You won’t find an article saying underdog Tim Bradley Jr. rightfully won a 12-round decision against Manny Pacquiao. What you will read is everyone calling this one of the worst results in boxing’s long shady history.
Two of the three fight judges (CJ Ross and Duane Ford) scored Bradley 115-113. The third judge (Jerry Roth) had it 115-113 in favor of Pacquiao. The Las Vegas Review Journal and the Associated Press scored the fight 117-111 in favor of Pacquiao, while ESPN.com and Harold Lederman – HBO’s unofficial judge – had it 119-111, again in favor of Pacquiao. Even Bradley’s corner had PacMan winning eight of the 12 rounds, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.
When mainstream media types hint at corruption, you know it’s not going to go over well at Las Vegas sportsbooks. Bradley was a live dog, priced between +330 and +375 in the fight, and not all books were happy about cashing those tickets.
Las Vegas Hotel and Casino oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said it was a bad result but that wasn’t what got under his skin.
"I can live with losses but not with corruption,” Sherman said in an email to Covers.
Shortly after last night’s controversial decision, Sherman’s boss and sportsbook director at LVH SuperBook, Jay Kornegay, tweeted:
“I know it won’t happen but I feel this should be the last boxing match we’ll ever book @LVSuperBook. #ridiculous”
Caesars Entertainment sportsbook analyst Todd Fuhrman suggested on Twitter that there’s an argument for discontinuing booking boxing in Nevada.
“…state doesn’t allow us to book events that are voted upon, thinking boxing should fall under this clause now.”
Statistics tell the story. Pacquiao landed more punches in 10 of the 12 rounds, he landed 34 percent of his punches compared to 19 percent for Bradley, and PacMan connected with more power blows (190 to 108).
Even those who benefited from the result were outraged.
“Bradley by decision was the best result possible for us,” Cantor Gaming sportsbook director Mike Colbert told Covers in an email Sunday morning. “That being said, it was the worst decision I've seen in my lifetime. Even worse than the first Lennox Lewis-Holyfield fight.”
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum represents both Bradley and Pacquiao, and couldn’t believe the decision.
“I’ve never been as ashamed of the sport of boxing as I am tonight,” Arum told reporters. “I’m going to make a lot of money on the rematch, but this was outrageous.”
“I went over to Bradley before the decision, and he said, ‘I tried hard but I couldn’t beat the guy.’”
Following the fight, Joe Fortenbaugh, Vegas resident and writer for The National Football Post, tweeted:
“I have a winning ticket on Bradley and I'm sick to my stomach over that. Will still cash it, but I am completely stunned.”
The rematch is expected to happen in November.
Update: Jay Kornegay emailed and said the result “wasn't that bad.
Compare to an above average pro football game. We'll survive. Terrible
for sport and betting.”