There are murmurs that Pacquiao was contemplating retiring soon. By rigging the fight in Bradley’s favor, Arum ensures at least one more fight between Pacquiao and Bradley (both Top Rank fighters), and turns Bradley into an instant star. Why it could be true: Arum is greedy enough to want to do this, and has enough power to be able to pull it off. Why it probably isn’t true: Bradley isn’t a good enough fighter to be a star. If Arum wanted to make someone besides Pacquiao his new golden boy, this wouldn’t have been his first choice.
A lot of people felt as though Pacquiao deserved to lose his last showdown versus Marquez. A lot of people. Could these judges have simply been trying to right an earlier wrong? Why it could be true: Many folks felt as though the judges in Pacquiao vs. Marquez III gave the Filipino champ an undeserved victory just because he was who he was. It’s possible that this time around, the judges didn’t want to make that same mistake again. Why it probably isn’t true: Why would judges care about fixing past mistakes? What could they possibly have to gain from that?
Pacquiao’s financial problems are a matter of public record. Some are speculating that maybe Arum bought the Filipino champ off by promising him a rematch where he would get his win, plus a larger pay day (because of all the people who would excitedly buy that pay-per-view), if he were to be okay with losing this match. Why it could be true: Pacquiao could probably use the money. Plus, this loss doesn’t hurt his legacy at all. Everyone knows he should have won. And he was awfully calm after that horrible decision. Why it probably isn’t true: Pacquiao seems like he has too much pride and integrity to do something like this.
If Arum could theoretically buy off judges, so could anyone else. Maybe some outside third party fixed this fight. Why it could be true: Wouldn’t be the first time. Why it probably isn’t true: It would be very, very difficult to pull off.
Maybe this was just the sport of boxing trying to kill itself. Why it could be true: Boxing has been dying for decades now. Killing its own credibility in a match this high profile would sort of be like someone putting a gun in their mouth and pulling the trigger. Quick and painless. Why it probably isn’t true: It probably is true. This is the most feasible conspiracy theory.