LAS VEGAS, Nevada, June 10 (PNA) -– It wasn’t a fight. It was a heist.
Manny Pacquiao outboxed Timothy Bradley for 10 of their 12-round encounter but lost a split decision, thanks to two of the three judges that worked the fight here Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the MGM Grand Arena.
If it wasn’t robbery, the majority of the 14,000 crowd that witnessed the high-caliber showdown didn’t know what it was.
From the moment Pacquiao landed the first shot opening the first round, it was all his show from there winning that round and the next nine as he poised to win the battle running away.
But the judges had other things in mind even as judge Jerry Roth gave Pacquiao seven rounds in scoring the fight, 115-113. The other judges saw the outcome in reverse with similar 115-113 verdicts in favor of the American challenger.
The decision was booed lustily by the crowd when announced by ring announcer Michael Buffer.
As a result, the 33-year-old eight-division champion lost his World Boxing Organization welterweight title, while suffering his only fourth loss in 60 fights in his 16-year career.
The 28-year-old Bradley, who extended his unbeaten run to 29, 12 of them by knockouts, thus, crowned the new WBO 147-pound belt-owner.
Even Floyd Mayweather Sr., father of the Filipino ring icon’s arch-enemy Floyd Jr., who is presently in jail was overheard saying Pacquiao should have won.
Top Rank chair and chief executive Bob Arum, promoter of both fighters, branded the verdict ridiculous and “not good for boxing.”
The duo and those who expressed similar view had reason to say so.
Fight statistics showed Pacquiao overwhelmed the challenger in all departments connecting 253 punches of the 751 he threw or 34 percent as against Bradley’s 159-of-839 or a measly 19 percent.
Bradley threw 449 jabs as compared to Pacquiao’s 258, but the Filipino connected 63 times for an average of 24 percent accuracy. The American landed only 51 for a very poor 11 percent.
As for the power punches thrown, Pacquiao swung his Pacquiao though accepted the results, saying he respected the verdict, although adding immediately,” I am 100 percent sure that I won the fight.”
Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach concurred in, saying, “those judges must have their eyes examined.” “I accept, which has already been handed. It was part of the game,” he said during the post-fight news conference where he attended with wife Jinkee and sons Jimwell and Michael.
Asked if Bradley ever hurt him, he retorted “I cannot remember Bradley hitting me solid with a solid punch.”
Pacquiao, dejected as he was, still gave his conqueror credit for giving him a good fight, adding he gave Bradley three rounds the most.
Bradley, likewise, was all praised for Pacquiao acknowledging his victim’s power and speed.
“It was a good fight. Manny really showed his punching power and speed, but as I have said before the fight, I am giving him a rematch.
To which Pacquiao answered, rematch, it’s okay with me. I still will continue fighting. But when it is realized, I will make sure the fight won’t go 12 rounds.
“We have to do this again. Let’s do it in November,” Bradley said as he once again showed a mock ticket to a purported Nov. 10 fight. (PNA)