While everyone is reeling with shock over last night's epic bad decision that gave Timothy Bradley the split decision win over Manny Pacquiao my mind is turning back to last November when another questionable decision gave Pacquiao a win he arguably didn't deserve over Juan Manuel Marquez.
Last night two judges, C.J. Roth and Duane Ford, were either blind, bribed or otherwise impaired and scored the fight for Bradley, 115-113. Virtually everyone watching the fight, including the ringside commentators Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman, promoter Bob Arum, UFC president Dana White, and virtually every professional athlete on Twitter knew that Pacquiao had won the fight.
Manny Pacquiao has been martyred and fans are outraged on his behalf. The long-hoped for Pacquiao bout-of-the-century with Floyd Mayweather recedes even further into the distance and an incompetent/corrupt boxing establishment has once again damaged the sport, perhaps irredeemably.
But let's go back seven months to last November and review what people were saying after Pacquiao was given a decision win over Marquez..
At least one man, Juan Manuel Marquez, thought Pacquiao was given a gift and that he, Marquez, was robbed:
"It is a robbery and of the two robberies I have had against him, this one is the more terrible," Marquez said, according to Yahoo! Sports. "I was the one with the clearer punches and I won again. The audience protested because they knew that I won again. It is difficult to fight against a fighter and two judges as well."
The biggest difference between the two fights is that very few other observers thought the fight was anything but close. Nevertheless, most observers DID score the fight for Marquez. Here's what our own Brent Brookhouse had to say moments after the fight ended:
Myself, Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook, Steve Kim of MaxBoxing and Eric Raskin of Grantland all scored the fight for Marquez very close, but there were many, many close rounds throughout the bout and it's hard to get upset over Pacquiao winning the bout.
Another big boxing match, another bad decision.
Is there an element of karma involved for Pacquiao? He certainly knows how Marquez felt last November now if nothing else.
There are conspiracy theories about the Pacquiao-Bradley decision that I'll come to in a follow up post, but it was pretty obvious, to me anyway, after the Pacquiao-Marquez decision that there was no way Pacquiao would be allowed to lose that fight. A Marquez win would have made no one money as he'd already fought Pacquiao three times and there was no clamor for a rematch.
A Bradley win on the other hand makes a lot of people a lot of money including Bob Arum, Manny's promoter, and possibly even Floyd Mayweather. We'll talk about all that in my next post.