Boxing Fans Get Sucker Punched

Anybody who’s remotely close to boxing knows the name of Manny Pacquiao. As boxing legends go, the ones still alive and punching that is, he’s a pound for pound king of the ring. If you’re Filipino, I don’t need to explain this at all as you already know who the Filipino fighter is. He is a national icon on the islands as a boxer and more recently a congressman. He is the very reason I started to follow boxing more closely.

The anticipation of last Saturday’s fight was extreme. All the fans expected a great fight but the consensus was easily in Pacquiao’s favor. After the fight ended, most agreed that Bradley had done an Pacquiao beat Bradleyamazing job keeping up (if only barely in the middle rounds) but when all was said and done, Pacquiao was clearly the winner. Sadly, the judges felt differently and issued a split decision in favor of Bradley.

When the decision was called my heart sank. I immediately blame shifted my Pac-man favoritism to a lack of experience in all matters of boxing. My history with the sport is modest to say the least and I’m a far cry from being an accurate judge. Then I noticed something: I wasn’t the only one. The blogosphere lit up like wildfire. Every third party that scored the boxing match between Pac-man and Bradley had scored it in favor of the Filipino. The Associated Press? In favor of Pacquiao. HBO Boxing? In favor of Pacquioa. Millions of fight watchers? All in favor of Pacquiao. The split-decision of the judges is so scandalous, USA Today records that Nevada state attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto has been asked to open an investigation into the circumstances.

Cries of conspiracy theories are abundant. Was the fight fixed? Was someone bribed? I don’t think so. More than likely it’s, as one reporter put it, the mere human incompetence of the judges. To err on the conservative side, that may be the case but where does that leave the fight fans who paid hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars for seats and the millions of fans who watched it on Pay Per View? It leaves them sucker-punched.

I count myself among those fans who took a hit. With the dismal outcome of Saturday nights judgment, I will not pay to watch another Pay Per View boxing match. I’m sure there will be another rematch between Pacquiao and Bradley. You can probably count on it since both fighters have already agreed to it. I however will not be among those paying to see it. If the sport can not maintain the judicial integrity that it needs, why bother? It saddens me to make that choice. If I were Pacquiao, I think I’d make the choice to not fight again: boxing doesn’t deserve him anymore.

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