***Story contributed by Eren Cur***
Saturday night the world set its focus and its sixty-five dollar PPV fee on the boxing capital of the world Las Vegas, Nevada to watch a prizefight for the welter weight championship of the world between the undefeated up and comer and the future star of boxing Timothy Bradley Jr. and the world famous champion, senator, and “newly religious” boxing superstar Manny “Pacman” Pacquaio.
The fight to most observers had Pacquaio winning all but two rounds, which I would say is the equivalent of a blowout in boxing. I felt it was a closer fight in the sense that if it was a basketball game it would have been as if Pacquaio held a healthy eight point lead the entire game but was never able to put Bradley away for good, but Bradley was never able to manage much offense, in part because he was on the defensive the entire match. To the shock of all Bradley was declared the winner by split decision.
The match saw Bradley sprain his left ankle and fracture his right foot after trying to escape a flurry of combinations. He fought most of the fight on two bad wheels and ended up landing 159 punches, rarely any clean face shots or combos.
He managed to provide few highlights as he managed a few impressive body shots and that he hadn’t fallen over after 253 Pacquaio punches. (I’m pretty sure that is an achievement in Fight Night Round 4 for PS3). He also showed up to his post match press conference in a wheel chair. (The only time I’ve seen a fighter in a wheelchair after a match was in Rocky II after Apollo and Rocky fought and they almost threw down in the hospital!)
About the only thing Bradley managed to beat Pacquaio on was punctuality. (Pacquaio was reported to have pushed the fight back because he wanted to see how his Celtics would fare in game seven, he wasn’t cut during the fight so we don’t know if he actually bleeds Celtics green or just happens to have a nice seat on the wagon).
With a day to have retrospect on the fight I’m not as shocked as I was when I heard the decision last night. I told my friend Kellen that I was surprised that Bradley’s face seemed to look the same after the match as it did before the match after the punishment that I thought he had endured. Then moments before the decision was announced if you looked at the fighters after the match Pacquaio looked more beat up then Bradley.
Pacquaio’s combos and punches looked nice but they must of not have been as squarely hit or effective as it appeared on T.V or Bradley has one hell of a chin. If the judges looked at the effects of the punches and combos in that sense maybe you could give Bradley a few more rounds and he didn’t back down from Pac-man and showed a lot of courage always coming back and standing toe to toe with one of the greatest fighters of the generation and not turning the match into a hug fest. But to award him a split decision victory for just being able to survive a match against Pacquaio seems like a stretch.
Now was this fight fixed? I sure hope not but I am not naïve enough to tell you that there certainly isn’t a possibility that it was. Bob Arum the promoter of the fight put on a ruse that he was upset about the decision but then quickly was saying that there will be a rematch November 10th (A little suspicious that he already had the date picked out unless he already knew when he wanted both fighters to fight again).
Since he is the promoter for both fighters he wont have to share fees for what is bound to be a massive PPV rematch that he would for say a fight with Floyd Mayweather. So was this a business move by Arum to try to get another big payday before they schedule the fight of the century (which day-by-day it seems to be a “if “ not a when they schedule the fight of the century.)
Even if it’s under less then ideal circumstances people are talking about boxing today which even if it may be a dying sport June 9th, 2012 could be a date we look at that pinpoints the night boxing died or was the day it began its comeback back to relevancy. Remember no press is bad press.