In one of the most controversial decisions in boxing history, Timothy Bradley beat overwhelming favorite Pacquiao by split decision to win WBO welterweight title.
Despite almost every commentator and journalist having the numbers showing that Pacquiao won by a healthy margin, two judges scored the bout for Bradley, giving him the controversial decision, much to the chagrin of the Vegas crowd, who immediately started booing the results.
Soon after the result, the Internet became bombarded with “conspiracy” theories and messages of disbelief from fan and experts alike.
Promoter Bob Arum was outraged by the result. According to ESPN, Arum had to this to say after the fight:
“Something like this is so outlandish, it’s a death knell for the sport. This is f—— nuts. I have both guys, and I’ll make a lot of money in the rematch, but it’s ridiculous. You have these old f—- who don’t know what the hell they’re looking at. It’s incompetence. Nobody who knows anything about boxing could have Bradley ahead in the fight.”
Arum also claimed Bradley himself thought he lost: “I went over to Bradley before the decision and he said, ‘I tried hard but I couldn’t beat the guy.’”
Pacquiao’s loss sparked outrage in his native Philippines. Filipinos around the world claimed the fight was “lutong bulok” (cooked rotten). Even Filipino politicians got into the act.
“President Benigno Aquino sought to console the public, stressing that Pacquiao remained a treasured sporting icon despite the loss.
‘Manny Pacquiao failed to defend the WBO welterweight belt against Timothy Bradley, but the Filipino people’s support for their champion remains strong as ever,’ Aquino spokeswoman Abigail Valte said in a statement.
“’This is clearly highway robbery,’ senator Jose Estrada, who was at ringside in Las Vegas, told local radio in Manila by phone.
‘Pacquiao clearly had more hits.’”
“Manny is still our one and only people’s champ; and we are proud of him.’”
The decision has led more than a few people to think that the Pacquiao vs Bradley fight was fixed.
Rapper 50 Cent said what many people were thinking: “Man boxing is a mess right now [whatever you do] do not watch the rematch its fixed. both fighters are with the same promoters [they’re] just trying to get paid twice.”
Many seasoned boxing reporters called it one of the worst decisions in boxing history, while fight promoter Bob Arum, before announcing the rematch in mid-November, said “something like this is so outlandish, it’s a death knell for the sport.”
Regardless of what occurred, the decision will stand and Pacquiao will once again be a big favorite when they two reunite in the ring in four months.