Monday morning all the folks who occupy sports radio show hosting seats — the folks who don’t work on the weekends — had there first chance to comment on the controversial Tim Bradley split-decision win over Manny Pacquiao Saturday night in Las Vegas.
It is fair to say that those who believe Bradley won the fight are few and far between. In fact, it seems that there are fewer people who believe Bradley, from Cathedral City, won they fight than there are people who believe that this decision is the one that will finally drive a stake through the heart of boxing. Strong words, but those kinds of sentiments are actually out there.
From travesty to abomination to fix, the words are strong. So strong, in fact, that promoter Bob Arum is saying there might not be an rematch unless there is an investigation into the judging of the fight. To recap, two judges scored the fight 115-113 for Bradley, one judge had in 115-113 for Pacquiao. Most observers, both casual and hard-core fans, seemed to think that the judge who voted for Pacquiao was wrong in not making Pacquiao’s margin of victory larger.
If you believe for a second that Arum will not make a rematch, assuming Pacquiao wants a rematch and doesn’t retire instead, then you are crazy. If you believe Arum when he says he might not make a rematch because ticket brokers are telling him the fight won’t sell, then you again are crazy.
Oh, and if you think Pacquiao is the same guy who we saw even two years ago, you are wrong. That might be one thing to hold onto from this fight, the fact that Pacquiao, even in what seemed to be a victory to most fans, was far from the fighter he was in building up his reputation. He seemed to take time off during rounds, seemed to be less active than in the past and never came close to take Bradley out of the fight.
The long-term ramifications are numerous: Will Pacquiao retire after the disappointment? Will there be a rematch with Bradley? Will the rematch happen in November? Will Bradley have to take time to overcome the injuries to his feet suffered in the fight? If there is a rematch, doesn’ that push a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight (which honestly isn’t going to happen anyway) into at least the summer of 2013? By that time, will anyone care about that fight?
Lots of questions, but we do know a couple of answers. First, the buzz over Bradley-Pacquiao isn’t going away anytime soon. And second, that buzz still seems to say that Pacquiao won wronged by the decision.