MANILA, Philippines – Filipino ring icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao on Thursday thanked the World Boxing Organization (WBO), after a panel convened by the sanctioning body said he defeated American Timothy Bradley via unanimous decision.
"Salamat sa naging desisyon ng mga panel, 'yun naman ang nasa puso ng mga boxing fans, lalo na ng mga kababayan natin," Pacquiao said in an interview with Ted Failon on radio DZMM.
The WBO commissioned five international judges to re-score the Pacquiao-Bradley bout, which took place last June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Bradley was declared the winner via split decision, with scores of 113-115, 115-113 and 115-113.
But the WBO's five-man panel saw the bout differently, and all five judges scored the fight in Pacquiao’s favor: 117-111, 117-111, 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113.
The panel’s decision was reported by RingTV Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).
The Filipino fighter said the WBO’s findings should serve as a lesson.
"Ito siguro ay hindi lang para sa akin kundi para sa boxing, mabigyan ng leksyon ang mga judges na gumagawa ng ganoon," Pacquiao said.
He added that the new decision will help restore the trust of the fans, who were turned off by what many perceived as a “fixed” decision.
"Para 'yung tiwala ng mga boxing fans ay nandiyan palagi. 100% palagi ang suporta nila sa boxing," Pacquiao said.
In a separate interview with Mornings @ ANC, Pacquiao said he felt vindicated because of the WBO's decision.
"Masaya tayo at lumabas ang katotohanan at nabigyan ng katarungan, at sulit ang hirap ng mga fans na pinaglaban nila ako," Pacquiao said.
The WBO, however, cannot overturn the original result of the fight, and thus, cannot return the welterweight championship to Pacquiao.
This is not an issue for the Filipino boxer. "Mahirap siguro 'yun, nakakahiya naman sa tao," he said.
"Ang akin lang ay masaya ako, dahil kumbaga naimbestigahan na ang boxing, at maiingatan nila ang pangalan ng boxing at ang tiwala ng mga boxing fans ang iniingatan natin palagi, na hindi mawala," Pacquiao added.
A few minutes after the decision favoring Bradley was announced last June 9, boxing fans stormed social media to express their disgust. #RIPBoxing became one of the top trending topics online, as many fight fans claimed they will stop watching the sport.
Pacquiao's fight contract with Bradley contains a rematch clause should the American pull off the upset, with the second bout scheduled for November 10.
But Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, has said that he will most likely not push through with the rematch as the first bout was very clearly won by Pacquiao.
Pacquaio told Failon that he and Arum have not yet discussed his next fight since they are both still on vacation.
"I was interviewed after the fight kung sino ang gusto kong makalaban, at sabi ko wala pa naman. Malaking posibilidad na pwedeng mga-rematch kay Bradley, pwedeng mag-rematch kay (Juan Manuel) Marquez, kay (Floyd) Mayweather, or someone else na pwedeng lumaban sa akin," Pacquiao said.
"Mga July pa siguro pag-uusapan... wala pa akong idea ngayon, hintayin na lang natin 'yung magiging usapan," he added.
The Pacquiao-Bradley bout is also being investigated by the Nevada State Attorney General, and is being reviewed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.