A year of terrible judging in boxing culminated in the unthinkable on Saturday night at the MGM Grand: welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, one of the sport’s brightest stars, was the victim of an abysmal split decision in favor of Timothy Bradley after a fight the Filipino clearly controlled.
That Pacquiao, the leading cash cow in Vegas not named Floyd Mayweather, would be robbed by veteran local judges seems like a cruel joke, especially after he escaped his third tilt against Juan Manuel Marquez with a win that many (including us) felt he didn’t deserve. Pacquiao appeared to land the harder and cleaner punches throughout his fight against Bradley, though “Desert Storm” did put up an admirable effort. Bradley scored with left hooks, jabs, and some strong body work, but his punches simply didn’t have a visible effect on the fantastic Filipino. Pacquiao, in contrast, appeared to hurt or stumble his opponent on several occasions.