In the wake of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley fiasco, all eyes are exactly where they should not be - the judging. Instead of talking about Pacquiao's excellent performance (his best since Miguel Cotto) or Bradley's perseverance in staying alive and still going for the win in the late rounds, we are stuck talking about the complete sham of a decision that left Timothy Bradley the winner.
With a bit of hindsight, I remain of the same opinion I had last night - those scores were indefensible, and Manny Pacquiao won that fight. Yet two judges gave the win to Bradley, based partly on giving him a round where he was clearly wobbled.
Why did this happen? There are a lot of theories out there, but here are the main three ideas:
1. The point of view of the judges. This is the most generous, as some have opined that the judges closer to Bradley's corner were influenced by his corner and their angle on the action to give the fight his way. If that's the case, it's a severe problem that must be addressed.
2. Incompetence. Are these judges just inept at their jobs? This is actually a feasible option, which is a shame. As Jim Lampley said post-fight - judging is a tough job, but it shouldn't be this tough. If this really is due to ineptitude, then these judges need to never judge again.
3. Corruption. Boxing has a long, shady history, and so a lot of people are calling foul and claiming the fix was in. The immediately announced rematch and the rematch clause built into the contract seems to add to this argument.
All three of these options are, quite simply, unacceptable. And at the end of the day, the fault for this lies squarely on the shoulders of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. It is their responsibility to make sure fights in Nevada are conducted properly, and no matter why it happened, Timothy Bradley taking that win is not proper.
If the NSAC truly care about their jobs, it is their responsibility to promptly launch an investigation into this outcome. Figure out why this happened, and correct the problem so that it does not happen again. Will that happen? Almost certainly not. Instead, we'll get, at best, a few words of explanation and no action taken, but probably not even that.
The NSAC should be ashamed of last night's outcome. And they should take action based on what we saw. Anything less shows that they are just as incompetent or corrupt as the judges.