WHAT WERE YOU LOOKING AT?

“Are you serious? Did that really just happen?” Those were the words that came out of my mouth when I heard the words “And the New…” come out of the mouth of Michael Buffer. How is it that Manny Pacquiao, who has been a champion in eight different weight divisions, and is regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in boxing, just lost to an up and coming, but relatively unknown Timothy Bradley? It made no sense to anyone watching. Not the fans in the stadium, the announcers broadcasting, or the analysts and writers who know the sport very well.

Naturally, after I picked my jaw up off the floor, I called the biggest boxing fan I know; my father. He taught me everything I know about the sport and he’s followed it almost all of his life. Surely he could explain to me what I just saw..right? No dice. He was as “dumbfounded” as Emmanel Steward. He couldn’t believe he saw a man clearly control a fight and get robbed by a spit decision. “We couldn’t have been watching the same thing,” he said. My thoughts exactly.

Pacman sticks Bradley with a jab, but Bradley scores the upset win.So I went back and watched the highlights and looked at the stats. They both show Pacquiao in control for the entire match. More total punches landed, more power punches landed, more rounds won on the scorecard’s of  HBO sports, ESPN.com and Bradley’s manager! Bradley himself said during the post fight interview that “I have to go home and see the tape to see who won.”

Then came the boo’s from the crowd and the negative comments from upset fans about boxing on every social network. My father in all his boxing wisdom could only come up with one logical explanation. “It had to be fixed,” he said. “Somebody got paid off.” As much as I would hate for that to be true, there was nothing else that made more sense than that. As he explained it, what better way to force Manny to fight Floyd Mayweather under Floyd’s terms than to make Manny appear to be the lesser fighter? The Pacquiao camp would have to take whatever the “Money Team” offered because Mayweather is still an undefeated fighter. At that point I would believe anything. If a man could lose a fight that he clearly dominated then anything was possible.

Bradley said in his post-fight interview that he would do a rematch with Pacquiao on November 10 and Manny obviously agreed. But as a fan I can’t say I’m excited to watch it. As my friend said while we watched the post-fight decision, “that has to be the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life as a sports fan.” Granted he’s only 23 years old, but you would be hard pressed to find a sports fan 40 years or older who would disagree.

Pacman stunned at the judges decision

Whether the fight was rigged or not we may never know, but I do know boxing lost a lot of casual fans around midnight on June 10th.

The outcry from disappointed fans was furiously loud, but the silence that could follow in the coming months will speak more volumes.

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