Boxing/MMA

Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley: The Best Conspiracy Theories

Did Manny Pacquiao agree to let Timothy Bradley beat him because he needs money? Did Bob Arum fix the fight? Was Floyd Mayweather somehow involved? Did a devious third party that nobody knows about pay off the judges?

There is a reason that each of those conspiracy theories has been mentioned at least once over the past day and a half.

Pacquiao beat Bradley this past Saturday night. It doesn’t matter that the record books won’t show it. It doesn’t matter that the judges’ scorecards didn’t reflect it. Pacquiao, the best or second-best pound-for-pound fighter in the world today, is still the same person he was before he ever stepped into the ring on June 9. Two know-nothing judges seeing something completely different than what every other person who watched the fight saw doesn’t change anything.

The question on everyone’s mind entering this week shouldn’t be whether Pacquiao and Bradley will fight again. They will. We all know they will. Along the same lines, the question shouldn’t be how this latest development impacts a potential Pacquiao versus Mayweather super fight. It doesn’t. No, the only thing anyone should be asking themselves today, tomorrow and for however many days after that is: why did the judges give Bradley a victory that everyone, everyone knows he didn’t deserve?

Even if you accept the basic premise that Pacquiao lessened his aggressiveness in the second half of the fight (which he admittedly did) and that Bradley outfought him in the later rounds (which he absolutely didn’t), there was no way that Bradley could have won more total rounds come the end of the match. No way. You can’t land almost 100 less punches and nearly as many less power punches -- all the while connecting on worse percentage -- and still out-fight the other guy. It just doesn’t work that way.

And that’s why every single person in the world outside of two of the worst judges in the history of boxing knows that something was up. What specifically was up, though, has been a popular subject of debate for nearly 48 hours. In an effort to put everyone’s thoughts all in one place, we’ve compiled all of the conspiracy theories that make any sort of sense, and then we broke down whether we think they’re true or not.

How freakishly legitimate do some of these conspiracy theories sound? You can check that out for yourselves right here.

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