By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.
BOXING enthusiasts all over the world were stunned when the verdict was announced that Manny Pacquiao’s opponent,Timothy Bradley, was the winner by split decision, wresting the World Boxing Organization welterweight title. The verdict produced a lot of uproars from countless people from all walks of life, which I believe tarnished the sport of boxing.
To avoid being biased, I will not longer mention the names of some well-known Filipino boxing experts who texted me and others who talked to me personally just after the fight about their disappointment and frustration over what the two ring judges had done. Suffice it to say that respected media entities like CNN, BBC, HBO, ESPN, USA Today, Associated Press and Reuters were one in concluding that the Filipino boxing icon was really the clear winner. At least the score should have been 119-111 or the closest 117-111, according to them. In fact, after the fight, Pacquiao’s nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez and Oscar De La Hoya admitted during their interviews that Pacquiao was the obvious victor. NBA’s New York Knicks star player Jeremy Lin echoed the same.
Top Rank Promotions’ Bob Arum was the first to cry ‘foul’, unabashedly calling the three judges the “three blind mice.” Pressured by speculations that he may have had a hand in the verdict, Arum, who handles both fighters, quickly asked the Nevada Athletic Commission headed by Attorney General Keith Kizer to investigate the three, purposely to save the integrity of boxing and all the people involved in that fight. “Too late the hero” as the saying goes because as far as I know, Arum is also partly to be blamed because he’s the promoter and approved the three to judge. But the question is: was it a ploy as many are saying because he will benefit much from the rematch? The other question is: Was the mafia involved? Yes, there’s a rematch clause slated on Nov. 10 (U.S. time) as what was stated in the contract and I believe it will be very bankable. Why, because the result of the fight was debatable and their second battle would prove once and for all the real victor, something that the people would be eager to watch. Hopefully there will be no more trilogy, as it happened with his Erik Morales and Marquez. It should be a convincing win this time.
Pacquiao’s head trainer Freddie Roach wants to file a protest but the humble Pacquiao is ruling it out. Pacquiao is right because as far as one of the professional boxing rules is concerned, even if Pacquiao wins the protest, the verdict of the judges cannot be overturned and the best that the commission can do is to declare the fight a “No Contest” and return the WBO welterweight belt. The other thing is surely he will regain his superior image in boxing and could retain his pound-for-pound kingship. Latest report says his defeat to Bradley last Sunday at MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas now lists him at number five from number one and his archenemy Floyd Mayweather capturing the top slot.
Yes, obviously Pacquiao had slowed down a lot during his combat with Bradley and I guess because of his increase in weight at 147pounds, his heaviest in his career. Or maybe he did not take Bardley seriously and did not train hard as many people said, unlike when he convincingly defeated Miguel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya, Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley. But what I know is Pacquiao must feel now how Marquez felt before when many analysts also said Marquez won his second and third fights against Pacquiao. It really hurts to lose your game when you honestly believe that you won. So let’s wait and watch their second clash come November 11 (PH time) and I’m sure Pacman will destroy the undefeated Bradley like what he did twice to his archrival Morales after his defeat to the Mexican. And in case he losses again, then it’s time for him to hang up his gloves because it’s father time.
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QUOTEOF THE WEEK: For the grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; It is the gift of God. Not of works, lest anyone should boast. EPHESIANS 2:8-9