After being forced to withstand knee-buckling blows to the head and defending himself against lightning fast punches against welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley was chosen as the new WBO welterweight champion in a controversial split decision Saturday night in Las Vegas.
The MGM Grand was filled with boos upon the decision and Pacquiao appeared confused while Bradley roared with approval on top of the ropes. Bob Arum, the promoter of the fight, was visibly upset.
"I've never been as ashamed of the sport of boxing as I am right now." Said Arum. He did say there would be a rematch in November, however, because of a clause in Bradley's contract.
Throughout the fight, Pacquiao was in control. He found opportunities to land some vicious jabs on Bradley and landed his power punches efficiently. For example, Pacquiao landed two consecutive blows to Bradley's head, which caused him to stumble aimlessly for a moment. Then, in the sixth round Bradley was backed into a corner while Pacquiao bombarded his side with a couple of mean hooks.
The statistics show Pacquiao's dominance. He threw 493 punches and landed 190, good for a 38.5 percent success rate. Bradley, on the other hand, threw 390 but landed just 109, which was good for a 27.7 percent success rate.
This was the first time since Pacquiao has lost since 2005 when Erik Morales bested him. Since that loss, Pacquiao has won 15 fights and become a legend in the Phillippines, his home country. His record dropped to 54-4-2. Bradley, however, improved his record to a perfect 29-0.
Now that Pacquiao has lost, should Pacquiao still fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.? This has been a matchup boxing fans have been salivating for, but for whatever reason, it still hasn't happened. Perhaps it's because Mayweather Jr. doesn't want to risk his perfect record against one of the best boxers in the world. This is unfortunate because virtually everyone wants to see that matchup happen.
We should ask ourselves this question now as well; should a fight between Bradley and Mayweather Jr. be the biggest priority now? That would be a fight between two undefeated boxers. Wouldn't that fact make it more dramatic and exciting?
One last question that should be considered is this: should the judges of a boxing match take a little bit more time to decide the winner? Should there be five judges? The judging process seems flawed and there should be something done about it. If not, boxing's remaining fans will turn their backs on the sport if there are more inexplicable decisions like this one.