LAS VEGAS — Three quick thoughts from Timothy Bradley’s shocking win over Manny Pacquiao …
This was a bad decision. Pacquiao won the fight on my card, HBO’s card and virtually everyone else’s card … except judges C.J. Ross and Duane Ford, who are the only two that matter. Despite Pacquiao outlanding Bradley (253-159), out power punching the junior welterweight champ (190-108) and outperforming him in 10 of 12 rounds, a pair of judges handed Bradley the WBO welterweight title. It was a bizarre and unpopular decision, one that (again) makes you wonder about the competence of judges in boxing. Bradley was active, but too many of his shots were gobbled up in Pacquiao’s gloves. Bradley didn’t embarrass himself, but he didn’t win this fight, either. Said Bob Arum, “Nothing in my career has stunned me as much as this decision.”
Manny could have done more. Here is why Bradley won: We are in Nevada, and in Nevada the judges have, historically, favored the aggressor. And while Pacquiao was landing the cleaner, heavier shots, Bradley was more active, outpunching Pacquiao (839-751). Every round, every single bleeping round, Pacquiao appeared to give the first minute away. You can’t do that in Nevada. I’m not saying it’s right, but it’s the way the judges in this state score a fight.
Goodbye, Pacquiao-Mayweather. You will never, ever be the same. We could still see that fight happen, and there will always be plenty of money in it. But win or lose, the takeaway from this fight for me is that Pacquiao has lost something off his fastball. We thought we saw it against Juan Manuel Marquez, and it was confirmed tonight. The Pacquiao I saw fight Miguel Cotto walked through punches, threw savage body shots, fired heavy head shots. It just didn’t seem like Pacquiao could put together the punches with the same speed or ferocity like he has used to. It’s disappointing, because we will never know what a Pacquiao-Mayweather in their prime fight would have looked like. And that is the biggest blow to boxing.
– Chris Mannix