In the immediate aftermath of Timothy Bradley’s stunning victory over Manny Pacquiao last month, the first reaction everyone had was: what just happened?
How could two out of three seemingly competent, fair-minded boxing judges have seen that bout and come away with the conclusion that Bradley had won?
It made no sense.
By any reasonable assessment, Pacquiao clearly won that match. And you don’t even need to take the word of sports analysts, boxers or fans to believe that – the statistics paint a vivid picture.
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According to CompuBox, Pacquiao landed 253 of his 751 punches in that fight; Bradley only landed 159 of his 839 punches. Pacquiao landed 190 power punches; Bradley landed 108 power punches. Pacquiao landed more punches than Bradley in 10 rounds; Bradley landed more punches than Pacquiao in two rounds.
The numbers tell the whole story.
Which brings us back to the original question that everyone was asking themselves on the eve of June 9: how could two judges see something totally different than what the rest of the world saw?
Well, Roy Jones Jr. has a theory on that. Via ABS-CBN:
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Manny Pacquiao may have lost his title to Timothy Bradley because he made the judges wait, according to future boxing hall of famer Roy Jones Jr.
Jones was referring to delay in the Pacquiao-Bradley fight which, he claimed, was because Pacquiao was watching the NBA playoffs between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat.
“The judges made a bad decision or made a mistake… they may have been mad because Pacquiao held up the fight watching the basketball game that night,” Jones, the former pound-for-pound best, told On The Ropes Boxing radio.
Some reports said it was Pacquiao's late treadmill session for his cramp-prone calves that caused the delay.
Would judges really rob Pacquiao of a clear-cut victory out of spite? Because they were angry that he wasted their precious time?
It seems crazy; then again, so was Bradley’s win.