LAS VEGAS – Outraged by the split decision win by Timothy Bradley Jr. over Manny Pacquiao, trainer Freddie Roach said yesterday there should be an investigation on how two of the three judges scored it for the unbeaten challenger when the punchstats clearly showed the Filipino fighter dominated the 12-round bout.
“It’s outrageous,” fumed Roach. “I think the judges who saw it for Bradley should be expelled. I don’t blame Bradley. It’s not his fault. Who can agree with that kind of decision? I’ll admit Manny gave away the 11th round but I told him to throw combinations and step it up in the last round which I thought he took. There was no way Bradley won that fight. Manny won that fight.”
Roach left on a private jet to Syracuse, New York, a few hours after the fight to attend his induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota. He said he won’t talk about the fight in his acceptance speech. Roach will be joined in the 10-seater plane by his mother Barbara, girlfriend Dr. Maya Matthews, secretary Marie Spivey, manager Nick Khan, assistant manager Evan Dick, Michael Buffer and his wife.
Earlier, Roach said focusing on the Pacquiao bout was more important than the induction, expressing his selflessness in prioritizing his fighters over his own personal recognition. He has often admitted that the best thing that ever happened in his life was Pacquiao walking into the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles in 2001.
Roach said a protest should be filed if only to try to preserve the integrity of the fight game. Cutman Miguel Diaz, the 74-year-old Argentine cornerman who has worked with over 30 world champions, said the verdict was unbelievable and will go down in history as one of the worst boxing robberies ever.
Diaz said the injustice was similar to Cuban Erislandy Lara’s undeserved fate in losing a majority decision to Paul Williams in Atlantic City last year. Judge Donald Givens scored it 116-114, judge Hilton Whitaker, Jr. 115-114 and Al Bennett 114-all. HBO’s boxing expert Harold Lederman had it 117-111 for Lara and former world champion Roy Jones Jr. said the robbery reminded him of his 1988 Seoul Olympic tragedy where he lost in the finals but was awarded Best Boxer of the competition. The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board conducted an investigation and indefinitely suspended the three judges. Since no corruption was established, Williams’ win was upheld.
If an investigation is made on the Pacquiao loss and no corruption is established, Bradley’s win will be upheld but the judges could be suspended. Only if corruption is established could there be the possibility of nullifying Bradley’s win.
When the decision was announced, a chorus of boos echoed in the arena. Judge Jerry Roth saw it 115-113 for Pacquiao but judges C. J. Ross and Duane Ford scored it 115-113 for Bradley. Ross and Ford gave Bradley five of the last six rounds. The punchstats contradicted the outcome as Pacquiao landed more blows, 253-159, with a higher percentage of accuracy, 34%-19%. Pacquiao also connected more jabs, 63-51 and more power shots, 190-108. The stats indicated that the fight wasn’t close – Pacquiao completely dominated Bradley. But two of the three judges saw it otherwise. - By Joaquin Henson (Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com)