TRAVESTY – 1. a farcical or grotesque imitation; mockery; parody
This week I was witness to two travesties, the first being the illusion of a boxing fight and the second being a personal one. The second one I can’t elaborate on, but needless to say it was just as big of a travesty in my mind as the first. Unfortunately I had control over neither. Since I can’t talk about the personal issue, I’m going to try to express the utter disbelief and shock of the Pacquiao vs. Bradley fight from Saturday night. This is my outlet. Join me on this journey of anger and bitter contempt for the “sport” of boxing.
I believe I would consider myself somewhat educated when it comes to boxing. I’ve been watching big fights most of my life, though probably a little bit less so since the UFC took over PPV around 2004 for me. Aside from my UFC bias I would still consider myself as someone who understands combat sports. I’ve trained in MMA, kickboxing/Muay Thai, and done some Jeet Kune Do, all the while learning boxing fundamentals. So often times many of my friends ask my opinion on fights, both boxing and MMA, since I have a higher level of understanding. Now this doesn’t mean I’m perfect by any means. But I think that I’m a pretty good scorer of fights. I generally see when a punch/kick gets blocked or glances.
While sometimes I am influenced by the crowds “oohhs” and “aahhs” when a punch is thrown, most of the time I can tell if it was clean or not. And if I can’t tell then I usually defer my full opinion until I see the thoughts from others within the community of Boxing/MMA. After having a chance to brood for days and research how other boxers viewed the fight, enjoy, here are the experts.
@OscarDeLaHoya – Bradley should have given the belt and announce victory to paquiao right after the decision. @andreward – Listen, I love Tim Bradley he’s a friend. This is not his fault. Tim lost the fight, that’s all I can say.
I love Manny Pacquiao as a fighter so maybe I had some rose tinted glasses on I thought. On this list, everyone here is or was a champion boxer, aside from Mayweather Sr., who has been training champion boxers most of his life. Now it’s one thing when celebrities like Aaron Rodgers, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, and Shaq call a fight a robbery. It’s another matter entirely when champion level boxers and hall of famers call it that. I would also like to point out that Juan Manuel Marquez, a man who actually had a very close fight with Pacquiao last November believes the decision was wrong. You can read his thoughts here. For those two of you who believe Bradley won, please go watch the three fights Marquez and Pacquiao have had, then come back and tell me that Timothy Bradley had a better fight against Pacquiao than Marquez did. It’s a joke to even compare the performances.
So what did we see exactly on Saturday night. I saw a bar full of people basically tuning out of a fight that appeared to be over around the 10th round. Many in the bar had stopped paying attention to the fight entirely. The result was a foregone conclusion for most sitting around the TVs. And then something incredible happened, a collective moment where everyone stopped and said “WHHAAAT?!”. The drinks were put down, the food left uneaten, and the eyes wide with astonishment. In all my years of watching Boxing/MMA I’ve never seen such a visceral reaction from so many at once. I mean I’ve seen robberies in MMA where me and my MMA friends were like “what?”. Fights like Nam Phan vs. Leonard Garcia or Matt Hammil vs. Micheal Bisping were definitely screw jobs. But the outrage wasn’t collective nor as pained as Saturday night was. I never got to see the infamous 1993 Pernell Whitaker vs. Julio Cesar Chavez draw live, but I can imagine it being something like this.
Here let’s take a look at what I saw, specifically the technical side. I’m going to break down the rounds for you as this is my third viewing of the fight now.
Round 1 – They both open up kinda jumpy, which is not uncommon. They are feeling each other out for most of the round. Bradley is sitting down and letting Pacquiao jump into him more in the first 2 minutes but really nothing that Bradley is responding with is landing. A couple seemed to land, but they all came when Pacquaio was covered up. Now in the last 20-30 seconds of the round though, Pacquiao lands four solid punches to Bradleys one counter to end the round. This stole the round because for the most part it was even in the feeling out process until that moment. 10-9 Pacquiao
Round 2 – They are firing at a good pace this round. It’s close on the back and forth exchanges. Pacquiao hit him early on with two solid lefts. Bradley tangles him up and hits a few times to the ribs in a moment that the ref should have broken them up. Pacquiao bounced away well and most of the next shots from Bradley hit on his gloves, though one slipped through and connected. Pacquiao then lands again with about 1:40 seconds to go that turned Bradley’s head. They exchange violently against the ropes but nothing lands until when Pacquiao pops out and lands a looping left against Bradley’s ear. The last 30 seconds or so Bradley is moving well but he drops his arm to fly his hand at a Floyd Mayweather style of boxing. he isn’t fast enough and gets tagged once though he hits Pacquiao back with a left towards the end. I had power punches 7 to 5 in favor of Pacquiao, though it’s a close round. 20-18 Pacquiao
Round 3 – In this round you start to see Pacquiao turn up the intensity a bit. Bradley opens with a couple punches but Pacquiaos defense is up and nothing comes through. Bradley is moving well but Pacquiao hits a straight left to his nose and ducks under his counter at the same time. Bradley tries to answer back but nothing meaningful comes out of it. Pacquiao lands another straight left as part of a two punch combo. Bradley ducks down into some of Pacquiaos punches when he lowers his shoulder but he is still getting popped on the side of his head. Another straight left around the 1:30 mark. Another a couple seconds later. Bradley tries to follow up but hits gloves on both of his punches. Bradley holds as they both miss and reset. Bradley gets a good body shot in. Bradley lands a right as Pacquiao misses. Bradley gets whacked by a one-two combo which forces him to hold on to Pacquiao around 40 second mark. Bradley is trying to time the punch but is having trouble, he drops that shoulder again and they swing violently but both miss. Bradley lands a right but Pacquiao lands a response as he ducks his head down again. The round comes to an end as they both swing and miss the mark. Pacquiao landed 7 Power punches to Bradleys 3. 30-27 Pacquiao
Round 4 – Bradley opens up whiffing on a couple punches then lands a body shot, though pretty low. They hug for a bit, then brawl a bit with nothing really meaningful until Pacquiao lands an over the top right that lands clean. Bradley lands a right as PacMan ducks and then Pacquiao lands another over hand right cleanly at the 2 minute mark. Bradley ties him up and lands a little inside uppercut from the clinch. Bradley with a flurry, but they all hit glove and arm. In the last minute there were some furious exchanges. Now watching them again in slow motion, many punches missed, but during those exchanges which they show in replay, you clearly see Pacquiao getting the better of the deal. This is also where Bradley hurt his ankle trying his damnedest to avoid taking anymore pounding. During the last 45 seconds, Pacquiao lands a solid body shot, then lands 6 power punches that connect and another 4 or 5 which glance or hit lightly. In this same time I had Bradley landing 2 power punches and 3-4 that glance. 40-36 Pacquiao
Round 5 – In the first 30 seconds or so Bradley throws a combo hard, but it lands on Pacquiao’s arms. The body shot from bradley glances as Pacquiao curls in. Bradley mostly staying away, Pacquiao lands a right-left combo as Bradley ducks down. Bradley gets tagged by a right. Another right, then a straight left. Pacquiao counters back at 50 second mark with a combo. Bradley gets a straight right to go through Pacquiaos defense which snaps his head a bit. A huge left hook from Pacquiao makes Bradley back peddle. Then he follows it up with a straight right as Bradley is running on the ropes. Bradley with a body shot while Pacquiao delivers one to the side of his head. Big uppercut with 15 seconds to go from Pacquiao. They back up to the ropes and Bradley misses and Pacquiao hits a left hook uppercut combo from the ropes. They brawl for the last 10 seconds but very little lands. I had Pacquiao landing 11 power shots to 5 from Bradley. Bradley looked exhausted afterward. 50-45 Pacquiao
Round 6 – They open to some pawing and Bradley slips a straight left through. More feeling out for the first minute and then Bradley comes in and eats a left for it. They trade a couple of punches around the minute mark. Nothing really significant. Bradley hit with a right hook. Pacuqiao puts a straight left through the defenses of Bradley. Bradley lands a body shot but eats one in return. Pacquaio lands a combo that puts him against the corner. Bradley ducking and diving to avoid. Mostly misses but a couple shot from Pacman get through. Pacquaio backs up with guard up inviting a couple body shots, takes an uppercut as well. He then returns the favor with 15 seconds to go. Pacquiao lands a right with 10 seconds remaining. The round ends in a closer one than the others. I have Pacquiao landing 8 power punches to 5 from Bradley. Even Bradleys best shots never seemed to phase Pacquiao. 60-54 Pacquiao
Round 7 – Bradley paws at Pacquiao again and they tie up, nothing really lands though. Body shot from Bradley. Bradley comes in and swings misses, eats a straight left, and another. They brawl a bit, both miss and Bradley gets tagged by another left toward the end of the exchange. Bradley swings through Pacquiao, he goes under and they hug some more. Dirty boxing with 1:45 remaining, Pacquiao lands a one-two combo in close. Pacquiao lunges forward with a body shot. Bradley tries to bob and roll but eats a couple of punches in the process. Bradley comes back hard with some wild punches, a couple land, but eats another right from Pacquiao in the process. Back to the center of the ring gives Bradley a blow to the side of the head with a overhand left. Bradley with another body shot. Bradley eats a short left. Then another overhand left. Then an uppercut that catches him ducking. Bradley eats a straight right while still trying to avoid. Round ends without any other big moments. In terms of power punches that landed, I felt this round was pretty lopsided. Slow motion replays confirm Pacman getting the better of the exchanges. Pacquiao landed close to 13 or 14 while Bradley hit 5 or 6. 70-63 Pacquiao
Round 8 – Again a slow start to the round. Bradley lands a body shot. Seems to be the MO so far, Pacquiao waits until the last half of the round to explode. Bradley gets a straight left through. Pacquiao swings in an exchange, mostly missing, Bradley counters with a wild right hook that lands. Slight headbutt. Bradley reaches and ends up getting tagged by a three punch combo, straight right, left to the body, and another right. Bradley lands a left, then Pacquiao does. Dirty boxing on the ropes, they exchange, both mostly miss, then Pacquiao comes with a overhand right that forces Bradley back and he ties Pacquiao up. Not much action for this minute, mostly Bradley backpedaling. Pacquiao taking it easy. Left cross lands from Pacquiao with 25 seconds remaining. They exchange a bit with 10 seconds left and Pacquiao lands one while Bradley lands a couple. Power punches even 6 to 6 in that round. I think this is probably the first round where I can say that Bradley probably won. 79-73 Pacquiao
Round 9 – Bradley opens with the body shots while Pacquiao covers up. They mostly hit his arms as he blocks. Pacquiao comes back with a one-two where the second straight left comes through clean. Bradley backpedaling, avoids some big shots from Pacquiao and trips slightly. Some more dirty boxing, Pacquiao hits on an uppercut and a couple others. They exchange a couple back and forth. Bradley leans into a right, ducks down, misses, and eats another right. Bradley ties Pacquiao up. Uppercut from Pacquiao lands. Body shot and right hook from Bradley. Pacquiao with a body shot, then he eats a left hook. Bradley with a body shot but then receives a left hook in return as well. Bradley closes in but gets rewarded with a Pacquiao left hook. Mostly wild swings to end the round with nothing landing cleanly. Power Punches favor Pacquiao 10 to 6. 89-82 Pacquiao
Round 10 – Not much happening in the first 30 seconds. Bradley lands a stiff straight left. Pacquiao with a jab, then Bradley answers. Bradley jabs, misses, and then eats a right-left combo. Bradley with a left. Then a jab. Not much happening in the last minute, lots of walking and most of Pacquiao’s swings at the end never landed clean. A fairly uneventful round. Bradley wins the power punch stat 6 to 4, which gives him the round. 98-92 Pacquiao
Round 11 – They touch gloves and paw a bit. Nothing lands until Bradley slips a jab through. Bradley lands a couple more jabs. Pacquiao with a body shot. Dirty boxing against the ropes, though nothing lands with any force. Pacquiao with a straight left. Bradley with a body shot, while Pacquiao lands a left hook. Bradley with a jab again. Bradley with another body shot. Pacquiao with a body shot and follows it up with a right hook to the chin. Pacquiao with a straight right. They exchange a bit, but mostly blocked. Pacquiao catches Bradley sitting against the ropes with a right hook with 20 seconds to go. This round is close, but Pacquiao lands 7 power punches to Bradleys 6. A toss up round that could probably go either way. I have it for Pacquiao though. 108-101 Pacquiao
Round 12 – In the final round Bradley opens with a couple of shots, only one gets through though. Pacquiao with a looping right. Bradley with a body shot. They get in close to each other, Bradley gets another body shot while Pacman gets right hook to end the exchange. The pace of this round has slowed, with Bradley again backing up, they both swing, miss, and tangle up with a minute to go. Bradley gets a half right uppercut to go through. They exchange and Pacquiao puts a left hook on Bradley. Bradley with a short left. Pacquiao with a lunging straight left that lands cleanly on the chin. They swing a bit more and that’s the end. I have Bradley landing 5 power punches to Pacquiaos 4. Bradley gets the nod in that round, especially with the courage and willpower he showed. Final score 117-111 Pacquiao
Power punch totals 88 – 57 in favor of Manny Pacquiao. Now I believe these were effective power punches, not just all power punches. I look for clean hits with head snapping motions or solid body contact.
So with all this said, I’m still left with nothing to really say to people that ask me to explain how this happened. I am as confused as the next person. Dana White often says to keep it out of the judges hands, which is true, but damn, having competent judges when it does go to a decision is really important. This is a shame really, it truly does make you question how corrupt boxing is. Fights shouldn’t do that. Thanks for the sucker punch though. I don’t fault any of the boxers involved of course, they are just trying to make a living, this goes on the shoulders of the machine that spins the cogs of the sport.
So now I am hitting back, with the power of the purse as they say. Here is my declaration. I will never pay for any sort of boxing event again. I will not pay a cover at a bar showing one, nor will I contribute any money to someone buying a PPV. Sometimes it takes an event like this to make you realize how little the sport of boxing cares for its fans. If the sport doesn’t care about me, then I will dedicate more time to another that does, one that at least attempts to listen to its fans and respects them.
Wow, I feel much better now. The anger is subsiding, the burden lightening, and the bitterness turns to resolve.
Thank you and good night.