Boxing Repents – Almost.

Whether it was a response born of integrity or an act of self-defense against the world wide rage is unknown (maybe both) but the fight of Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley was given a second look by the World Boxing Organization. A panel of five “accomplished” but unnamed judges reviewed the boxing match. All five judges unanimously agreed that PacMan won.

When I read the news announcement I was filled with mixed emotion. Part of me was elated: Pacquiao was Boxingvindicated with the honor that had previously been robbed from him. Part of me saddened: What do you mean you can’t reverse the judges decision? How is it you can lose and yet keep the trophy? I suppose I view the whole thing as two steps forward and one step back for the sport.

I won’t pay to watch the next fight. I might watch it but I won’t pay for it! Boxing deserves to take a hit (no pun intended) for the mistake it made. Millions of fans, including myself, were let down when the judges made their initial ruling. Despite the fact that there’s no evidence to scream foul play, as a fan, I say, “enough is enough”, and I will keep my money. When we pay to watch a sport, we expect the judicial integrity that goes with it.

Tim Bradley, as to be expected, isn’t taking the WBO decision with the grace and stamina he displayed in the ring. The disputes between him and his promoter are generating a lot of heat in the press. It’s hard to let go of a victory, even an undeserved one. But make no mistake about it, his victory was undeserved and all of the he said/she said discussions won’t change that fact.

If Bradley were half the man he believed himself to be, he would hand back the belt. All of his arguments regarding Pacquiao vs. Marquez are completely irrelevant. This fight, the judges decision and the controversy are not about Marquez & Manny, they are about Bradley and Manny. Bradley’s actions show that he is more concerned about being a winner in his own head than in the ring and now he’s fighting hard to keep that illusion. He’ll have to fight even harder at the rematch in November.

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