MANILA, Philippines - It could have been a slip of the tongue for Duane Ford, one of the two judges that had Timothy Bradley beating Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand more than a week ago.
But the 74-year-old boxing judge from Nevada certainly didn’t do a good job trying to explain how he had Bradley beating the heavily-favored Filipino superstar, 115-113.
“What I personally saw that night is that the first six rounds, clearly Pacquiao was the winner. It was an exciting six rounds,” Ford told HBO commentator Jim Lampley during the boxing program “The Fight Game.”
If he gave Pacquiao the first six rounds, it would have been impossible for him to score the bout, 115-113, for Bradley, who left the arena on a wheelchair, and the new WBO welterweight champion.
Ford went on to explain.
“But what I saw in the fourth round is that Pacquiao clearly won that. He hurt Bradley. But the Manny Pacquiao that I’ve judged in the past would have finished him.
“(But) He let him off the hook. And then in the later rounds, I thought he (Pacquiao) tired; his punches were, were missing a bit. Bradley’s punches were missing to the head, but Bradley was scoring. He was scoring well on the body,” said Ford.
Judge CJ Ross also had Bradley winning, 115-113, while Jerry Roth had it for Pacquiao, 115-113. All three scores were a poor reflection of the fight which was never close.
The result was a split decision for Bradley, a 5-1 underdog. After ring announcer Michael Buffer announced the verdict, cries of protest filled the air.
It’s not the first time Ford scored a Pacquiao fight in the United States. He was at ringside when Pacquiao fought Shane Mosley (120-107), Joshua Clottey (120-108), Miguel Cotto (108-99), Juan Manuel Marquez in 2008 and Erik Morales in 2006.
Ford had Pacquiao beating Marquez in their second encounter, 115-112.
An investigation is being sought through the efforts of Top Rank chief Bob Arum and WBO president Francisco Valcarcel who has tapped five judges to re-score the fight.
But Valcarcel stressed that they are not out to reverse the decision but to boost their efforts in calling for a wider pool of judges when it comes to major fights.
Filipino election lawyer Romulo Macalinta, a regular fixture in Pacquiao fights in the United States, has also filed a formal letter of complaint before Nevada’s Atto rney General’s office.
Macalintal said that while Pacquiao is not aware of his actions, he is requesting the Attorney General’s office to conduct an inquiry surrounding the circumstances of the scoring.
“I have summarized the various scorings made by world renowned sportswriters, columnists and sports agencies showing how Pacquiao won convincingly over Bradley.
“Wikipedia has recorded 51 such writers and agencies for Pacquiao with only three for Bradley. Fight Score Collector.com collected a total of 265 for Pacquiao with only 10 for Bradley and a total of 46 Boxing Press, Fan Forum and Boxing Site for Pacquiao with only one (1) for Bradley,” he said.
Pacquiao said he welcomed these moves, but maintained that he has nothing to do with it.
“Sila kung mag-ibestiga sila siyempre natural lang para hindi masira yung image ng boxing (Of course it’s natural for them to investigate so it will not destroy the image of boxing),” said Pacquiao.
“Gusto nila na sa boxing industry yung tiwala ng tao nandun pa din (They want to make sure the trust of the people stays in boxing). I have no problem with that. They will investigate for the name of boxing. They want to regain the trust of the people,” he said. - By Abac Cordero (Philstar News Service, http://www.philstar.com