In a report from Agence France-Presse, one of the top US senators expressed his support for a probe into the controversial outcome of June 10's welterweight title bout between American boxer Timothy Bradley and Filipino champion Manny Pacquiao, in which Bradley won via split decision.
"If an investigation makes everyone feel better, do the investigation," Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, himself a former boxer, is quoted as saying.
However, he believed that there was nothing wrong with the scoring. "I am confident that there was nothing untoward. I think people just make bad decisions in a lot of things they do, including judging fights. But it doesn't hurt to clear the air and take a look at this."
Two of the match's judges, CJ Ross and Duane Ford, declared Bradley as the fight's winner with a score of 115 to Pacquiao’s 113, while the third judge, Jerry Roth, had Pacquiao winning by the same score. However, a majority of the people who did their own tallies, including boxing analysts, sports writers, and even the computerized scoring program CompuBox, claimed that Pacquiao won by a larger margin. The results sparked a widespread clamor for an explanation as Pacquiao seemed to have landed more punches.
Reid, who had judged a few boxing matches as a previous member of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, thinks Pacquiao was the rightful winner. "[Scoring is] an inexact science," the Nevada senator said. "From all the reports that I've seen by people on the outside who saw the fight, who attempted to be fair and judge the fight, Pacquiao won the fight."
Even Bob Arum, the CEO of Top Rank, which promotes both Bradley and Pacquiao, expressed his doubts about the match's outcome. He questioned the integrity of the judges, and he said that there would be no rematch unless the Nevada attorney-general had investigated the outcome of the fight.
"If this was a subjective view that each of [the judges] honestly held, OK. I would still disagree, but then we're off the hook in terms of there being no conspiracy,” Arum is quoted as saying in a Foxsports.com article. "But there needs to be an independent investigation because it strains credulity that an event everybody saw as so one-sided one way all three judges saw it as close. The whole sport is in an uproar. People are going crazy."
Not to be left unheard, Filipinos residing in the US are also pushing for a probe to happen. The executive directors of the Migrant Heritage Commission, a Fil-Am organization based in Washington DC, have written to the chairperson of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, asking for a probe into the fight’s controversial outcome.
"In the spirit of public accountability and decency, and public trust, we view it is but fair and just to conduct an immediate probe as to why the scorecards of the judges Cynthia J. Ross and Duane Ford did not jive with the statistics of the computer-analyzed Compubox," the letter read.
"All throughout the game, Pacquiao had been mostly in control," it continued. "Ringside punching statistics showed Pacquiao landing 253 punches to 159 for Bradley. The Compubox statistics showed Pacquiao landing more punches in 10 of the 12 rounds. Major networks CNN, HBO, BBC, and USA Today had been analyzing the game with Pacquiao as the winner."
(Screencap via YouTube)