There is a simple lesson to be learned from the more than controversial split decision loss of Manny Pacquio to an obviously inferior and less experienced Tim Bradley. “Keep your political opinions to yourself”.
In this writer’s analysis, this was a knockout, but not of Tim Bradley. It was a political and public opinion knock out of Manny by not only those Manny attacked with his statements prior to the fight, but by Obama and his camp.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN THE RING?
Pacquiao whipped Tim Bradley easily in every way except on the judge’s score cards. The fight has been called fixed by a Former IBF Welterweight champion boxer among others, and rigged by many more.
Investigations are likely to come as many, including the promoter blamed for the fix, have called for them. Even politicians have entered the fray.
Anyone that observed the fight from beginning to end has to laugh at the decision. It was a lopsided fight in which Tim Bradley ate more lefts than the winner of an all you can eat hotdog contest could ever ingest wieners. Bradley was humiliated, throwing almost all air all night long, barely touching Pacquiao’s gloves in most cases or taking cheap shots in the clinch. In one round, Bradley’s trainer hints to him to head butt Pacquiao, after which Bradley tried twice, but neither butt hurt Pacquiao.
The argument presented in regards to this astronomical flub by one of the judges, Duane Ford, was that Bradley gave Pacquiao a “boxing lesson”. That Bradley’s counter punches hurt Pacquio in the scoring and Bradley was the aggressor in later rounds. But being the aggressor does not score points if one does not hit the other fighter.
The counter punch argument is even more ludicrous.
According to CompuBox statistics, “Pacquiao landed more punches than Bradley in every round but one, the 9th (26-25). Note that all three judges awarded that round to Bradley, even though Pacquiao was busier and landed more power shots (22-21). One round, the 10th, was even in punches landed with 14 apiece.” Read more.
Compubox had Pacquio landing 253 punches to Bradley’s meager 159. Bradley had a hit ratio of less than 20%. Bradley was swinging at air or a ghost almost all night. Were the judges counting these shots in the dark that never made contact as punches? If they did, then the only statistic on which Bradley outscored Pacquiao was total punches thrown at 839 to 751. Could the judges have been duped by a show of hands? Maybe, but doubtful.
If, as the judge Duane Ford stated, counter-punching hurt Pacquio, then Bradley would have had to at the very least landed the same number of punches countering Pacquo as Pacquiao landed to initiate an attack. The idea, after all, of a counterpunch, is to actually land the counterpunch, not to swing at air every time one is hit. It is also rather idiotic to state that the counterpuncher was on the attack. The strategy is to respond to the attack of the opponent while his guard is down. They are diametrically opposed strategies.
The Compubox numbers are so far in favor of Pacquiao it is laughable. Either the judges could not tell if the punches were landing and scored every whiff by Bradley as a punch or this had to be intentional.
Fighters never lose with these types of Compubox numbers. This is a first. So what happened? Did the judges intentionally call this fight wrong? Of course they did, but the reason why may surprise you.
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KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT BEFORE A FIGHT
Pacquiao should learn a lesson from this fight. Prior to a bout, the only focus of the boxer should be on the fight. It is perfectly fine to criticize, praise, taunt, etc. the opponent, but that has to be the only focus.
Tim Bradley won the pre-fight by simply being disinterested in anything other than the fight. No quotes were printed of Tim Bradley politically criticizing anyone or making bigoted remarks. There was no reason to dislike Bradley other than as an opponent of Pacquiao if you happen to be a fan of Manny.
Pacquiao, on the other hand, just could not keep his mouth shut. Normally a silent boxer that knows his place is in the sports arena and the boxing ring, where he is king, Pacquiao chose to shoot out direct criticisms at Obama and the Democratic party in America during an election year!! To make matters worse, the comments were bigoted nonsense spewed from the Bible which Manny later admitted he never read.
Manny Pacquiao made a disgrace of himself when making these comments and came across as both unlikeable, bigoted and, certainly not the sharpest tool in the shed. These comments were made in response to Obama’s support of same sex marriage. Original media reports had Pacquiao quoting Leviticus and calling for the death of gays.
Pacquiao later stated that his comments were not as extreme as those originally credited to him, but the damage had been done. Had he kept his mouth shut, he could have focused on his defense in the ring and not the media. His response to the media did not help him, making it evident he is completely ignorant of the 70% of the world that are not Christian.
The “Kingdom of God” of which Pacquio speaks is a kingdom of bigotry that most of the world does not embrace, including much of the Christian community. At a time when the fighter should have been focused on his fight, he came across as a religious zealot and distanced himself from the broad support we in our nation have given to the rights garnered by our Constitution.
While there was not an immediate political response from President Obama, the response from many was swift. He was barred from access to an LA Mall at which he had frequented. He was attacked by the Gay community. Some shows even banned him from interviews.
Pacquiao lost his focus and had to defend himself in the media, something no fighter should be doing just weeks before a championship fight. Even though Pacquiao is possibly the greatest boxer of our generation, he is no heavyweight in the IQ department, let alone the political arena. His blunder was to tread in an area so out of his depth that it portrayed him as both bigoted and foolish, not a great boxer.
The response to Pacquio’s remarks was broad based and became evident at the fight itself. Senator Harry Reid, the powerful majority leader of the Senate, and a huge fan and supporter of Pacquaio did not attend the fight for “personal” reasons. Pacquiao had supported Reid in his political campaign in 2010. Reid would not have missed this huge fight just to spend time with his family. And while Reid has since stated he believes Pacquiao won the fight, he was also quoted as saying that he did not see “anything untoward” about the decision.
Reid’s response to the Los Angeles Times? “I feel confident there’s been nothing untoward, but if an investigation makes everyone feel better, do the investigation.” Hardly a ringing endorsement of his once close ally.
Pacquiao lost this fight in the public arena, not the boxing ring. His off color comments and off the mark and antiquated remarks linking church and state demonstrated incredible ignorance of the world and the US political agenda in an election year, offending not only the gay community, but his US political allies as well, who had no choice but to distance themselves from him.
The US fosters the concept of freedom of religion for everyone, not just for those falling within Pacquiao’s limited range of beliefs.
He would be well advised to keep his mouth shut going forward, at least until he is retired from boxing.