The World Boxing Organization has completed its review of the Pacquiao-Bradley fight with an international panel of five judges. They all scored it for Pacquiao. Just what we expected, right? Maybe that’s not such a good thing. Well, let’s look at what we know for sure first. The WBO has stated that it will allow the rematch should Pacquiao choose to exercise his rematch clause, and if not, they will order the rematch, which presumably means Bradley could be stripped of the title if the fight does not go through. The WBO has also expressed an interest in supplementing future Nevada fights with outside officials to balance the scoring. The other information included in the ESPN article is in the scorecards produced by the panel. I actually suggested using five judges on fight night in the ESPN Fix the Fight Game poll because I assumed it would lead to an apparent median score. In this case that certainly did not happen, the panel seeing scores from 118-110, 117-111, 117-111, and 116-112 all the way to 115-113. Quite a range, don’t you think? Having gone back and watched the fight myself, I have to admit that I was caught up in the outrage and even in an expectation for how I thought the fight would go. I still score the fight for Pacquiao decisively, but honestly, the 115-113 for Pacquiao doesn’t seem so unreasonable anymore. Boxing is a sport of revisionist history and even though this fight was an important milestone in people’s awareness of boxing’s flaws, I think this may have been another instance of emotions running high for a time before fans realized they just wanted someone to blame. We saw a similar phenomenon in the disappointing Ortiz-Mayweather fight. Maybe we should be just as upset about a judge scoring that fight 118-110 for Pacquiao as we would be if it were for Bradley.
WBO Review Askew?