Fight is not 'American Idol,' says judge Duane Ford
MANILA, Philippines – One of the judges in the controversial World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title bout between Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao and American boxer Timothy Bradley Jr. has spoken out to defend his scorecard.
Bradley was outpunched, outlanded and generally dominated by Pacquiao through most of their 12 round encounter last Saturday in Las Vegas (Sunday in Manila).
Despite this, the unbeaten American was shockingly named the winner via split decision, with scores of 113-115, 115-113, and 115-113.
One of the judges who scored it for Bradley, Duane Ford, spoke with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to defend the way he scored the bout.
"I thought Bradley gave Pacquiao a boxing lesson," he told writer Steve Carp. "I thought a lot of the rounds were close. Pacquiao missed a lot of punches and thought he was throwing wildly."
Carp said CJ Ross, the other judge who scored the fight for Bradley, did not return calls seeking comment.
Only Jerry Roth scored the bout in Pacquiao's favor.
"I'm looking for effective aggressiveness. I thought Pacquiao won a lot of the early rounds, and I thought Bradley came on in the end. That's why I gave Bradley the last three rounds," Roth said.
"But I still thought Pacquiao had done enough to win," he added.
The judges were roundly criticized by Top Rank boss Bob Arum, who called them the "three blind mice" in the post-fight press conference.
Arum said the decision was "ridiculous" and signaled a "death knell" for boxing. The promoter even offerered to have the judges fly to Los Angeles to get their eyes checked by his own doctor.
But Ford defended himself, saying, "This wasn't an 'American Idol' contest."
"If I judge for the people, I shouldn't be a judge," he said.
Pacquiao has been gracious in defeat, saying in numerous interviews that he respected the judges decision, but at the same time insisting that he is the real winner.
Bradley, for his part, said there should be a rematch in November so there can be a more decisive result.
"What do you want me to do? There were three judges and they saw it the way they saw it. We definitely need to do this again in November and make it more decisive for everyone," he said.