Bradley “defeats” Pacquiao
At one point in my life boxing was one of my favorite sports. My mother’s uncle was a championship boxer so it was kind of in my blood. Growing up my parents would buy all the big pay-per-views. Recently I don’t pay as much attention as I used to, but still tune in when a big name is fighting. This weekend it was Pacquiao vs Bradley which featured one of the strangest beginnings and ends to a fight and sadly is another black eye for the sport.
Manny Pacquiao didn’t want to start the fight until the Heat-Celtics game ended. Then when that game was over, Manny was nowhere to be found. Apparently Pacman’s calves got tight so he had to go to a treadmill to loosen them. Also during this time Manny’s gloves were not on yet. This led to a lengthy delay. It didn’t bother me that much, just don’t think I’ve seen a delay for that reason. Although, if Floyd Mayweather had delayed a fight because of a basketball game, people would have lost their minds.
Then the fight finally started and it was a pretty uneventful and easy victory for Pacquiao…or at least that’s what everyone thought. FIrst judge had it 115-113 Pacquiao, which was surprisingly close, then the next two had the same scores, but for Tim Bradley and thats when it hit the fan. So what the f-ck happened?
- In a lot of the rounds Pacquiao didn’t do a lot in the first two minutes. However Bradley never really landed much or force a lot during those two minutes and Manny would dominate the final minute. So the only explanation I can think of for the 2 judges giving a bunch of those rounds to Bradley is that they just tuned out during the final minute.
- Punchstat numbers were overwhelmingly in Pacquiao’s favor. According to CompuBox he didn’t throw as many punches as Bradley, but was very efficient and landed a lot more than Bradley, especially in the power punch category. The judges don’t have access to the CompuBox numbers during the fight though. Also, CompuBox is just two guys pressing buttons on what their judgment is a landed punch or a missed punch. There were a couple of times during the fight I was surprised by the numbers. So it’s just a tool and isn’t always accurate. (That being said, even if it’s not 100% accurate, Pacquiao was clearly better. Just wanted to inform what CompuBox really is.)
- Pacquiao wasn’t great the last three rounds and I think later in the fight once Bradley adjusted to his foot injuries, he looked more comfortable and adjusted to Pacquaio better. Bradley won at least 2 of those in my opinion. 2 of the judges had him winning all 3 while one had him winning 2 of 3. Pacquiao probably thought, like everyone did, he had such a huge margin built up that he just needed to avoid a KO and the fight was his. Unfortunately this shows that if you put the fight in the judges hands you never know what might happen.
- I had the fight 116-112 for Pacquiao. So I don’t think it was a close fight, but I also don’t think it was as completely one sided as Jim Lampley and HBO crew did. And speaking of Lampley, I really can’t stand him. He has to be one of the most biased announcers in national sports broadcasting. There is no question who he wants to win a fight.
- And finally, popular opinion is the fight was fixed. I believe incompetent judges are the reason for this travishamockery, but unfortunately it is boxing, and Bob Arum is involved, so I can’t rule out a conspiracy or fix. A lot of people think a fix is involved to prevent a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight from happening. I don’t really buy that for two reasons: 1) why put the nail in the coffin in what would be the most hyped fight since Leonard-Hagler? 2) Let’s be honest, even if Pacquiao knocked Bradley out, that fight probably still never happens, unfortunately. Those two sides are just too stubborn and ego driven. However, if you do want to believe it was a fix, I can’t completely rule out one theory: Bob Arum knows Mayweather-Pacquaio won’t happen, so the best thing to do is to create another rivalry for Pacquiao. One way to do this would be to make Bradley win and set up a big rematch. I still don’t buy that, but I can see why many do. Arum is a dirtbag…but I don’t think he would screw over his top money maker and I don’t think he would make one of the few fights of the year people are paying attention to rigged. He’s a jerk, but he’s not an idiot.
Whatever the reason is for the bad decision, it was a bad night for boxing. A lot of the instant reaction from fans was something to the effect of “BOXING IS DEAD!!!!”. While this is certainly bad PR for the sport and it leaves a bad taste in everyones mouth, I don’t think boxing dies because of it. Not the first, nor will it be the last, bad decision in boxing. I remember being equally as disgusted after the first Holyfield-Lewis fight, but I still watched. However, there need to be some changes and the Bob Arum’s of the world aren’t doing the sport any favors. I would say at this time Boxing is a niche sport. You’ll still have your diehard fans and this doesn’t change that, and on the flip side this doesn’t convert anyone from being a non-fan to fan.
And on to another sport people think is rigged…
Heat finish of Celtics, Thunder await in Finals
Even though I grew up in a city that pretty much hates the NBA and don’t really have one team I root for (Indy comes close), I’m a NBA fan, especially during the playoffs. I’m more passionate about college ball because I have a team to root for, but I still appreciate how talented the players are in the Association. NCAA and NBA have different qualities that I enjoy (e.g. NCAA: the atmosphere and opening week of the tourney. NBA: the athleticism, talent, and the conference finals & The Finals) and stuff I don’t (NCAA: how currupt and out of touch the NCAA execs seem to be. NBA: the flopping and bad officiating). Overall, I just enjoy the sport. I do get annoyed by how vocal non-NBA fans are about how much they don’t like the NBA. We get it, you don’t like it, that’s fine, go talk about or do something you do enjoy. But I digress…
Anyway, I can’t wait for these finals. You got the two best players in the world in LeBron and Durant, plus great players in Wade, Bosh, Westbrook and Harden. Could be an epic series. I’m rooting for the Thunder because overall I just like their team better, and some of my friends call me Thunder, so I pretty much have to. But, I actually won’t be that mad if the Heat win. I’m a LeBron fan and would like to see the LEBRON HAZ NO RINGZ/LEBRON IS THE ANTI-CLUTCH/LEBRON IS THE WORST HUMAN BEING EVER themes die. However, if Wade is the main reason the Heat win, I’ll be annoyed cause I don’t like Wade and the conversation will be LEBRON IS ROBIN (or Scottie Pippen) AND WADE IS BATMAN (or MJ).
I think the Thunder win in 6 or 7. Before the Heat-Celtics game, I didn’t think either of those teams could beat OKC. Then Chris Bosh came back with a fury in game 7 and made me rethink. I’m still going Thunder, but it will be closer than I initially thought.