In the direct aftermath of Timothy Bradley’s win over Manny Pacquiao, a mish-mash of fans, analysts and politicians spoke out about what transpired. The enthusiasm with which they condemned Bradley’s victory varied, but the message remained largely the same: this was an embarrassment for boxing.
The reason there was such uniformity in terms of messaging was because everyone knew that Pacquiao got robbed. There was no debating it.
Plus, the stats backed that assertion up.
According to CompuBox, Pacquiao landed 253 of his 751 punches while Bradley landed only 159 of his 839 punches. Pacquiao landed 190 power punches, while Bradley landed only 108 power punches. Pacquiao landed more punches than Bradley in 10 rounds, Bradley landed more punches than Pacquiao in only two rounds.
So again, there is no debating what’s what and who the real winner was.
The one interesting thing that a lot of folks noticed the days following that horrendous Bradley victory, though, was the lack of actual boxing stars speaking out. Sure, the fans and analysts spoke out. Yeah, Bob Arum made his opinion known. But where were Pacquiao’s peers? Why weren’t they being more vocal about what transpired?
Well, while we don’t know why it took this long, we do know that the silence is finally over.
Earlier this week, one of Pacquiao’s most well-known foes in Marco Antonio Barrera came out and said this regarding June 9’s showdown:
“Yes, I saw it,” Barrera said of the match. “Manny Pacquiao won the fight, I think so. [Tim Bradley] won only two or three rounds.”
Then, on Tuesday afternoon, Amir Khan also decided to speak out in an interview with Chris Robinson of the Examiner:
“I believe Manny Pacquiao won that fight,” said Khan. “Manny’s a good friend of mine, we train together and everything. I think it was just a shame. I only had him losing three rounds in that fight.”
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum was so irate with the Pacquiao-Bradley verdict that he motioned to have an investigation into the judging of the fight. Khan couldn’t rule out something shady taking place, pointing to his own personal tribulations against Lamont Peterson during their duel this past December in Washington, D.C.
“I think a little bit of corruption may have been involved,” Khan stated of the Pacquiao-Bradley melee. “The same with my fight with Lamont Peterson; I think corruption may have been involved. But we never got to the bottom of it but things happen for a reason. Justice will still be done for Manny Pacquiao. I still believe that Manny Pacquiao’s still the best fighter in the world.”
Strong words. Is Khan really that upset about a fight that, in theory at least, didn’t impact him all that much?
Apparently so. Via that same interview:
“It still upsets me because it’s so bad. I think it’s bad for boxing,” said Khan. “Boxing is doing so well, we’ve got great champs like Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and myself, and we should be [making] boxing big but little things like this, it just puts boxing back a little it. We need to clean up the sport and this testing now, I think it is cleaning up the sport. We don’t want MMA taking over; we never want that to happen.”
Khan is right on all counts, of course. It does look bad for boxing, and it does steal the spotlight away from The Sweet Science’s legitimate stars like Pacquiao, Mayweather, himself and so on. Poor judging is just as bad as doping, really, because it inevitably casts doubt over the entire sport and how the outcomes of all bouts are decided.
Hopefully more stars will speak out in the way that Khan has. The only way to prevent incompetent judging in the future is by shining a massive, bright light on it whenever it happens.