By now you may know that boxing’s biggest star was victim to a robbery in Las Vegas last Saturday when he lost his WBO Welterweight title to unknown jr. welterweight champion Timothy Bradley. In what many considered an easy win for the Philippino superstar, Bradley was awarded an unpopular split decision that wasn’t reminiscent of what happened in the ring. Most ringside media members had Pacquiao winning comfortably as much as 10 rounds to 2. That is what many of us would call a blowout. The Republika predicted an easy win for the Pac Monster and it sure looked as it after twelve rounds, but somehow the judges saw it the other way around. Some where blaming Bob Arum saying that the Promoter wanted to have a reason to make a rematch in November. Some are saying that blaming Arum is bogus. Why would he give a decision to his biggest attraction’s rival? No sense in that. Reality may be another.
Manny Pacquiao is one of the biggest draws in boxing. Whenever he fights in Las Vegas he leaves money everywhere. Casino’s benefit in their tables and slot machines, restaurants, hotels, everything is packed. Why oh why would you attempt in robbing him? A decision as close as last November’s fight with Juan Manuel Marquez would have made more sense, as Marquez is already known in the boxing world and had already fought Manny twice. Bradley isn’t as appealing as the big stars in the sport. His style is somewhat boring and predictable, his fights are usually lopsided and he doesn’t have one punch knockout power. What would make you believe a man like Arum would bet the whole house on a man like this? A rematch doesn’t even make that much sense considering everybody thinks Manny already beat him, easily.
So what happened? Who’s to blame? My guess is that we should finally stop blaming promoters and start looking at the Nevada State Athletic Commission, arguably the most influential and biggest boxing commission in the world. Why do they keep bringing back the same judges that have been linked to dubious decisions? These judges are too old and should start being rotated. Every time I hear the same names announced as judges in big time fights I ask myself why? There are very good judges elsewhere that the commission should start recruiting. How bout younger blood? The sport has evolved and we need new faces as officials too. In baseball and football (NFL, MLB) officials are constantly evaluated, this keeps them from doing stupid things and ruining outcomes. This should be also done in boxing. Nevada should set an example and stop bringing back these old judges that seem to be sick in the eye.
People won’t buy in to the rematch. If they ever do it, look it to land in Texas or California. For now, Nevada should stop and take a closer look at their officials, they are as much to blame as promoters, trainers, cheaters and sanctioning bodies for the demise of boxing.