Manny Pacquiao‘s split-decision defeat at the hands of Timothy Bradley Jr. on Saturday night will be remembered as one of the most head-scratching, controversial results in boxing history, and one that will come back to haunt the sport.
Bradley snagged Pacquaio’s welterweight title from him after two of the three judges scored it 115-113 in favor of the American. What makes the result so tragic, though, is that it wasn’t even that close.
Who should have won Saturday night’s fight?
Pacquiao dominated in power punches, landing 82 more than Bradley by night’s end. Pacquiao was methodical and fought the fight he had to in order to win.
Some are calling the result a black eye for boxing, which is absolutely true. Considering the focus of the boxing world was on a potential mega-fight between Pacquiao and undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr., this result is ugly.
A disgusted fight promoter, Bob Arum was already discussing the likelihood of a rematch between the two fighters after the title bout, which would do little to right Saturday night’s wrongs.
“I’ll make a lot of money off the rematch, but this was outrageous.”—Bob Arum, via ESPN.com
A majority if not all of those ringside and in the media had Pacquiao winning the fight.
Who knows what the judges saw and liked from Bradley to give him the edge against the champion Pacquiao, who had not lost a fight in more than seven years. But whatever motivated them to score the bout in favor of Bradley has created a controversy, and one that will haunt the sport moving forward.
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