Top Rank CEO Bob Arum told RingTV.com that he has requested that Nevada attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto investigate the results of Tim Bradley’s split-decision last Saturday that dethroned Manny Pacquiao as WBO welterweight titleholder at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao (54-4-2, 39 knockouts) out-landed Bradley in 10 of the 12 rounds, with the overall count in his favor 253-to-159. He also scored with more total jabs (63-51) and power punches (190-108). Bradley out-landed Pacquiao in only the ninth round, while the 10th was even in punches connected with each landing 14.
“Manny Pacquiao clearly won the fight by, like, 10 rounds to two or 11 rounds to one. It wasn’t even a close fight,” said Arum, who promotes both Pacquiao and Bradley. “The decision is inexplicable. It’s not really for me to comment about the decision, it’s up to the Nevada State Athletic Commission.”
Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs) was awarded the victory over Pacquiao by the scores of 115-113 on the cards of judges C.J. Ross and Duane Ford, while Jerry Roth had it for Pacquiao by the same score, as did RingTV.com’s Lem Satterfield. An informal poll of 51 writers by Ryan Maquinana favored Pacquiao over Bradley, 48-3.
“We’ve taken it to the attorney general’s office, and they’ll decide,” said Arum. “We’ve formally requested an investigation by the attorney general, and we’ll hear back from them when we hear back from them.”
Arum said that there is a rematch clause for Bradley to face Pacquiao again on Nov. 10, that is, if Pacquiao does not elect to take a fourth bout with four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao won a disputed majority decision over Marquez in November after having previously battled through a draw and a split-decision victory with him, respectively.
“We have to see what’s the more lucrative fight to do. Manny has to see that as a choice. He fought a very close, controversial fight with Marquez that some people felt Marquez won. He fought a fight with Bradley that nobody thought he lost, other than the two judges. So we have to now convince the public that the rematch will be somewhat different. Which is an easier sell?” said Arum, adding that a fourth Pacquiao-Marquez fight would also take place on Nov. 10.
“I speak the truth. I think that Tim Bradley is a lovely young man who tried very hard, but Bradley lost that fight. Period. I’m not going to say anything in a situation like this to cater to [Bradley’s manager] Cameron Dunkin, or to cater to Tim Bradley. They’re lovely, nice people, and I applaud them. But Pacquiao won this fight, and he won it easily. Period. End of story.”
Dunkin could not immediately be reached for comment, but he told the USA Today that he was not concerned about Arum’s decision to push for an investigation.
“That’s his business, and there’s nothing corrupt going on,” said Dunkin. “When you have judges, I don’t care if it’s figure skating, I don’t care if it’s gymnastics or what it is, it’s someone’s opinion.”
Dunkin expressed skepticism that there was any subterfuge involved in the judging.
“I know Tim’s very grateful that he won. He has nothing to do with the decision. There’s nothing corrupt going on, and if there was something corrupt going on, Tim wouldn’t have won,” said Dunkin.
“They didn’t want Tim to win. He was the underdog. He wasn’t supposed to win, and he won, and the judges saw it that way. They gave him those real close rounds.”
Arum denied the widely speculated notion that he had something to do with rigging the result of the fight on the grounds that he wanted to make the rematch between Bradley and Pacquiao, whose contract with Top Rank is rumored to have run its course.
“[People] who say that, ‘well, Arum is faking it,’ and that ‘he really maneuvered this to get the rematch,’ they’re not alone in saying that. That is, of course, not true. In fact, that’s preposterous,” said Arum, adding that Pacquiao’s contract “has another year and a half” remaining.
“But let the attorney general look into it, and let’s get all of the facts out. I’m not saying that there was or wasn’t any wrongdoing. I’m not making any allegations at all. But let’s get somebody that we respect, like the attorney general of the state of Nevada, to conduct an investigation and to give a full report.”
Among the things that Arum said that he wants to know are “did anybody influence the judges?” and, “did anybody talk to the judges?” as well as “did anybody in the commission instruct the judges to watch the fight in any particular way?” and, “did any promoter get involved with the judges or did any manager get involved with the judges?”
“I want to know what, if anything, happened here. I mean, it could end up that the judges called it the way that they saw it. But the vast number of people thought that the judges saw it wrong, so that’s possible too,” said Arum.
“I don’t know what the facts are. I don’t know, and I’m not accusing anybody. All I’m saying is that scoring the fight anything but a runaway decision for Pacquiao is wrong.”
Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, said he welcomes the investigation.
“If Bob wants to ask the attorney general for an investigation, I don’t really have an opinion on that one way or the other,” said Kizer. “He’s free to do whatever he wants on that situation. I’m not concerned one way or the other.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org