Since the WBO Welterweight bout between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr. I have heard several judgements on how the fight was judged. I did not order the PPV event, because I didn’t think it would be worth price, but the shock and drama that pursued makes me wish I would’ve.
After the fight was given to Bradley, via split decision, Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum ordered an immediate review of the fight by the WBO sanctioning bodies. Reports surfaced this week that the WBO has returned their verdict, ruling the fight in favor of Manny Pacquiao. This ruling won’t change the outcome of the fight, so was more to spark the interests of conspiracy theorists. I recently watched a rerun of the fight, and I have my own opinion of what I witnessed. There are a few reasons why this fight has sparked UNWARRANTED outrage.
1. “SEEING” IS BELIEVING
As the saying goes, SEEING IS BELIEVING. Not HEARING. Watching this fight, it was obvious that it was amongst a pro-Pacquiao crowd, which is understandable. Anytime Manny threw a series of flurries, hit or miss, the crowd went crazy. Even worse, the “expert” ringside analysts went crazy. A trick I learned in boxing is that if you want to see the true fight, to watch it with the sound off. I understand that watching it live or on PPV you don’t get that luxury. But when you watch it with no sound, you don’t get the crowd influence, and you don’t get blind Jim Lampley yelling out “Bang! Bang! Bang!” every time someone throws a combo, but misses half the punches. You don’t have someone telling you that shots “landed”, “missed”, or “have no power”, when in fact, they did the opposite.
2. HUMAN ERROR
We all know the importance of officiating and judges in every sport, but we also know what it brings: HUMAN ERROR. For example, our “expert” ringside judge Harold Ledderman had Bradley winning one round. NONE of the other eight Professional judges (3 during the fight and 5 during the WBO review) scored the fight 11 rounds to 1. Ledderman and Lamphley also commentated as if the beginning of the fight was a shutout for Pacquiao. I completely disagree. The first three rounds could’ve easily went either way, with the fourth being the first DEFINITE round for Pac-Man. The two judges who scored the fight in favor of Tim Bradley 115-113 have received much criticism. But the third judge scored the fight 115-113 for Pacquiao. That’s only a 2 round swap. So obviously, these judges saw more from Bradley than Ledderman saw. Big surprise. (sarcasm) Bottom line, every professional judge gave Bradley at least 5 rounds. There were several rounds that could’ve went either way, and the ringside crew (Lampley, Steward, and Kellerman) all said around the 6th round that Pacquiao wouldn’t fight for the first 2 minutes of each round, and then turn up the action in the last minute. And that’s exactly what I saw. So it boils down to if you reward ACTION or POWER.
If you are a boxing fan, you should know that Compubox is a joke. Especially when it comes to Pacquiao fights. I watched the Pacquiao-Clottey fight a few years ago. At the end of the fight, when they showed the image of where each fighter landed punches, they showed Pacquiao landing 100+ shots to Clottey’s head, which was a joke. Clottey stayed in a defensive shell the entire fight and his face was completely unblemished. I watched that fight with a group of friends, and in the 2nd round, when Compubox showed Manny landing 20+ power shots, we rewinded and counted about 20 THROWN for Pac-Man. I think the people doing the counting for Compubox get too caught up in the excitement of the 5-punch combos. In the 9th round, Ledderman and Lampley computed 95 punches thrown for Pacquiao. That’s a punch for every 1.9 seconds in that round. Watch the fight, IT DID NOT HAPPEN.
4. ACTION vs DAMAGE
We knew before fight night that Tim Bradley’s power was in no comparison to Pacquaio’s. But I’ll go back to a previous point. The ringside analysts stated, and I witnessed, how Pacquiao began to take off the first two minutes of each round. It was almost like at the 1 minute mark someone would yell “GO” and he would begin to fight. Then when the 10 second mark would sound, he would turn it up even more. So my question is if you have one fighter at least throwing punches, but not causing real damage….or a guy who is not as active, but punches cause more damage….who do you reward?
If you saw the fight, I’m sure you have your own opinion. Just trust me, watch it with the sound off. You may feel the same about your initial judgement, but I don’t think it would be as one-sided. How did you score the fight when you initially saw it?