Probably the biggest, largest purse fight in the last 10 years was derailed last night with a controversial split decision resulting in a Manny Pacquio loss.
To say that the split decision was controversial is an understatement – many of those who watched the fight were shocked at the outcome which was greeted by loud boos from the crowd.
This one didn’t help Boxing – and further besmirched the reputation of a sport which has had plenty of controversy through the years.
The only “winner” in this is probably MMA – whose popularity is shooting through the roof…
While Boxing is going the way of Baseball.
Injustices like the split decision that gave Timothy Bradley a controversial victory over Manny Pacquiao are not unheard of in boxing.
Yet that doesn’t make the stunning outcome of Saturday’s welterweight title fight — one of the most dumbfounding decisions in recent history — any easier to make peace with.
Pacquiao connected on 253 of 751 punches (34 percent), compared to 159 of 839 (19 percent) for Bradley, and outlanded the challenger in 10 of the 12 rounds. The Filipino absorbed Bradley’s best shots in the early rounds and, undeterred by his opponent’s rapidly diminishing offense, relied on his speed and power to entice Bradley into toe-to-toe exchanges and batter him into retreat.
“I don’t remember if he hit me with one punch,” Pacquiao said afterward.
Yet ringside judges Duane Ford and C.J. Ross both scored it 115-113 to Bradley, dissenting with Jerry Roth, who had it 115-113 to Pacquiao. (SI.com scored it 116-112 to Pacquiao, among the more charitable scores on press row.)
The decision was met with horror, then shock, then anger by the mostly pro-Pacquiao crowd of 14,206 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Said promoter Bob Arum: “I went over to Bradley before the decision and he said, ‘I tried hard but I couldn’t beat the guy.'”
It marked the end of a remarkable run for Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) that spanned more than seven years, 15 victories, and five championships in five weight classes — running his overall haul to a record-breaking eight.
But after everything he’s done for boxing, Manny Pacquiao is the last person who should have been cheated like this. He deserved better…