According to ESPN, WBO president Francisco Valcarcel announced that his company will review the fight between Manny Pacquaio and Timothy Bradley. When Bradley’s hand was raised in a split decision on Saturday, numerous boxing fans and critics were appalled that the decision did not go to Pacquaio, who appeared to dominate most of the fight.
Even though the WBO is attempting to do the right thing and correct a huge mistake, the damage has already been done.
Even if Pacquaio ends up getting the win, the title, and his seven-year streak back, it will all be marred by the fact that it took a group of people sitting in a room watching the fight on tape to make the decision, rather than getting the glory of celebrating the way a champion deserves.
Bradley has it even worse. He gets two options: either he gets to keep a title that most of the boxing community thinks he didn’t earn or a committee will decide to just take that title away. It can be tough at the “top” when you’re the “champ”.
Worst of all, the credibility of the judging in boxing has been compromised. Valcarcel said “I want to clarify that in no way does this say we are doubting the capacity of these judges, which we consider as honest and competent judges”, but if that’s true, why even do a review? It would be like if I turned in this article to my editor, who then rewrote the entire thing and told me, “You’re a great writer, but I need to do your writing for you”. Call a spade a spade; the judges screwed up and now they’re being covered for.
The longer this controversy is stretched out, the more it seems like an underhanded way to promote the rematch. If Valcarcel really thinks the judges are competent, he would defend their decision whether it was an unpopular decision or not. Instead, Pacquiao, Bradley and the boxing world are going to have to wait until this committee can decide who the champion is. Once Pacquaio is either crowned champ or ultimately screwed, the hype of the rematch will be heightened, as both fighters would look for a more definitive win next time.
As I said in a previous article on the subject, boxing needs the super fight between Pacquaio and Floyd Mayweather before all this controversy swallows what remains of the great sport of boxing.
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