I was planning on missing tonight’s fight between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley, along with the somewhat interesting undercards. Legendary Jorge Arce had a strange encounter with his opponent, suffering what looked like a low blow and a headbutt simultaneously, then enduring a hideous cheap shot which compelled him to lay down in the ring, clutching his ear until the match was stopped. The nature of the injury was unclear though the fight itself was getting off to a very active and interesting start.
Prior to that, crowd-pleasing Mike Jones made a miscalculation, fighting ten good rounds with his opponent before succumbing to two vicious shots that left him nearly incoherent. The final shot, a well-placed uppercut, came in round 11 when it looked as if Jones could at least coast to a decision win. This fight was also entertaining and surprising.
These fights paled in comparison to the crowning achievement of unexpected events in boxing. My prediction about the Pacquiao fight could NOT have been more wrong. The fight was entertaining, though Pacquiao dominated almost every round. Bradley didn’t even headbutt once, his signature move, though he did lose steam in the middle rounds. Pacquiao did use his in and out style, but did not take on a passive style the way he did with Mosley. CompuBox scores showed Pacquiao ahead in every round on percentages, closer on punches landed, but dominating the fight overall. I believe it was venerable Harold Lederman who displayed his score of 11 rounds to 1 against Pacquiao at the conclusion of the fight. I had been sure enough of the results to avoid arguing over a point or two, and began making my way out of the establishment where I watched the fight. On my way out I vaguely heard the first score, something reasonable, I assumed, for Pacquiao. I didn’t stop to turn around until I heard the second score, 115-113 Bradley. WHAT?! The crowd went into pandemonium and I was only able to tear myself away from making the most incredulous facial expression possible for a moment before I heard “….and NEW….”
Before this fight, I think the worst decision I had ever seen was Williams-Lara, which was reflected in the unprecedented suspension of those judges. I think this surpasses that level of incompetence. I believe this decision will be reversed. At the very least, few boxing fans will give the decision much credit. I would have loved for Bradley to beat Pacquiao with some kind of unexpected tenacity or skill, but that didn’t happen. This fight was too big to sweep under the rug the way they have with others. From what I could hear of the post-fight interview, Pacqiuiao was gracious, but maybe he shouldn’t be. I don’t think either one of these fighters has a shot at beating Mayweather, but I really hope we’re not going to be subjected to watching a phony like Tim Bradley Jr. get fast-tracked to the top during an era when we could see an epic clash between prime pugilists.
Mayweather should be glad he didn’t get to watch that disgrace from his cell.