MANILA, Philippines – One of the judges of the controversial welterweight clash between Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao and American boxer Timothy Bradley Jr. spoke out to explain why he scored the fight in favor of the unbeaten Bradley.
Duane Ford was one of two judges, along with CJ Ross, to score the fight 115-113 in Bradley's favor. The other judge, Jerry Roth, had the same score for Pacquiao.
In the HBO show "The Fight Game with Jim Lampley," Ford explained his rationale for scoring the bout for Bradley.
"It was a very close fight, in my opinion and the other two judges' (opinion)," he said. "What we noticed in the fight that we were all pretty much in agreement: it was a close fight."
"There's a misunderstanding I believe in the boxing community that the same criteria that you use in amateurs is used in the professional ranks. It's not," Ford added.
"What I personally saw that night was, the first six rounds, clearly Pacquiao was the winner."
This particular statement generated confusion from the viewers, including ESPN boxing writer Dan Rafael.
According to Ford, he noticed something different with the Filipino boxer as early as the fourth round of the bout.
"What I saw in the fourth round, (Pacquiao) clearly won that. He hurt Bradley. But the Manny Pacquiao that I watched in the past would've finished him," Ford said.
"He let him off the hook," he added.
Again, Rafael criticized Ford for this statement.
Ford said he believes Pacquiao grew tired in the latter rounds and that he started to miss his punches.
"Bradley's punches were missing to the head, but Bradley was scoring and scoring well on the body," Ford added.
Ford is also surprised at the level of dismay and disgust brought about by the result of the fight, with majority of boxing fans saying Pacquiao had been robbed of victory.
"A lot of things that a boxing judge sees during a round does not translate across the airwaves," Ford said.
Ford also defended himself and his fellow judges, saying that combined, they have worked more than 350 world title fights.
"They're not trainees," he said.
Moreover, the judges in Nevada – especially for world title fights – are selected very carefully.
"The screening and selection of officials is done very selectively and there’s input from the participants. I think Nevada has done a very good job in selecting the judges," Ford said.
Because of the controversy, Top Rank chief executive has asked the Nevada State Attorney General to investigate the circumstances surrounding the fight. The bout is also being reviewed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the WBO.