Photos by Stacey Verbeek
In the moments after the split decision was announced that a new champion had been crowned this past saturday night not named Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather in front of the packed MGM Grand Garden arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. What was mostly cheers and chants for Manny Pacquiao during the fight quickly turned into boos and anger for the pro Pacquiao crowd.
A large number of fans in the arena as well as the millions of viewers of the fight all but had Pacquiao winning and winning easily. However, it was not to be and the boxing world must accept the fact and move on.
In the 72 hours or so that have passed since the announcement the decision has been a topic of discussion, not only within the boxing community but in general sports conversations as well.
While it is nice for boxing to be in the general sports conversation, the reason it is, is not so good. The boxing community is calling the fight a fix, that Top Rank CEO Bob Arum had something to do with the decision and while the judges are being questioned it seems as if they are being left alone while everyone points the finger at Arum. Bob Arum may be a lot of things but a crook? That is hard to believe and no matter how poor the decision may have been, to actually point the finger at Arum and believe that he has THAT much power to bribe judges in this day of age seems a bit of a stretch.
The fight was not fixed nor was there some grand scheme to fix the outcome of the fight. The truth is that it was poor judging by humans. It is not the first time a highly questionable call has been made in boxing nor will it be the last.
What’s done is done.
Arum may be trying to get the attorney general involved and trying to make it an issue and to a degree he should. What occurred Saturday night should have not had happened. It did and now the fans as Manny Pacquiao will do is to move on.
What needs to happen is promoters, boxing journalists, as well as fans need to start looking into the judges more closely. All three judges Saturday night have judged a number of high profile fights Duane Ford, CJ Ross and Jerry Roth all have had their share of championship bouts. However this cannot be the first time they scored a fight poorly. Fighters and promoters should also, if they believe that certain judges are corrupt refuse to allow who those certain judges be allowed to participate in fights, or atleast make enough noise where it may get the attention of the commissions as well as the fans as to the promoters concerns.
An example would be, Paulie Malignaggi stated before his first fight with Juan Diaz in Texas that if it went to the scorecards he would lose no matter what. On August 22nd, 2009, Paulie looked as if he was right as he lost a unanimous decision to the hometown favorite. In a fight that many felt Paulie had won. The WBO called for an immediate rematch and 4 months later in Chicago, Illinois, Paulie would win the rematch. The rematch may never had happened if Paulie had not talked about the biased he felt before the fight. His statements gained attention and after the call it seemed to be highly suspicious. It may not be the best move but if a fighter and his team have reservations about judges, especially ones that have a past of questionable calls it may the only way for fighters to protect themselves.
However, barring specific judges would not be beneficial because then you would have promoters in a position where they could appoint almost whomever they like as judges for their fighters fights and that would lead boxing nowhere.
The judging was not boxing’s finest moment especially when it was the most popular boxer in the world fighting, but in the end, Pacquiao lost. Right, wrong, good or bad.
Boxing moves on.
Many are saying Pacquiao’s loss ruins any chance of a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight and that is simply not true. The fight was NEVER going to happen- win, lose or draw. Mayweather and Pac would have ever came to an agreement. There is far too much animosity, distrust and dislike between Pacquiao, Mayweather and Arum.
Now, with the Pacquiao loss regardless of the poor judging, it only furthers Mayweather defense in not agreeing to a 50/50 split with Pac. Once Mayweather gets out of jail he is going to have a field day with the Pacquiao loss. He will have some words for Pacquiao and Arum-Maybe not right away but eventually he will let his feeling be known.
It doesn’t matter either. Pacquiao must attempt to avenge his loss to Bradley before any other fight for him take. He defeats Bradley, he retires, he loses, he retires. Furthermore, Pacquiao and Mayweather both are not what they were when the fight was first talked about a few years ago. Other than the fight being exciting just for the simple fact of the two best fighters of this era getting in the ring as the best fighters should it is not near the fight it would have been. The fight lost its luster.