Total disbelief as Pacquiao robbed of title by the judges

Ben Husband

Manny Pacquiao was robbed Saturday night, and so was I.

I thought I paid $75 to watch the Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight, but instead paid $75 to watch the sport of boxing receive a black eye from yet another pack of judges who, by now, may be on the lam.

Those judges may be the newest additions to Las Vegas’s infamous black book.

These so-called judges were dead wrong when they awarded Bradley the victory over Pacquiao in Saturday night’s WBO welterweight title fight. There is simply no way Bradley won. I thought it might be the night Pacquiao would lose, but he didn’t lose. He was robbed.

My friends and I were in total disbelief when the ring announcer read the judges’ scorecards. For a second, I thought maybe I had one too many gin and tonics. But I was not alone in uttering obscenities afterward. I could hear comments like “ridiculous,” “despicable,” and much worse from reporters calling the fight.

Round after round, Pacquiao threw and landed more punches and made Bradley weak in the knees more than once, almost knocking him down in the fourth round. The two judges who scored the fight for Bradley obviously were watching a completely different fight. I hope this is a case where they just got it wrong, and nothing more.

The talk of the town isn’t that Bradley won. It’s that Pacquiao was robbed of a fight he clearly won. It makes Bradley a paper champion. He won the fight in the eyes of two judges, but lost the fight in the eyes of millions of viewers.

Pacquiao was dumped on by a sport he helped bring out of the gutter and into the forefront of the sporting world.

I love boxing, always have, and the end result of Saturday night’s fight has given the sport another blemish, just when it seemed it had finally recovered from the antics of Mike Tyson staying in the sport way too long after he feasted on Evander Holyfield’s ear during a battle he was clearly losing. Then an out-of-shape Tyson was humiliated by Lennox Lewis. He admitted he was only strapping on the gloves to score a big payday to help him return to a lifestyle he threw away.

Pacquiao saved boxing when boxing needed to be saved.

He pounded once-brilliant Oscar De La Hoya like one of his training bags until the former champion chose not to come out for the ninth round.

That night in 2008, a new king was crowned and gave boxing a desperately needed shot of adrenaline.

Even before he dismantled De La Hoya, Pacquiao was breathing life back into boxing, beating the likes of Erik Morales (twice) and David Diaz to win the WBC Lightweight title. And all of a sudden, it was all Manny Pacquiao all the time. He became the face of boxing and lived up to his reputation with win after win.

Despite only two knockouts in his previous six fights, Pacquiao still dominated his opponents.

With Pacquiao, you get ultimate endurance, speed and power, and it’s riveting. He doesn’t need to send his opponent’s mouth guard into the sixth row with a crushing left hook. He brought a new approach to winning — superior skill, knowledge and timing.

So, with Pacquiao’s first loss since 2005 — his fourth in 62 fights — Bradley has to know he didn’t win, or at least question his so-called win a day later when the entire sporting world and beyond has used social media as a sounding board for complaints, disbelief and hatred, cursing the judges and accusing them of everything from corruption to cheating.

Bradley put up a good fight, but not enough to win. The stats speak for themselves — Pacquiao landed nearly 40 percent of his punches. Bradley, who almost went down in the fourth round and barley escaped the fifth round by wrapping up Pacquiao and hanging on for dear life, landed 30 percent of his punches.

Bradley can spout off about winning all he wants. The bottom line is he didn’t, and he has to now deal with being the champ with and the proverbial asterisk by his name, thanks to the two judges who clearly got it wrong.

Email Ben Husband at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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