Bob Arum had seen enough shams over his lengthy boxing career to know that Timothy Bradley’s victory over Manny wasn’t legit. He didn’t need to think about it. He didn’t need to contemplate how the judges had come to their decision. He didn’t need to hear anyone’s justifications.
He knew what was what.
And so, in the direct aftermath of that horrible, horrible June 9 end result, Arum gave a very open and honest interview.
"I've never been as ashamed of the sport of boxing as I am tonight," Arum said (via ESPN).
"Can you believe that? Unbelievable. I went over to Bradley before the decision and he said, `I tried hard but I couldn't beat the guy.' "
Naturally, Bradley didn’t respond particularly well to his promoter’s comments. Regardless of whether Arum was telling the truth or not, Bradley wasn’t going to let his words just hang there.
"I thought I won the fight," Bradley responded. "I didn't think he was as good as everyone says he was. I didn't feel his power."
"I never told Bob that at all. He's a liar and I will tell him that to his face," Bradley said (via Yahoo! Sports). "I told Bob I did the best I can. I got injured. That was it. That's all I said to Bob. I didn't say, 'Bob, I couldn't beat that guy.' I would never say that, because I thought I won the fight.
"Bob's going to say that because that's his cash cow. The fact he lost to me, that is hard on him. That's hard on everyone," said Bradley.
Now, some of that is true. Pacquiao is Arum’s cash cow. Arum does favor him over Bradley. And yes, over the course of his career, Arum has shown on more than occasion that he isn’t opposed to lying.
That doesn’t change the reality of what happened, though.
Arum’s personal bias doesn’t change the fact that Pacquiao landed 253 of his 751 punches, and that Bradley landed 159 of his 839 punches. It doesn’t change the fact that Pacquiao landed 190 power punches and Bradley landed 108 power punches. It doesn’t change the fact that Pacquiao landed more punches than Bradley in 10 rounds and Bradley landed more punches than Pacquiao in two rounds.
So, no – Arum wasn’t wrong. He was entirely right in his assessment that Bradley’s win over Pacquiao was a joke.
The next and more important question, however, is this: was Arum being fair when he said what he said? Yes, he was right – but was he fair?
Was it fair to embarrass Bradley like that with the whole world watching? Was it fair to, more or less, make Bradley the scapegoat for a decision that was made by three incompetent judges? Was it fair to publicly out a client that Arum had signed on to represent, as a fraud?
No, it wasn’t fair.
You can’t blame Arum for being vocal about what he perceived to be an injustice; but, by the same token, you also can’t blame Bradley for thinking that his promoter did him kind of dirty.