When the official decision was read by Michael Buffer in the WBO welterweight title fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley, the sport of boxing was in the news for all the wrong reasons. Despite dominating Bradley for most of their 12-round fight, Pacquiao was announced as the loser of the split decision call. The win stopped Pacquiao's 15-fight winning streak and made many wonder about the integrity of the sport and its officials. Conspiracy theories were thrown around and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum announced he wanted "clarity." We may be one step closer to that clarity, as the World Boxing Organization has announced that they will review the decision.
WBO President Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel announced that the sanctioning body's championship committee will review video of the fight with what Valcarcel called "five recognized international judges" and make a recommendation of what to do. The Nevada State Athletic Commission said earlier this week that they didn't plan to review or discipline the judges or decision, so I am excited that the WBO is on their way to doing the right thing.
As a fan of the sport and one that hates to see such controversy arise when the outcome was so blatantly obvious, this is a step in the right direction. Since 2005, the sport has been taking a back seat to mixed martial arts, and while it still does great pay-per-view numbers when the best in the sport compete, the lesser-known fighters haven't been able to draw as much interest as events in MMA like UFC on FX or Bellator cards.
Because of the decision to award the fight and the title to Bradley, the two judges who ruled in favor of the new champion are being given more media time than ever before.
Duane Ford, one of the judges who ruled the fight 115-113 in favor of Bradley said, "I thought Bradley gave Pacquiao a boxing lesson. I thought a lot of the rounds were close."
Despite his terrible decision, judges are better left away from the media attention. The fact that Ford felt the need to say that Pacquiao was taught a lesson was a joke in itself. Pacquiao is a world class fighter who was given a huge injustice with the unimaginable decision and may have been lost any chances of ever competing in the biggest money fight of his career against Floyd Mayweather.
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Hobson Lopes has been a lifelong fan of boxing and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes .