Pacquiao vs. Bradley: Why Boxing Will Suffer Due to Controversial Decision

Connor MuldowneyCorrespondent IJune 11, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 09:  (L-R) Manny Pacquiao lands a left to the head of Timothy Bradley during their WBO welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 9, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

The results of the Pacquiao-Bradley fight stirred up some controversy in the boxing world.  Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach were shocked at the split decision loss for the veteran boxer.

Roach seemed shocked during the post-fight interview with the media.  He didn't quite understand what fight the judges were watching. 

Roach told reporters after the fight, "I think they had their eyes closed. I'm not sure."

This controversial decision put a black eye on boxing as we know it. 

WBO world welterweight champion Timothy Bradley isn't complaining about the results. Heck, he may be the only person in the boxing world who is happy with what happened on Saturday night in Vegas.

Pacquiao seemed to have controlled the entire fight, but two judges thought otherwise.  This gave Bradley a controversial split decision victory.  This ended Pacquiao's incredible streak of seven unbeaten years of boxing in a row.

Pacquiao was shocked when the decision was announced and the crowd also seemed as displeased as he was, booing the results of the match.  Promoter Bob Arum was also unhappy with the results and has started planning for a November rematch between the two.

According to the ringside punching statistics, Pacquiao had landed almost 100 more punches than Timothy Bradley.  This just elevates the controversy to the next level.

Many fans and insiders are furious at what took place and have been screaming controversy and pointing to the idea of the fight being fixed for Bradley to win.

This was the fight that may have caused a downfall in the sport. People are no longer going to take notice if decisions like these keep happening where most see a clear winner and the opposite result is announced.

What are fans to do when they see a man fight his heart out and then get a loss?

Yes, both fighters deserved a win, but Pacquiao deserved it a little more with the way he put on a show and seemingly edged out the younger Bradley.

Maybe it was Pacquiao's trainer, Roach, who should be at fault for this loss.  He scheduled a fight with an undefeated young boxer in his prime.  Almost setting the veteran up for a loss.

Pacquiao has become a national hero in his homeland of the Philippines where millions of people pay to watch his fights on TV.  This fight and controversial decision may have veered many of his fans away from the sport forever.  If their hero can't win a split decision that seemed clear as day, why watch him lose in the same fashion again?

Boxing has been growing in popularity ever since Pacquiao burst onto the scene and began winning every match since 2005.  Floyd Mayweather has also made boxing as popular as it has become today.

When controversy like this strikes a sport, it takes a while for the sport to recover and come back to full strength.  There are examples of such controversy in other sports like the NBA referee controversy. 

Some NBA officials had been caught fixing games and it took a while for the fans to trust and support the league again.  I would say that today, there is still some mistrust and screams of "controversy" among fans and even some experts.

This fight was supposed to help the sport, not hurt it.  The fight was a good one, two tough fighters knocking each other silly for 12 rounds and the results going down to the wire. 

The fans saw a Pacquiao victory, the judges saw otherwise and the sport is going to see a downfall.