Sports: Robbery in Broad Daylight
Not only fight fans got stunned, Manny Pacquiao himself and even Timothy Bradley as well as promoter Bob Arum were visibly overwhelmed after the verdict was announced in last Sunday’s epic battle between two of the best welterweight fighters in the world over at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The score: 115-113 for Pacquiao on Jerry Roth’s scorecard and the same 115-113 judgment favoring the undefeated American boxer Bradley courtesy of CJ Ross and Duane Ford. A split decision triumph awarded to the ‘Desert Storm’, Bradley’s monicker.
Your Sideline Spectator was at RMN Agong radio station last Sunday upon the invitation of Kasamang Eljohn Castano, my West Visayas State University batchmate, to act as one of the panelists for the Pacquiao-Bradley title fight and we, too, were stunned of the unexpected decision.
Everyone else were silenced inside the radio booth when Michael Buffer read the decision to the dismay, for sure, of Filipino boxing fans who were monitoring the epic match-up from Aparri to Jolo. It was undeniably a broad daylight robbery! Even Manny’s wife Jinky and their kids were dumbfounded inside the venue moments after the verdict was known.
According to several boxing sites, Pacquiao won either 10 or at a lesser extent, nine or eight rounds, of the 12-round title fight and to lose via split decision was a bitter pill to swallow for Manny’s camp much more the entire boxing world.
Even the likes of Lady Gaga, Justine Timberlake and Pacquiao’s boxing coach Freddie Roach were not amenable of the decision calling it a ‘lutong macau’ which refers to anything preconceived or planned and is bound to occur, the phrase might be from the local experience that Macau chinese are known for their style of cooking and restaurants here who promote that cuisine prepares the ingredients even before it is ordered.
Based on CompuBox records, Pacquiao landed 190 of 493 power shots, compared to just 108 of 390 punches for Bradley, who won the fight on a split decision. Pacquiao landed a total of 253 of 751 punches, while Bradley was 159-of-839. That’s clear and convincing yet Ross and Ford saw it the other way around!
The decision was criticized by some observers, with the Associated Press scoring the fight 117-111 in favor of Pacquiao, the Los Angeles Times scoring the fight 117-111 in favor of the Pambansang Kamao, and ESPN scoring the title fight 119-109 in favor of Pacquiao. Harold Lederman of HBO scored it 119-109 for Pacquiao while ESPN boxing analyst and long time trainer Teddy Atlas said that there was a case of either incompetence or corruption and that boxing needs a national commission so that judges can be accountable for their decisions, as he stated that Pacquiao clearly won.
According to the AP’s count, Pacquiao landed 253 punches to 159 for Bradley. Manny was not visibly hurt by Bradley while in contrast, the new World Boxing Organization welterweight champion was undeniably hit many times by Manny in the middle rounds. A rematch is set on November 10 later this year.
The setback was the first for Manny since 2005 after losing to Erik Morales, snapping his 15-match winning streak and dropped his record to 54-4-2 (win-loss-draw) with 38 knockouts and 16 via decision. Bradley improved to 29-0 with one ‘no contest’.
The win was worth $5 million for Bradley while Pacquiao earned $26 million for the defeat as purse. However, pay-per-view shares of both fighters are yet to be disclosed pending accounting procedures. That would be more than P1 billion in earnings for the People’s Champ.
In my own opinion, Manny must reclaim his titular belt with a win over Bradley in their rematch before considering any plans for a retirement much more entertaining any thoughts for a mega fight with the incarcerated professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. He surely won the bout with Bradley, no doubt....
Happy birthday to my father, Rico Sr, today (June 12)...*
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