenced by the hometown decision take place in both Canada and Texas.
There are numerous examples that display hometown decisions for both fighters from Canada and Texas, but I decided not to include any of those on this list.
So with Pacquiao and Marquez fighting three times already and all three have been close and controversial decisions, and their fourth bout is just one month away, I feel we should do a list of the top 10 biggest robberies in the sport of boxing of recent years.
So let's take a look and leave a comment if you feel it was a robbery and why? Also feel free to leave a comment with your score cards for these fights that many consider to be robberies as well.
Pacquiao vs. Bradley
We'll start it all off with the most recent famous or should I say infamous robbery and that is of course Manny Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley.
Sitting ringside at this fight was very bizarre and I was actually impressed that despite the crowd being extremely pissed off at the outcome, there was not a riot that night at the MGM Grand.
Sitting to the right of me was Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas and former bantamweight champion Gerry Penalosa. After Michael Buffer announced the scores, everyone started screaming and booing in utter disapproval and shock.
Taboo was long gone by the time I looked at him to see his response, but I saw Penalosa pissed and booing as loud as can be and looking right at me as if to say, "Come on, man, you believe this BS?
If you recall the social media world was trending hard with their outrage over the decision for not only that night but for a few days after the fight as well.
Many celebrities from rap stars such as Drake to teen pop star Miley Cyrus all Tweeted their support for Pacquiao that night expressing that he was indeed robbed and should still be the champion.
For the record, both Max and myself had this fight scored eight rounds to four rounds for Pacquiao, which may be viewed as robbery by most.
Not the worst one sided decision robbery, but probably more so because most everyone still wants to see the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight happen, they felt this result to be even more outrageous.
The judges, however, awarded Bradley the split decision.
You can read what you want on this fight, but if you trust or respect Max Kellerman like most fight fans do, then you should see for yourself his own candid thoughts in this video that I made on why he felt Pacquiao was robbed that night.
Go to 10:14 of my interview with Max Kellerman to see what he said on the result of Pacquiao/Bradley.
De La Hoya vs. Trinidad
The Golden Boy, Oscar De La Hoya is still pretty much the last real crossover superstar of boxing who had the mass appeal total package of marketability.
Oscar appears three times in this list of robberies, because again when a fighter as big of a star as he is fights, you know you really need to beat him really good in order to seal that win, because he is the cash cow and he is the one who by winning benefits the most people involved around him.
Oscar De La Hoya vs. Felix Trinidad was huge for its time.
I'll even dare say it was the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather of that time period.
Both Oscar and Tito were undefeated and the two best welterweights with all the belts fighting each other to see who was the best at 147lbs.
What a concept, huh? The best fighting the best to prove who is the best, huh? Too bad we don't see that happening anymore.
Even though Oscar was at the time with Bob Arum and Tito was with Don King ( the two biggest rival promoters in boxing of that time) they both knew they had to suck up their pride and make the most money possible with the biggest fight that could be made at that time.
So basically, Oscar put on a near-perfect clinic on the Puerto Rican star for the majority of the of the fight, and then he decided to coast for the final rounds.
Ultimately, the judges awarded Trinidad the majority decision, shocking and confusing most of those who watched the fight who were not Puerto Rican or a De La Hoya hater.
HBO even made a Legendary Nights episode on De La Hoya vs. Trinidad showing just how peculiar it was for Tito to get the win.
I personally scored the fight eight rounds to three for Oscar with one round even.
The rounds that I gave Tito was because Oscar decided to take those rounds off and coast, not cause Tito actually was scoring with clean effective punching, or controlling the fight or utilizing the superior ring generalship over Oscar, because he did not do any of those things.
I personally found this fight result odd for it was Oscar's very first loss of his professional career yet he did not seem genuinely upset that he got his first "L" ever, he looked more so as if he knew he was going to lose that night for the judging was going to be shady no matter how good he did?
I remember 20/20 doing a whole special on Oscar De La Hoya the Friday right before the fight and they were emphasizing how he was undefeated over and over again as if he was going to no longer be undefeated any longer? I found this to be very odd.
I often see whenever a fighter is heavily promoted as being undefeated that in a way its a curse that they will lose their next fight, as if it's a jinx.
There were several conspiracy theories as to why Tito did end up winning a fight that he was so clearly outclassed in, but we of course will never know the real reasons.
It is also very interesting that Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad never had a rematch to settle the score once and for all?
Mayweather vs. Castillo
Many consider Floyd Mayweather vs. Jose Luis Castillo to be Floyd's real only loss, for many feel he lost that fight that night.
HBO's legendary unofficial ringside judge Harold Lederman scored the fight 115-111 for Castillo.
I had the fight a bit closer, basically I had Castillo winning the fight by three rounds over Mayweather.
Winning a fight by three rounds is not exactly a robbery, but if you saw this fight even Larry Merchant, Jim Lampley and George Foreman all felt Castillo won the fight and Floyd himself did not seem his usual self after the final bell rang.
Floyd's body language was nervous and he was looking down at the canvas as if he was worried that he lost the fight.
For what ever reason, it seemed Floyd never really got his own rhythm in this fight. Castillo was able to constantly pressure him and land on him in a sloppy yet aggressive and effective manner.
Another reason many feel Floyd lost this fight was because he was the challenger that night and traditionally the challenger must prove to the judges that they did everything possible to take that belt away from the champion to get the big win.
One possible theory why Mayweather got this gift decision was cause he was the bigger named fighter with the more promise and potential to bring in the big money to a wider marketing audience.
He was young, good looking, American, and had a real character personality that could make all the parties involved with him making a lot more money than Castillo could.
Obviously, Mayweather did go on to become one of the biggest stars in the sport of boxing so whoever envisioned this about him was right and ever since the Castillo fight he never looked as vulnerable as he did on this night.
Mayweather avenged this controversial win by rematching Castillo right away eight months later, winning a more legit unanimous decision the second time.
Castillo never really got the love that he so deserved that night for giving Floyd hell and winning the fight on many people's unofficial scorecards, but he did go on to win his next six fights and then go on to fight, what many consider to be the greatest fight of all time against Diego Corrales.
Pacquiao vs. Marquez III
Pacquiao vs. Marquez III was another close fight just like the other two that preceded it.
Prior to this fight most fight fans and media felt Pacquiao would easily destroy Marquez, who looked unimpressive in his only other fight above 140 pounds against Floyd Mayweather, where he was humiliated to a one-sided unanimous decision loss.
I personally knew that Marquez would still give Manny trouble even at welterweight because he was one of the very few who figured out how to properly fight him.
Many opponents fear Pacquiao and retreat into survival mode once they feel the true power of a clean power shot from the Filipino congressman, but not Marquez.
Marquez figured out how to time and counter Manny and make him fight his fight and that is why he has had so much success in all of their three fights.
Of course, many fans and media felt Marquez beat Pacquiao in their rubber match.
I personally think as good as Juan did in this rubber match that he looked probably even better in their second fight, for I felt he won that fight sitting ringside that night. But later on when I watched it on HBO, I scored the fight for Pacquiao by one single point and that was because of the knock down.
I personally had the third fight 7 rounds to 5 for Pacquiao and had Marquez not coasted in the last championship rounds, as his trainer Nacho told him to, then he very well could have sealed the victory that night and I think the judges would have given it to him or at least ruled it a draw again.
Two rounds is not a robbery in my book and I would have been fine with it going to Marquez by two rounds or even a draw again, but its not like Marquez beat Pacquiao by 10 rounds or more that night as many upset fans were trying to insinuate.
Also at that time it seemed neither Pacquiao or Mayweather would ever lose a decision since the universe was trying to get their fight to materialize once and for all. Of course, all this changed with the surprising Bradley upset win over Pacquiao, though.
Hey Manny and Juan, one of you produce a KO on Dec. 8 to prevent another so-called robbery, okay?
Mayweather vs. De La Hoya
Mayweather vs. De La Hoya was another close fight that depending on who you ask, many may say was a robbery.
Personally, I don't think this fight was a robbery, for I felt Mayweather clearly won this fight.
Oscar won the early rounds and as soon as Floyd found his groove and Oscar began to fade, it was just like any other Mayweather fight.
It even appeared that Oscar did not have the stamina or conditioning to continue throwing the jab as he was successfully landing on Floyd on the early rounds.
It seemed the people who felt Oscar won the fight did not want to concede that the former cash cow was now passing the torch to the new cash cow, Money May?
I remember I won a ton of bets on this fight against the many Floyd haters who felt Oscar was going to land his signature left hook and knock out the Pretty Boy.
I won everything from cash, to fine-dining dinners, and even a trip to the spa, all thanks to Floyd.
I did not feel guilty for winning all of these things cause I knew Floyd clearly won this fight, but if Floyd and Oscar fought during Oscar's prime, then that would be a bet I would not favor Money May to win.
Helenius vs. Chisora
Helenius vs. Chisora was one of the worst, biggest slap-in-your-face robberies we have seen recently.
From the opening bell, Chisora seemed to be the more dominant, sharper fighter outclassing the Nordic Nightmare in his own backyard.
Robert just seemed like he was out of shape and slow, throwing most of his punches above Chisora, who just simply ducked below them or moved his head out of the way.
Chisora even had Robert backed up and on the back pedal trying to avoid further punishment for many rounds.
Dereck was landing hard body shots when he was not landing upstairs, and his stamina alone looked like he could fight on way past the 12 rounds, where Robert looked like he was not ready to go the full 12.
Even the referee seemed to be trying to help Robert out whenever he could breaking up close exchanges and warning Chisora several times on various things when he never really did anything severe enough to really deserve a warning.
Look, I am a big Robert Helenius fan. I viewed him as the next big thing to shake up the snoozefest heavyweight division.
But that night you had to say to yourself what the hell? This is the same beast who easily destroyed the same opponents that Wladimir Klitschko struggled with?
Again this fight was in Robert's backyard and if you ever wanted to see a hometown decision, then this is a great textbook definition of a hometown decision.
Chisora, despite this robbery loss, went on to fight for the heavyweight title next against Vitali Klitschko, since many knew that he really won this fight.
Helenius, on the other hand, has not been back in the ring ever since this hometown gift decision where he looked so outclassed and so bad that he should get a new trainer, and even a new strength and conditioning coach.
Robert is however finally returning this weekend Nov. 10 against Sherman Williams in once again his backyard of Finland.
Rios vs. Abril
Brandon Rios vs. Richard Abril was another blatantly bad robbery that went to Rios, the fighter who can make his promoter Top Rank, HBO, etc., a whole lot more money with future fights than Abril could, who many saw win that night.
Rios maybe won the first round and possibly the second, but the rest of the fight was pretty much a clinic administered by Abril, who timed and countered Rios all night long and had an air tight defense that gave Rios no chance at even scoring points.
At the time of the fight, Top Rank, HBO and even Jerry Jones with his almighty Dallas Cowboy stadium were in talks to have Rios fight Juan Manuel Marquez in July after this fight in what would obviously make all of those involved a ton of dinero.
I was sitting in the ringside media for this fight of Rios vs. Abril because it was originally supposed to be Rios vs. Gamboa and I could not cancel my hotel and flight, but hey, any Brandon Rios fight is an exciting fight, right? Wrong.
For whatever reason, Rios did not look himself. It may have been the weight draining problems that made him look extremely sluggish and one-dimensional, as he just kept coming forward in a straight line towards a cautious yet effective Abril timing, countering and even out-classing the usually exciting slugger.
The journalists sitting next to me kept telling me that Rios needs a knockout or he will lose this fight as the fight kept going from round to round.
I explained to them that they will give this decision to Rios no matter what because they want the Marquez fight in July at the Cowboys Stadium. Watch, they will give Rios a gift decision.
The journalists looked at me like I was crazy since Rios was clearly losing so bad round after round.
But as the judges' scores were announced, those same journalists began to literally pat me on the back and said, "Wow, you called it exactly!'
Two days later, the WBA announced that Abril could hold on to his interim title, which shows that even the WBA saw that Abril was clearly robbed.
It is clear that Top Rank and HBO are trying to make Rios their next Gatti and that is fine, but they should probably match him up with another slugger who will be willing to stand toe to toe with him, because if the opponent is a great skilled technical boxer, then we may see Brandon get schooled again and yet another blatant gift decision awarded to Rios.
Of course, Marquez turned down the July fight with Rios, stating that he only wanted Pacquiao next or he will retire and of course, here were are again in December looking to Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV.
Most recently, Rios has rebounded and even had many forget about his fight with Abril by entertaining the masses with his now highly entertaining classic war with Mike Alvarado last month in what may have been the fight of the year.
De La Hoya vs. Sturm
In 2006, Oscar De La Hoya went up to middleweight to fight Felix Sturm.
The obvious master plan was for Oscar to beat Felix and to win his belt and unify with Bernard Hopkins right after in the biggest fight that could be made at the time.
Both Bernard and Oscar fought on the same night on the same card and it was pretty clear that this night was nothing more than a big commercial for their super fight next.
So with that being said, there would be no chance in hell for either Bernard or Oscar to lose on this night should their fights go the full distance.
Bernard defeated Robert Allen that night in an easy, excruciatingly boring fashion just like he always does.
Oscar, on the other hand, looked like he bit off more than he could chew, or maybe he chewed too much as he looked the worst he ever did inside the ring with a chubby face and beer belly gut and the slow lethargic footwork to go with that.
Oscar won a few of the early rounds mostly because Felix was starstruck that he was facing his idol, but soon as Felix realized hey this is a fight, he began to turn it up and he just looked more alive and the true middleweight champion that he was.
It seemed Felix was out boxing the slow, chubby Oscar with much ease and it even appeared as if Oscar was not even conditioned to go the full 12 rounds that night.
Honestly, I knew this was again nothing more than a commercial for the De La Hoya vs. Hopkins fight so I didn't even bother scoring it that day since I knew they would give the gift decision to Oscar no matter what so they could go on with the Hopkins fight.
This is probably the most common reason why one wins a gift decision, because they already are slated to fight a super fight next that will make everyone involved a whole lot more money.
Prior to this fight with Sturm, Oscar was distracted by his many out-of-the-ring activities with his business endeavors and even starring in his own reality show which was a total rip off of the Contender.
Yes, Sturm got robbed against Oscar this night and that was shady, but what was even more shady was when Oscar got knocked out by Hopkins next in what many viewed as a very suspicious body-shot knockout.
It may have not been as suspicious, if just a few weeks later Hopkins did not make partner in the Golden Boy company.
I will be so bold as to say if Oscar took his training camp more seriously for the Sturm fight then he would have beat Sturm easily with no gift decision needed.
I will even say had there been no shady things going on with the Hopkins fight, that he would have won a decision against him, too; shoot, he was winning the fight quite easily too up until the suspicious stoppage.
Cloud vs. Campillo
Tavoris Cloud vs. Gabriel Campillo was such a shocking robbery that it made Campillo cry into the corner of the ring and Cloud's mom was so shocked that her son won by such a gift decision that she literally fainted in the ring.
You don't believe me go to 12:30 of this video and see for yourself that is how bad of a robbery this fight was.
In Round 1, Cloud caught Campillo right on the chin and knocked him down hard. Campillo got up but never fully recovered and was knocked again into the ropes, and the referee ruled it another knockdown.
But pretty much that was all that Cloud did to prove he deserved to win this fight.
Virtually for the rest of the 11 rounds, Cloud seemed to exert all his energy and get out boxed by the technically superior Chico Guapo fighter.
For whatever reason, Campillo just kept getting stronger and more dominant as the fight went on, and Cloud just kept getting slower and unable to put together anything of significance.
We can probably argue at least one more round for Cloud, and you figure the first round was a 10 to 7 round for him. so that would give him a score of about 110.
So Campillo should have won this fight with a score card of 116-110.
Only one judge got the score somewhat right with 115-111 for Campillo, while the other two judges scored it for Cloud at 116-110 and 114-112.
You have to really wonder what fight were they watching that night or if they really understand how to score a fight?
Campillo had every right to cry and even bust a Kanye West award show stunt after this one for he got robbed so hard that Cloud's mom passed out in disbelief now that is a emotional robbery.
Lara vs. Williams
Lara vs. Williams was such a robbery that the three judges who scored this fight for Paul Williams ended up getting suspended and had to go to mandatory training to be a better judge.
The HBO commentator team seemed to think Paul Williams was getting hurt so bad in this fight that they were already talking about Williams retiring and how they were concerned that he should not be continuing getting hit so hard by the same left hand over and over again.
It seemed that Max Kellerman, Bob Papa and Roy Jones were more concerned with Williams taking further punishment as the rounds went on than actually calling the play-by-play in the fight going on live in front of them.
At one point Max even went up to Paul's trainer to see if they were thinking about stopping the fight or if Paul should retire after this fight, all while the fight was still going on right in front of their eyes.
Honestly, I had Erislandy Lara winning this fight but this fight was not such a robbery as bad as Campillo vs. Cloud or Rios vs. Abril was.
Those robberies were far worse, yet those judges did not get penalized or suspended like the judges did in the Lara vs. Williams fight.
Harold Lederman scored it 117-111.
I had it a bit closer at 115-113.
But at the end of the day the official judges had it a majority decision for Paul Williams, which may show just how powerful his adviser Al Haymon really is?
Personally, I would like to see more horrible robberies investigated and see more of those who are involved for the robbery get penalized, banned or even fined.
If a robbery is such a clear abomination, the governing bodies should overturn those decisions and rule them as No Contests, for a fighter should not have a loss on their record just because the more powerful corrupt bodies within the system decide to rob the fighter who should have won.
Perhaps today with such advance technology, we could implement more advanced methods and tools to more accurately judge a fight.
A few years ago open scoring was utilized in order to give everyone a heads up on where the fight was heading to. It seemed the objective behind open scoring was to help prevent such corrupt decisions or to give further motivation for the fighters to fight even harder if they were losing on the score cards.
I personally liked open scoring and I think we need more additional methods as well as open scoring to help prevent these robberies from happening.
So what are your thoughts? What were your scorecards for these fights? What can we do to help prevent robberies from ruining the sport of boxing? Leave your comments.
King J is the Bleacher Report Boxing Community Leader and a Featured Columnist.
Follow on Twitter: @KingJ323