MANILA, Philippines – Boxing analysts from the Philippines believe the ongoing investigations in the controversial bout between Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and American boxer Timothy Bradley Jr. are useless.
Pacquiao, a massive favorite, was shocked when Bradley was declared the winner via split decision last Saturday in Las Vegas.
It was a widely criticized result with majority of boxing writers – and an even greater percentage of fight fans – saying Pacquiao winning comfortably.
Because of the ensuing controversy, Top Rank boss Bob Arum asked the Attorney General of Nevada to look into the circumstances surrounding the fight. The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) and the World Boxing Organization are also reviewing the bout.
But veteran boxing analyst Ronnie Nathanielsz feels the investigations are pointless, since there is a very small chance that the decision will be overturned.
“The best thing is to forget it. Nothing will happen. It may satisfy us, but in the end they will not give the belt back,” said Nathanielsz.
Pacquiao dropped his WBO welterweight belt to Bradley in that fight.
The WBO said that they plan to review the fight with five recognized international judges, but admitted that they will not reverse the ruling of Duane Ford, CJ Ross and Jerry Roth.
Ford and Ross scored the bout for Bradley, 115-113, while Roth had the same score for Pacquiao.
WBO feeling the heat?
Another veteran analyst, Ed Tolentino, said what the WBO can do is to recommend a rematch, which is also useless, since the fight contract between Pacquiao and Bradley already contains a rematch clause.
“Even without a WBO directive, pwedeng mag-rematch because it’s in the contract,” Tolentino said.
Tolentino believes the sanctioning body is doing the match review because they are “feeling the heat.”
“Wag lang masabi na wala silang ginagawa,” he added.
Tolentino said fight fans should watch for the possible investigation made by the NSAC, since it is the governing body of all fights in Las Vegas and chose the judges in the Pacquiao-Bradley match.
“In the NSAC investigation, they may evaluate the wisdom of the judges, if the score is valid, or there was a correct use of the judgment call,” he said.
But Nathanieslz noted that the WBO and the NSAC have already maintained that their judges were competent and not corrupt.
“Assuming Pacquiao won the fight, what will they do? Nothing. Zarsuela lang ito,” Nathanielsz said.
WBO president Francisco Valcarcel was quoted as saying that he wants to “clarify that in no way this says that we are doubting the capacity of these judges, whom we consider as honest and competent judges.”
Go into fraud probe
Tolentino said it might also be interesting to watch out for possible “fact-finding” investgiations done by the Attorney General’s Office.
“They may go beyond the scorecard, may go into the allegations of corruption, of fraud. Baka maraming utang ang mga judge na ito,” Tolentino said.
For Nathanielsz, the Attorney General’s Office already has too many problems to focus on investigating a boxing match.
“Ang Amerika, ang daming problema. Housing, crime, and then they will investigate boxing. They don’t have time for that,” he said.
Nathanielsz asserts that the only way for Pacquiao to get his WBO title back is to fight Bradley again inside the ring, and not through investigations.
“If something happens (in the investigations), saludo ako sa kanila,” he said. “The only thing they can do is to declare a no contest, but I doubt if they will do that.”
Nathanielsz also believes the influence of the Mafia or a syndicate within Las Vegas is stronger than any boxing promoter.
Tolentino, for his part, said the controversial result of the Pacquiao-Bradley bout is a testament to the long-standing problem of the boxing world.
“Ito’y talamak. A century of corruption. If the pound-for-pound king can be screwed, hopeless 'yung mga boksingero na mas mababa sa kategorya n’ya,” he said.