Timothy Bradley’s undeserved victory over Manny Pacquiao has spawned a lot of strange ideas.
While reasonable people can debate the validity of most controversial split decisions, June 9’s bout is the lone exception to that. There is no justification for Bradley’s victory. None. Zero.
You can’t get outfought for at least eight rounds and still win a match. You can’t get out-punched in 10 out of 12 rounds and still win a match. You can’t lose in every major statistical category relating to hits landed, all the while throwing the softer blows yourself, and still win a match.
Boxing just doesn’t work that way.
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And yet, despite all that, in the days following that horrendous decision some came out and actually attempted to justify the judges’ mistake. These folks hilariously tried to make the case that, even though they had personally scored it as a Pacquiao win, they could understand why the powers that be ruled the way that they did. If you can understand why the judges ruled the way that they did, why didn’t your score cards initially reflect that?
The justification of the decision was the first strange idea that was birthed in the days after June 9. After that, the next strange and sort of lame thing we heard was that Bradley had fought a good fight. In reality: he didn’t fight a good fight. The best you can say about the guy who is currently hoisting Pacquiao’s stolen title is that he was able to take advantage of Manny’s lackadaisicalness in the first two minutes of rounds – but that’s where it ends. Him being able to take advantage of Manny’s lackadaisicalness, however, doesn’t equate to him fighting a good fight. Rather, him fighting a good fight would have been him knocking Manny out while he was taking his two minute breaks.
So that was the second strange idea that was birthed in the days after June 9. The third one was recently espoused by Nonito Donaire’s trainer, Robert Garcia, in an interview with the good folks at Boxing Scene:
“… was a great fight, a very exciting fight and it’s good because controversy will make you either watch the fight again, it sells a lot, it’s good for promotion, good for the fighters, good for everybody.”
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Yes, generally speaking, controversy sells. But it has to be the good sort of controversy. When Pacquiao beat Juan Manuel Marquez in controversial fashion last November – that was good controversy. People legitimately questioned whether he deserved that win, and fans on both sides had reasonable cases for why their guy deserved the W.
This is different. This is blatant incompetence at best, shady corruption at worst.
There is nothing wrong with calling Pacquiao versus Bradley what it was – a horrible black eye for boxing. Dressing it up as something other than that is simply disingenuous, and sort of insulting to real boxing fans who know better. We really don't need all these strange ideas for why the bout wasn't as bad as we know it was.
Let's acknowledge what happen. Let's be honest about it. Let's learn from it. And then, once we've completed steps Nos. 1-3, let's move on.
(Kudos Boxing Scene)