The Nevada judges who worked Saturday night’s WBO welterweight title fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas have been under fire since Bradley was awarded
the victory in one of the most shocking decisions in recent memory.
Jerry Roth, 71, the only judge who had Pacquiao winning (he scored it 115-113; CJ Ross and Duane Ford scored it 115-113 for Bradley) defended the judges’ scoring in an interview Tuesday with ESPN radio 1100 in Las Vegas.
“How anybody could see that fight so one-sided is beyond me,” Roth said. “I just can’t fathom that somebody could see such a fight so one-sided.”
PHOTOS: Images from Pacquiao-Bradley fight
HBO ringside judge Harold Lederman scored the fight 119-109 for Pacquiao, which is 11 rounds to 1. Roth said listening to that will skews people’s opinions.
“There were a lot of close rounds but I thought in the early part of the fight Pacquiao was doing very good,” Roth said. “In fact I gave him five of the first six rounds. Then in the latter part of the fight I thought he just didn’t do enough. He didn’t have that killer instinct he usually has. He was sort of backing up, Bradley was coming on and I thought coming on fairly strong. That’s why I gave four of the last six rounds to Bradley and ended up a two point fight, seven to five.”
Asked if he was surprised that many in the media thought the fight was lopsided, Roth said, “Yes I’m completely surprised. We judge round by round. We sit there for three minutes, judge the round and give the scores to the referee and that’s it. We don’t talk about in the fourth round how we scored the third round or talk to people to our left or to our right, we’re concentrating on that fight and that fight only. I just can’t fathom that somebody could see such a fight so one-sided.”
Roth said he blames much of the criticism he and his fellow judges receive on TV.
“People watch television and they hear Harold (Lederman) and some of the other people talking and they say it’s such a one-sided fight and that’s the way they see it. When I watch a fight, when I watch the playback of a fight, I turn the sound down and watch it, then I score. When I hear the scores that are going to be 11-1, 10-2 or scores of this nature, I know there’s going to be controversy and of course there was.”
Roth says he has never been called in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission to explain his scoring, and Keith Kizer, the executive director of the commission, has said he will not do that for this fight.
However, Bob Arum, the chairman of Top Rank, which promoted the fight, has asked Nevada state attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto for a full and complete inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the scoring of the fight.
Arum and others have also suggested a nationwide or worldwide pool of judges to be selected for big fights, based on how well they have done in the past, regarding misconduct or malfeasance. Roth obviously disagrees with that concept.
“Maybe I’m biased, okay, but I think Nevada has some of the best judges in the world,” Roth said. “We practice it for a long time, we’ve had a lot of fights here and I’m not one that really likes the idea of bringing in a lot of people from out of town.
“Sometimes people come in from out of town and they have a lot of even rounds or they do this or that or they come from different parts of the world. We try to watch fights, see fights, so that we’re uniformed and we do the best we can to be uniformed and I think we have the best officials in the world right here.”
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