To those who insist that gymnastics/figure skating are not a sport, and that the NBA is rigged I give you boxing. It remains a sport that must rely on incompetent judges to declare winners, and routinely gives us new champions that make us collectively ask, "Um, what? Are you kidding?"
On Saturday night in Las Vegas, boxing discovered yet another new low when challenger Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley was declared a split decision winner over champion Manny Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight belt. Bradley may be the first fighter in history to win a fight without having landed a single punch.
I want these judges to explain how they saw Bradley winning more than a round, let alone the fight. Either that or reveal who their dealer is.
To say this decision is controversial is an insult to the word. It was embarrassing.
Beating up a guy for 12 rounds no longer is enough. The Pacman apparently needed to shoot Bradley to win a decision that felt pre-ordained.
This garbage decision ranks next to U.S. boxer Roy Jones losing in the 1988 Summer Olympics to South Korean Park Si-Hun as one of the worst the sport has ever seen. That was a fight so one-sided that Si-Hun actually apologized to Jones.
Bradley should be apologizing to Pacquiao, given him the belt and gone home.
At least according to the Pay Per View/HBO fight judge, Pacquiao won every single round. The only round I could see Bradley winning was the second, barely, where he landed a few decent punches.
According to the HBO stats, Pacman landed more shots, was the more efficient puncher, and won this fight easily. To the naked un-trained eye, this wasn't a great fight but was an exhibition of Pacman's superior ability.
He never got seriously tagged. He landed better punches. He landed more punches. About the only thing bad that happened to him was he suffered a cut in his mouth.
So imagine the world's surprise when ring announcer Michael Buffer said after reading the judge's official scores, "And new champion ..." What a giant, steaming pile of you know what.
How Bradley maintained a straight face when he told Max Kellerman of HBO after the fight that he felt he controlled the final rounds is as impressive as Meryl Streep in any of her Oscar-winning performances.
For the five or six people left who do not believe boxing is rigged, this decision is really not going to help.
For those who wanted a Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao fight, keep waiting. When Mayweather gets out of the clink, not only will he have leverage for an ever larger cut of a potential fight with Pacman, the first guy he's likely going to fight is Bradley.
And Mayweather is going to pummel Bradley.
Of course, in boxing, pummeling a guy doesn't guarantee victory.
It may be a prelude to yet another bogus decision.
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