Sunday, June 10, 2012

Things that make you go hmmm...?

As I sit here in front of the computer beginning to type, my mind and thoughts are going in various directions all at once. What's right and what isn't, conspiracy theories, justification etc., are all part of my thought process after the decision rendered in the Manny Pacquiao/Tim Bradley fight. I'll try to make sense of what I'm feeling as once again, boxing became one of those things that make you go hmmm...?

Before the fight I made my prediction public on both Facebook and Twitter that I felt Tim Bradley (29-0, 12 KO's) would defeat Manny Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KO's) via decision. Though the final outcome was Tim Bradley winning by split decision and becoming the new WBO welterweight champion, I can't sit here and say, "I told you so." That is because though the fight may have even possibly been closer than I and most thought, there's no way Tim Bradley won.

Regardless of sport, I've never been a statistics or numbers guy to prove an athlete's worth or effort; whether it's on the field or in the ring. In the case of this fight, you don't need the numbers to justify Manny Pacquiao winning this fight. However, for the sake of adding to my argument, his numbers well outweighed Bradley's in the final punch stats in all categories.

That said, let's take a quick look back at the fight and then try to make sense of it. In my estimation, Pacquiao won all but one, maybe two rounds. He did it by beating Bradley to the punch throughout, landing clean and evident power shots that clearly connected; and also exhibiting tremendous defense with his constant movement. Bradley made an effort throughout, but outside of the 10th and possibly the first round, I can't remember thinking Bradley won any other round.

So then, how does Manny Pacquiao lose? There are many theories running though my head; some logical and some not. However, at this point who is boxing to argue any of it? First the logical; I wonder to myself, how can a judge not see what we've seen? As I think about it, I have to remind myself that each judge is at ringside, on one side of the ring, looking at whatever angle they can to see the live action. We on the other hand have the benefit of the best seat in the house with cameramen giving us the best angles, sometimes up close and now in high definition, with the benefit of instant replay.

That is one thought; of course on the illogical side there is the thought that a judge could be swayed or even sad to think, bought. I know people will begin to say I'm crazy, but think about it. If a NBA referee can admit to fixing games for money, is the thought that far fetched? Say what you will, people are human; thus, the thought that shady business cannot take place in sports is ridiculous. We've seen it time and time again; so am I really that crazy or are people just being naive?

Before the fight, HBO Sports asked their judge Harold Lederman to give his thoughts on the judges picked for this fight, which I found kind of strange. What was even more odd is that Lederman himself called into question a couple of the judges, even going so far as to say the pro Pacquiao crowd in Vegas could possibly sway an inexperienced judge like C.J. Ross, who ironically scored it for Bradley.

Another theory is that subconsciously we are misled by the on-air commentary regardless of what we may or may not see. If that is the case, then I am truly feeling a robbery took place here because Jim Lampley of HBO Sports is the biggest Pacquiao "supporter," for lack of a better word, there is. His commentary in my estimation is so bias towards certain fighters it makes me sick, but that's another story for another day.

Whatever it is, I believe boxing has given itself yet another black eye, with another terrible decision. I'm not just going to bad mouth boxing here as there were some really questionable scorecards in Friday night's UFC event as well. Truth is, this type of judging really leaves a bad taste in my mouth as it sours me on the sports that I love. Things that make you go hmmm...?

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