Five Judges for Pacquiao: Boxing Controversy Deepened



Photo: AFP

It’s been two controversial weeks since the Manny Pacquiao v. Timothy Bradley boxing match, where instead of bringing home  another belt to his people, Manny got a judge’s no. The Philippines’s national hero graciously accepted the decision, despite doubting its validity. When even Bradley asked for the tape in disbelief, something must be up.

Nothing moves an institution like public outcry. The World Boxing Organization complied with a panel of five “international” judges to review the scoring. Seven years of straight winning by the Filipino to be ended by an American opponent in Las Vegas, after all, is cause enough to include the “international” factor. The conclusion seems unanimous – all five for the Pacman, by scores such as 117-111, 116-112, and 115-113. One even ruled 118-110. Anonymous so far, the officials’ call seems a far cry from the original 115-113 against him. All the same, Bradley was promised continued possession of the belt.

A rematch had already been scheduled for November 10, with both sides confident in either regaining or keeping the title. Bradley believes youth and movement is key, having claimed to have figured out the older man in the last match. “I had more energy than Pacquiao in our fight.” He clearly wants to repeat the second half of the fight by utilizing more maneuvers to avoid and tire than engaged sparring.

Pacquiao, however, remains unflustered, “My supporters shouldn’t worry. We’re going to get that title.” He knows his place in the heart of the Filipino people.

Another exciting night, then, with the boxing world waiting to see which undefeated streak was actually supposed to end.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, however, would rather forestall it until the investigation is complete. The next day after the match had them promising Nevada attorney general Catherine Cortez on the case. Questioning is still going on to deduce whether this was simply a mistake of the judges, or an actual rigged vote behind the result. Without this clarification, Arum believes the suspicion would render any rematch obsolete. Ultimately, the promoter would still honor Pacquiao’s wishes, but only after the situation was clearly explained to him. Until then, the credibility of the sport is on the line.

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