After four days of boxing-bashing by journalists, fans and analysts, the WBO has announced it will review Saturday’s fight between Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao, which ended in a split-decision victory for Bradley.
WBO President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel said in a statement Wednesday that the organization’s championship committee will review video of the fight with five “recognized judges” and make a recommendation regarding the decision.
Bradley won, 115-113, on two scorecards and lost by the same margin on the third.
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who promotes both fighters, expressed outrage after the match. He has since submitted a formal request for an inquiry to the Nevada attorney general’s office.
“This isn’t about a close decision,” Arum said. “This is absurd and ridiculous and everyone involved in boxing should be ashamed.”
To his credit, Pacquiao has been a model of restraint through it all — perhaps because after 60 career fights, he understands subjectivity, however extreme, is simply part of the business.
“I hope you’re not dismayed or discouraged,” Pacquiao said. “I can fight. I can still fight.”
But with the sport continuing to crumble into irrelevance, the perception of fixed fights can only accelerate its decline. Should the WBO find irregularities in the scoring and reverse the decision, what then? Salvation? Redemption? More than likely it’ll just be a matter of time before another Amir Kahn-Lamont Peterson controversy taints the world of boxing.
Lennox Lewis, for one, seemed to agree, tweeting after the fight: “Pac won the fight. Bradley won the decision. (Arum) won another payday. Boxing lost its integrity and the fans lost confidence.”
Do you agree? Is the sport doomed? If not, what can be done to save it?
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