Manny Pacquiao’s controversial loss to Timothy Bradley was obviously the latest in a long line of embarrassing moments for boxing.
Say what you will about the Sweet Science’s dwindling overall popularity and scarcity of brand name, recognizable superstars, but there is a reason why two boxers sit comfortably atop the highest-paid athletes list.
The sport matters.
And because people care, what happened on the eve of June 9 will linger. If boxing was truly dead and no one paid attention, that bout wouldn’t have been controversial. Everyone would have shrugged it off and moved on the following Monday. But that’s not what happened. Fans and casual spectators were justifiably outraged because, whether they intended to be or not, they became emotionally invested in what transpired.
The mental image of Bradley’s arms being raised in triumph after he was handily defeated by Pacquiao isn’t going away any time soon. There is nothing anyone can do to erase that cringeworthy moment from peoples’ minds. However, there is something that can be done to make sure that it stays in peoples’ minds.
That something? Set up a re-match that nobody wants to see.
On the heels of the worthless WBO giving their completely unwanted and totally insignificant two cents worth regarding Pacquiao vs. Bradley Part I, Manny and the guy who robbed him of his title are now working towards giving fans a second installment of their June 9 classic. (We use the term ‘classic’ very, very loosely.)
As noted by the good folks at Newsday:
-- Manny Pacquiao says he wants a rematch with Timothy Bradley after a five-judge panel assembled by the WBO championship committee unanimously favored the Filipino fighter in a video review.
Pacquiao said Thursday he would prefer a rematch rather than Bradley giving up the WBO welterweight title that he won on a split decision because "people may think I just usurped it."
"My supporters shouldn't worry. We're going to get that title," Pacquiao said.
Look, the end result of Pacquiao vs. Bradley was incontestably awful. It was a black mark on the Sweet Science as a whole, and threw the entire concept of how bouts are judged into serious question. But you don’t compound one mistake by making another. That’s not the right way to handle this situation.
What’s done is done. Pacquiao earned a loss that nobody considers a loss, and Bradley earned a win that nobody considers a win. So be it. Rather than having a match where the Filipino champ reclaims his worthless title by beating a guy that everyone already knows he can beat, why not just set up a better fight against a quality opponent?
The best way to get past this rough patch and all of the bad publicity that everyone involved has earned over the past two weeks is by getting people to forget about what happened.
And what’s the best way to get everyone to forget about what happened?
By not giving fans another version of a fight they regret watching the first time around.