Last month, Timothy Bradley defeated Manny Pacquiao thanks to one of the most controversial boxing decisions in recent memory.
In the aftermath of that divisive end result, everyone beginning with fans and ending with analysts questioned not only the legitimacy of what had happened, but the legality as well. Given boxing’s somewhat shady history and the absolutely horrid outcome of that particular fight, you couldn’t really blame folks for wondering if what they saw was on the up and up or not.
The most popular conspiracy theory that made the rounds on June 10th was this: Bob Arum, the boss of the company that promotes both Pacquiao and Bradley, fixed the match. He wanted to ensure a rematch later in November and, to do so, he had to give the underdog a victory that Pacquiao would “correct” in their second bout.
This theory got to be so popular that it actually made its way back to Arum himself. In response to the neverending questions, Arum asked the authorities to intervene and review everything that had happened. Everything. He hoped that if they (the powers that be) gave June 9’s end result a clean bill of health, he would emerge triumphant over those who doubted him.
Well apparently Nevada’s attorney general, Catherine Cortez Masto, decided to take him up on his offer. As noted by Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports:
Masto, the Nevada attorney general, wrote in a letter to Top Rank's Bob Arum that "there do not appear to be any facts or evidence to indicate that a criminal violation occurred."
So problem solved, right? Arum is officially exonerated? Nope. Not even Arum was willing to let himself off the hook that easily. Per the same report:
Arum said he didn't think the inquiry, conducted by Dale Liebherr, the attorney general's chief of investigations, was thorough enough. He sent a letter to Cortez Masto on June 11 requesting the result be investigated to clear his name and with the hope it would restore public confidence in boxing.
Not interviewing judges Jerry Roth, C.J. Ross and Duane Ford was a mistake, Arum said.
"I have no reaction to it," Arum said. "They spent a lot of time interviewing the referee [Robert Byrd] who had nothing to do with judging the fight, and I didn't see any interviews with the three judges who scored it? Wouldn't you do that if you were looking into it?"
How an investigation of this event could have been conducted without the judges being contacted is beyond us – but that’s beside the point.
The fact of the matter is, this whole inquiry was pointless. Everyone who, in their heart of hearts, truly believed that Arum had fixed the fight after the initial anger had subdued, was going to believe it regardless of what was turned up. They’d just figure Arum bought off the investigators or something.
And on the other side of the spectrum, the people who knew that there was no grand conspiracy here didn’t need Nevada’s DA to tell them that everything was on the up and up.
What happened on June 9 was a case of horrible judging – nothing more, nothing less.
(Kudos Yahoo! Sports)