Pacquiao is still WBO king, trainer says
MANILA, Philippines – In the eyes of boxing trainer Freddie Roach, Manny Pacquiao is still the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion.
“Manny did not lose the title, it was given to Bradley almost in a silver platter,” Roach told Philboxing’s Eddie Alinea.
The boxing hall-of-famer said Bradley is not fit to claim the belt since he didn’t win his fight against Pacquiao.
He added that the boxing judges who favored Bradley are to be blamed for the controversial split-decision verdict.
“Bradley did not win it, the judges gave it to him,” said Roach.
“Everybody who watched the fight, from the sportswriters, boxing officials, plain enthusiasts saw Manny winning, except the two judges,” he said, referring to ring officials Duane Ford and CJ Ross.
The boxing trainer couldn’t help but bewail the decision, which he considers as a slap on Pacquiao’s face.
“What they did to him is unfair. Definitely, Manny doesn’t deserve what he got at a time when the WBO itself had honored him with a Diamond Ring,” said Roach.
“Manny, as they said, is the face of boxing today. He is, in fact, considered the savior of the sport that is in a near dying state. Why do this to him?” he asked.
The 8-division champion dominated Bradley for most of the fight, wherein analyst saw him winning at least 8 of the 12 rounds.
But judges handed Pacquiao a split-decision loss, his first defeat since losing to Erik Morales in 2005.
Ford and Ross each scored it 115-113 for Bradley, while Jerry Roth scored it 115-113 for Pacquiao.
The decision drew unfavorable response from fight fans and boxing pundits.
Roach, however, admitted that Pacquiao may have relaxed in the duration of his battle against Bradley.
“Manny fought for a knockout as he promised, but seeing he was dominating the opening 10 rounds, he relaxed a bit in the remaining two,” he said.
Roach said Pacquiao may have decided to take it slow to preserve himself for future battles.
”It was a logical thing to do under the circumstances in order not to open himself to injury that might jeopardize his career,” he added.