The Pacquiao-Bradley Screwjob
On June 9th, 2012, Manny Pacquiao experienced once of the biggest screw jobs in the history of the sport of boxing. In basic terms, Pacquiao dominated his opponent, Timothy Bradley, in almost every round of their fight, but two of the judges in charge of scoring the fight put Bradley ahead on their scorecards. This was an outrageous conclusion to a fight that saw Pacquiao stagger Bradley repeatedly with a stinging left hand to which Bradley had no answer. Pacquiao had Bradley against the ropes on multiple occasions during the fight, and it seemed as if he was easily in control throughout.
Indeed, Pacquiao landed more power punches and more jabs than Bradley. As a matter of fact, Pacquiao landed almost twice the amount of punches that Bradley did. It never appeared the Bradley actually hurt Pacquiao at any point during the fight. Most spectators in attendance at the fight states that they would have scored the fight at 10 rounds for Pacquiao and 2 for Bradley. The truth is that the fight should have been a lopsided decision for the Filipino boxer and politician. Instead, he lost a fight that he had absolutely no business losing. It’s fair to question whether someone paid off the judges, and many have done just that in the aftermath of the fight.
Anyone who watched that fight knew that something was horribly wrong with the outcome. Pacquiao fought his fight all the way through, using his boxing gloves to deter Bradley’s punches and fire his own. Bradley seemed to have a lot of trouble getting on the inside during the fight. Pacquiao repeatedly backed him down and launched vicious shots to Bradley’s head and body. The reality is that Bradley looked completely outmatched outside of two, maybe three rounds. People watching at home were outraged that the wrong fighter was awarded the split decision in the fight. There should have never been a split decision at all.
I wonder what prompted those judges to score the fight in favor of Timothy Bradley. Were they watching the same fight as everyone else? We all know that scoring in boxing is more subjective than other sports, but there’s no way anyone watching even remotely closely could say Bradley was the better fighter that night. Even if you give Bradley three rounds, he still loses the fight handily. There were no more than three rounds where Bradley actually accomplished anything against Pacquiao, let alone won the round. Those judges should be ashamed of their actions. They know deep down that Pac-man won that fight.
After the fight, Bob Arum, Manny Pacquiao’s promoter, stated that he couldn’t believe how ridiculous his fighter’s loss actually was. He knew he would make money from Pacquiao either way, but he questioned whether anyone would ever take the sport of boxing seriously again. Indeed, boxing has become a crooked sport marred by controversial decisions over the years. That’s one reason why mixed martial arts have overtaken boxing as the most popular contact sport in the world these days. Boxing must clean up the judging situation and get more top-end talent in the heavyweight division to reclaim the top spot going forward.
In the end, Manny Pacquiao is still going to go down as one of the greatest boxers the world has ever seen. That decision he lost to Timothy Bradley takes nothing away from his amazing career. It’s a shame that he didn’t get the victory he so richly deserved. If they fought again in a rematch, there’s no doubt that Pacquiao would destroy Bradley like he did the first time. The only thing stopping him from winning would be the same judges that screwed him the first time around. Then again, I doubt they would ever let those judges anywhere near another of Pacquiao’s fights. Personally, I’d never let them near another fight of any sort.
Stuart Fiennes is a hardcore sports fan to the end. His favorites are the New York Knicks, the Syracuse Orange, Floyd Mayweather, and Rafael Nadal. When not watching sports, Stuart can be found watching TV with his wife of two years and their dog, Champion.