I have to admit that I am in the minority when I say I don’t think the Pacquiao/Bradley decision was horrible. I like many others watched the fight live. I also like others probably started tuning out the later rounds. Once we noticed for the most part Manny was in firmly in control (allegedly), we started yapping away. Honestly I watched the whole fight, but don’t recall a single punch after the 5th round. What was the point? Manny wasn’t knocking him out and he was obviously heading for a decision victory. Whoops.
I will say that when I heard the first judge scored it for Bradley, I was quite shocked. I couldn’t believe it. The early rounds I absolutely had for Manny. They both were landing clean shots, but Bradley’s were not affecting Manny one bit. Manny’s punches on the other hand, were definitely stopping Bradley in his tracks quite a few times. He might not have been hurt, but he definitely was feeling the power. Having said that, Bradley was still coming forward, which tells me what I have long thought for the past three years: Manny’s power has deteriorated significantly. Three years ago, there is no way Bradley withstands those clean shots from Pacquiao. NO FREAKING WAY. Last night was different though. He was landing these shots, but they weren’t having the same effect as they used to. Bradley kept standing in the pocket and returning fire. Although Bradley would have trouble knocking out a bag of Sun Chips, Manny’s ability to take a punch is pretty impressive. His face has a five-star safety rating; it absorbs everything.
I wasn’t paying enough attention to the fight to say I scored it a certain way, but I was paying enough attention to be able to chew on it awhile afterwards. I think Pacquiao definitely won the fight, but it wasn’t nearly the massacre that everyone thought. I thought Paul Williams’s last decision victory over Erislandy Lara was far worse, as was the first Holyfield/Lewis decision. Those are just two off the top of my head. On the broadcast, Kellerman said that people whose opinions he respects said they thought Bradley won, so there’s that.
My favorite part of the post-fight was Bradley already knowing the date for the rematch. That was sweet. Plus the reading of the winner affected Manny about as much as you telling him you just ate some Airheads. He cared that he lost about as much as he cares about coming out to the ring on-time. Do you see the pic above right after his loss? Looks like a spectator. The rematch was already set for November 10 if he lost AND there was already a freaking poster made for it. That’s just Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and his “Wag the Dog” routine. Man, I hate that guy. He was alive when Teddy Roosevelt was in office, what could he possibly need another $20 million for? Honestly, what does a man in his hundred and forties enjoy that costs millions of dollars? Look at him, there’s no way he shares it.
At the end of the day, the fight was a disaster. Kevin Iole, Yahoo’s boxing writer, seems to think the exact opposite. He thinks the rematch will be gigantic. I’m not so sure. Who is going to that fight? Who is going to pay another $65 on PPV for that? How can you honestly believe anything in boxing ever again? Regardless of whether it was close or not, the general consensus is that Pacquiao beat Bradley into a million pieces and lost the fight. It’s like the scene in Heat where Neil is on his way out of town and tells Nate he needs another “out” because how can he trust his exit strategy when his bank robbery was just foiled. That’s what this fight reminds me of. How the eff can you believe anything you see in boxing again? Every fight is another chess piece. This guy needs to win so this fight happens and I can make this much money. It’s a joke. This one has all the makings of a rigged fight. I feel like the decision wasn’t even the piece that makes you think that, it was everything that happened after. Somebody call Sinese.
There might be some boring fights and bad decisions in MMA, but I have never seen a high-interest fight and thought it might be rigged. You have seen it time and time again in MMA where the guy that was supposed to win, doesn’t thus totally screwing up whatever plans Dana White might have had. Forrest over Rampage, Serra over GSP, Forrest over Shogun, Rashad over Liddell, Rampage over Liddell, and the list goes on and on. You roll with the punches and make new fights. That why boxing is dying. If you’re not into the thick of boxing, you can name about three boxers not named Mayweather and that’s being generous. MMA has many more than you can casually name because they’re not afraid to put one on the big stage. No one knows what any of these guys can do because there are two stars in boxing and they hog all the fights. Plus, here’s an idea, stop wheeling the greatest boxer of all-time out there. If you’re a young kid and you see Ali out there looking like his face has moved less than Mount Rushmore and the body control of a guy on bath salts, why would you want to box? Hey look, there’s the greatest boxer of all-time, look at where that got him. Then every boxer ever is broke and owes money all over town. Seriously, can we have an elimination tournament of former athletes that are broke and owe Uncle Sam a kidney? We can sort it by sport. My guess is boxers will be the #1 seed with basketball right there at #2. I’m getting off track.
This fight was just another black eye in a sport of black eyes, so it was nothing new. This type of stuff happens in boxing, I’m just not sure it has happened in this era where media coverage is around-the-clock. It was no doubt trending on Twitter and none of it was positive. I just don’t see many highs coming up for the sport. There will be another couple of good fights in the near future and some people will go back, but then what happens when there’s another decision like this? I can’t imagine the fall-out of another huge fight/controversial decision like we saw on Saturday night. Can boxing recover? Who cares.