MANILA, Philippines – American boxer Timothy Bradley Jr. now believes he defeated Filipino ring icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao "fair and square," even though a great majority of boxing writers and fight fans disagree with the decision.
|Timothy Bradley Jr. of the U.S. celebrates his victory over WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada June 9, 2012. Photo by Steve Marcus, Reuters.
Bradley stunned the boxing world last Saturday when he was named winner via split decision, ending Pacquiao's 15-fight winning streak and taking home the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight belt.
The backlash against the result was swift. Many of the boxing writers at press row revealed they had Pacquiao winning by a wide margin. Fight fans on social media were equally displeased and many felt Bradley was given a "gift" decision.
In an interview with RingTV, Bradley insists that he defeated Pacquiao "fair and square," and that the judges' decision was correct.
"I've seen the tape. I won the fight, without a doubt... My corner and I honestly feel that I won the fight. Fair and square. It was not a controversial decision or nothing like that," he said.
Dominated later rounds
Two judges, CJ Ross and Duane Ford, each scored the fight 115-113 for Bradley. Jerry Roth, on the other hand, had it 115-113 for Pacquiao.
In an interview immediately after the bout, Bradley seemed unsure of his victory, telling ringside host Mario Lopez: "I have to review the tape to see if I won the fight or not."
But he is now convinced that he is the rightful winner.
"You could say I won the first round, give or take the second. Lost the third, lost the fourth, lost the fifth, maybe even lost the sixth, you know, give or take," Bradley said.
"But from seven, eight, nine, 10, 11 and 12, I clearly dominated those rounds. I dominated those rounds. I know that I won those rounds," he insisted.
Bradley then claimed that Pacquiao failed to do what he was supposed to do: knock him out.
"I mean, this guy was supposed to stop me. He was supposed to knock me out. But I took his best punches, and I fought back hard," he said.
'Judges got it right'
The judges' decision is extremely unpopular with the boxing public, with many fight fans believing that there is a conspiracy behind the scoring.
But for Bradley, the judges "got it right."
"There were some close rounds in there that they probably gave to me, because, like I said, I fought every minute of every damn round," he said.
"They were probably like, 'This dude is only fighting the first half of the round or the last 30 seconds of a round.' They probably caught on to that," he added.
Bradley said that in the later rounds, he was able to find success by using his jab against Pacquiao.
"He couldn't get past the jab when I was able to use it. When I did that, I was sticking him all night and I was able to land good body shots on him," he said in a separate RingTV interview.
Bradley also injured his left foot in the second round after stepping on referee Robert Byrd's foot, and this affected his game plan for the rest of the night.
|Timothy Bradley Jr. of the U.S. leaves a news conference in a wheelchair after injuring his left foot during the WBO welterweight champion fight against Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada June 9, 2012. Photo by R. Marsh Starks, Reuters.
"I couldn't really get out of range fast enough, so I was forced to stand and to fight at times. That put me in dangerous situations. I couldn't really move like I wanted to," he admitted. "I couldn't really stick and move like I was doing the last half of the fight."
He said that if he had not suffered the injury, he would have been able to do more damage to Pacquiao.
"I could have done a lot more. A whole lot more," Bradley said. "I couldn't move like I wanted to."
But at the same time, Bradley said he clearly frustrated Pacquiao because of the way he moved during the bout.
"He just doesn't like movement. Manny wants guys to stand there and take punches... At times, you know, I would. At other times, I wouldn't. But the times that I wouldn’t do that, I was clearly out-boxing him," Bradley said.
"He was absolutely frustrated, because... he wasn't landing a lot of the big punches that he was hoping to land on me. I wasn't one of those guys that was going to stand right there in front of him," he added.
"I was bobbing and weaving and making it hard for him to hit me solidly every time," he said.
Most boxing writers disagree with Bradley's assertion.
In an informal list compiled by Ryan Maquinana of CSN Bay Area, 50 out of 53 boxing writers scored the fight for Pacquiao.
Only Thomas Hauser of HBO, Bart Barry of 15 Rounds, and Brian Kenney of Top Rank scored the fight in Bradley's favor.
ESPN's Dan Rafael said on Twitter that he watched the fight again on television, and it only validated what he scored when he watched the fight live: "I still had Pacquiao winning very wide. I could give Bradley 3-4 rounds at most."
Boxing fans on social media also believed Pacquiao was robbed of victory.
Within minutes of the decision, #PacShet, #MannyPacquiaoIsStillTheWorldsBestBoxer and #RIPBoxing became worldwide trending topics, with many boxing fans expressing their disgust with the result.
Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum has already asked the Attorney General of Nevada to conduct an investigation into the bout, including the involvement of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.