Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pacquiao and Bradley

Leave it up to boxing to generate controversy.

I used to be a boxing fan, but I sort of lost interest about 10 years ago. I can’t remember the last time I actually watched a live fight on TV and I’ve never been to a boxing match. Still, I’m pretty familiar with the basics and with the somewhat sordid history of the game.

Timothy Bradley was not supposed to beat Manny Pacquiao. The fight was supposed to be a minor stopover on the way to a Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight. That may still happen but now that big payday has at least been delayed until Pacquiao settles some unfinished business with Bradley.

Pacquiao was supposed to make short work of Bradley but Bradley just didn’t co-operate, or, perhaps more accurately, the judges didn’t co-operate and Bradley won a split decision. Two judges scored the fight 115-113 for Bradley and the other scored it 115-113 for Pacquiao. Most of the press and the HBO commentators seem to have had the fight for Pacquiao by margins as high as 119-109.

So was Manny robbed? I doubt it. Even the judge that scored in favor of Pacquiao had it very close and boxing is a very subjective thing. If judges do their job right, they score round by round without considering the overall result.

Unfortunately, at least one of the judges, Cynthia Ross, has been here before and has a list of controversial decisions. The fact that she is apparently, based upon her Facebook page, bisexual, just confuses the issue given Manny’s recent comments on Gay Marriage.

The other judge that scored for Bradley, Duane Ford, is 74 years old but appears to have pretty much a spotless record and, based upon recent comments, appears comfortable with his decision.

I didn’t see the fight so I can’t comment on the scoring. Besides, I never claimed to be capable of judging a boxing match. If HBO puts it on On-Demand, I might watch it to see what all the hulabaloo is about but I’ve already been a bit tainted.

The bottom line is, given the subjectivity of the scoring, going to the judges is always a bit of a risk and it’s just about a crap shoot in a close fight.

So my personal opinion is it was just one of those things and all this screaming about investigations is a waste of time. Even if the WBO reviews the fight, watching on video tape is not the same thing as being there surrounded by the smells and sounds. We notice thousands of little things in person that don’t transfer to the video tape.

Let the decision stand and move on to the rematch. Maybe that will give enough time to set up the fight with Mayweather.

As I understand it, the big issue with Pacquiao vs. Mayweather is Manny wants a 50-50 split and Mayweather is insisting he should get the Lion’s share of the gate. I can solve that one, sign a contract that ties the split to who wins the fight.

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