The End Of Boxing as We Know It
Amid the boos and anger following the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley match last night was the lingering question.. was the fight fixed? There are many who say that it no doubt was.
Bradley was awarded a split decision verdict, two scorecards reading 115-113 in his favor, the last judging scoring the fight 115-113 for Manny Pacquiao. Throughout the fight Pacquiao was busier and land more shots.
Furthermore, the shots landed by Pacquiao were clearly damaging Bradley. There seemed to be no question that he controlled the fight.
To many who witnessed the fight, there was no doubt that Manny Pacquiao won that fight.
It is unfortunate that boxing can no longer be just that: boxing. Instead we are left with networks, promoters and sponsors. All worried about their profits and nothing else.
So the question has to be asked. Is this the end of boxing as we know it?
Here is a sample of what people are saying about the Pacquiao-Bradley fight
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.'”
“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.”
Canadian poker player and sports analyst Haralabos Voulgaris noted that there was a late surge of bets on Bradley. “Late money on this boxing match, Pac was -432 at 2pm it closed -397 at pinny. Lots of late money on Bradley.”
Vouglaris went on to say, “Eagerly awaiting Italian [soccer’s] response to this boxing match. Can’t imagine they’ll take the demotion to 2nd most corrupt sport lightly.”
ESPN columnist Bill Simmons re-tweeted Voulgaris’ comment, adding that he thought that it might make for a future edition of his popular documentary series “30 for 30.”
Simmons added: “Never been more stunned by a boxing decision. So disgusted right now. Now we know why the odds dropped all week.”
Big Lead writer Jason Lisk commented, “At this point, we should remind you that Bob Arum is the promoter for both Pacquiao and Bradley. If this had been scored a decisive victory for Pacquiao, there is no rematch or at least one that is desired by the public.”
Most online conspiracy theories veered towards the outlandish, but Patrick Rishe of Forbes says such theories are hard to avoid.
“Unfortunately, it’s these sorts of results that make skeptics of us all. Make us wonder if someone within the sport thought they could drum up greater interest in a Pacquiao-Bradley rematch if Pacquiao lost the first bout. Seems far-fetched, but in light of the circumstances I wouldn’t blame anyone that draws this conclusion.”
Rishe adds that the sport need to look for solutions.
“But from strictly a business perspective, especially with MMA and UFC gaining such strides in popularity, perhaps boxing needs to consider re-evaluating its judging process…be it more judges or some other solution.
Because without a re-assessment of such procedures, I fear that boxing will keep taking uppercuts to perceptions of its integrity…or lack thereof.”
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wrote: “That is horrible. Unreal. Ridiculous. Stupid. Bogus. Etc.That fight wasn’t close and I was pulling for Bradley.”
Retired boxer Oscar De La Hoya, who lost to Pacquiao in a 2008 fight, said, “Bradley should have given the belt and announce victory to [Pacquiao] right after the decision.”
Even celebrities got into the act, commenting on the Pacquiao-Bradley decision via Twitter.
Pop star Justin Timberlake wrote: “I cannot believe what I just saw… Please tell me they read that decision wrong… #Rigged”
Comedian Dane Cook wrote that the fight might mark the death of boxing: “Somewhere in the not too distant future: A young child: “Daddy, what was boxing?”
ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel took a more humorous approach, defending Pac-Man who has been a frequent guest on his late-night talk show: “Paula Abdul would have done a better job judging the @MannyPacquiao fight.”