ESPN confirms that the normally reliable HBO analyst Harold Lederman scored last night’s fight 119-111. While his judgment is not infallible, it was an appropriate reflection of the fans’, analysts’ and commentators’ assessment. No one would have been shocked to hear that score blared over the loudspeaker. Instead, we heard the outrageous claims of 115-113 for Bradley on two judges scorecards. Apparently, even the third judge scored the fight 115-113 for Pacquiao! None of these scores is acceptable. I don’t see a big difference between this outrage and the disgrace of the Paul Williams-Erislandy Lara fight, where all three judges were suspended indefinitely pending remedial training. ESPN writers seem to be developing a theory that Pacquiao’s scores were altered by judges to reflect an undeserved win against Marquez. Some even feel that the evil and nefarious Bob Arum orchestrated the debacle to help force Pacquiao into a superfight with Mayweather and accept a lower share of the profits than he initially wanted. I guess neither one is totally out of the question.
The most telling indicators may have been Bradley’s reaction and the tallied CompuBox numbers. Bradley, with a defeated and resigned expression on his face before the results were announced, commented after the fight that he would have to go home and watch the replay to “see who won,” according to Dan Rafael of ESPN. Rafael’s article also included the more objective statistics that defined the action. The article shows that Pacquiao landed more punches in 10 of 12 rounds at 34% with an 82 punch advantage in power shots, while Bradley landed at 19% and far fewer punches overall (Rafael, ESPN 2012). These numbers reveal the only measurable factors of the fight, and they show that even the judge who scored the fight for Pacquiao was ignoring key issues. I don’t know that the decision will be overturned, but I think the rest of the boxing world, even tunnel-vision afflicted Mayweather fans, understand that the judgment lacks any validity.
In our eyes, the results are already overturned.