Pacquiao-Bradley Bout Judges’ Decision Controversial But Fair

CHICAGO (jGLi) – In his complaint in court against Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Manny Pacquiao said, “reputations are earned in inches and destroyed in miles.”

But in the case of his controversial loss to Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley, the eight-division Filipino champion is in no rush to indict the two of the three judges who snapped his 12 straight victories in 11 world championship bouts, including eight by way of knockout in five years that made him one of the most decorated boxers of all time.

At the end of the day, Manny Pacquiao made the right call when he decided to respect the split decision of the judges, who awarded his WBO welterweight belt to undefeated Tim Bradley.

An analysis by this reporter of the voting records of the judges — Jerry Roth, 71, who had Pacquiao ahead, 115-113, on the first scorecard while Duane Ford, 74, and Cynthia J. Ross decided the other way with identical scores of 113-115 in favor of Bradley that were met by boos and shouts of insults from the 14,206 fans at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) — shows that they were not really inconsistent with their manner of voting.

In the split decision for Manny Pacquiao against Juan Manuel Marquez at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on March 15, 2008, Duane Ford put Manny ahead, 115-112, while another judge, Tom Miller, had Manny a narrow 114-113 margin, while Jerry Roth, (who voted in favor of Manny v. Bradley), called it 112-115 cliffhanger in favor of Marquez.

FORD HAD VOTED IN FAVOR OF MANNY BEFORE

Although, Mr. Ford voted in favor of Bradley by 97-93 against Devon Alexander in Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan for the WBO light welterweight title last Jan. 29, 2011, he had Manny 108-99 ahead before bout was stopped when Manny won by TKO against Miguel Cotto on Nov. 14, 2009. Ford also called it 120-107 for Manny when Manny pulled a unanimous decision against Shane Mosley for the WBO welterweight title last May 7, 2011.

Ford also voted 120-108 for Manny in Manny’s unanimous decision over Joshua Clottey at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas for the WBO welterweight title.

Ford even voted for Manny’s little brother, Bobby Pacquiao’s controversial split decision over Carlos Hernandez at Thomas  & Mack Center in Las Vegas, 96-93, after dropping Hernandez in the second round. But Hernandez collected himself and bounced back and fought back until the 10th round.

On the other hand, Ms. Ross, the most junior among the three boxing judges, had Manny ahead in her score card, 10-7, when Manny knocked out British champion Ricky Hatton on May 2, 2009 and Manny was leading in her score card, 80-72, when Manny won by TKO against David Diaz on June 28, 2008.

Ross even put Manny’s brother, Bobby Pacquiao, ahead 94-93 before Bobby was disqualified for being three pounds over the limit last Nov. 16, 2006 at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas against Hector Velazquez for the WBC Continental America’s super featherweight title.

On the other hand, Jerry Roth, who voted in favor of Manny in his bout with Bradley, had voted against Manny in Manny’s split decision against Juan Manuel Marquez, 112-115, on March 15, 2008 for the WBC super featherweight title at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas but voted for Manny, 118-109, in Manny’s unanimous decision against Marco Antonio Barrera last Oct. 6, 2007.

ROTH HAD MANNY AHEAD IN PREVIOUS FIGHTS

Roth also voted 87-84, for Manny before Manny defeated Erik Morales by TKO for the WBC International super featherweight title on Jan. 21, 2006.

Roth also put Manny ahead, 50-44, when Manny knocked out Lehlo Ledwaba on June 23, 2001 for the IBF super bantamweight title.

In other words, the three judges had no pattern in voting against Manny in Manny’s previous bouts.

When reached for comment, Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission in Las Vegas, provided this reporter a news link that said his boss, Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) chairman Skip Avansino, said “he stands behind the judges. We had three seasoned professionals working and I don’t question their determinations.” Avansino was sitting ringside Saturday. “Unless something is brought to our attention that there was improper behavior, we’re not going to take any action. I’m not going to second-guess our judges.”

Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, who promoted the fight, demanded some accountability from the NAC and said the rematch, tentatively scheduled Nov. 10 at the Grand Garden, could be moved elsewhere, depriving Las Vegas and the state of millions of dollars in revenue. Saturday’s fight generated an estimated $10 million in non-gaming revenue.

Arum earlier asked Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto to launch an investigation. Calls placed by this reporter in the office of Masto were not returned.

Atty. Arnedo Valera of the Migrant Heritage Commission in Washington, D.C. wrote Mr. Avansino “to conduct an investigation into the recent boxing bout of Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley. In the spirit of public accountability and decency and public trust, we view it is but fair and just to conduct an immediate probe as to why the scorecards of judges Cynthia J. Ross and Duane Ford did not jive with the statistics of the computer-analyzed Compubox.”

Valera cited punching statistics showing Pacquiao landing 253 punches to 159 for Bradley.

GROUP WANTS TO EXPEL JUDGES

Arturo Garcia of Los Angeles, California issued a statement for Bantay Pilipinas-USA, an anti corruption and advocacy group for the Filipinos in the Philippines and world-wide, “to join the people’s  popular clamor and actively call on the boxing world to expel the two cross-eyed and blind  judges who decided in favor of the challenger Timothy Bradley and robbed boxing Champion Manny Pacquiao.”

Ford told the Las Vegas Journal, “I thought Bradley gave Pacquiao a boxing lesson,” said Ford, who has worked as a judge in Nevada since 1979. He admitted he didn’t see the final punch stats. “I thought a lot of the rounds were close. Pacquiao missed a lot of punches and I thought he was throwing wildly.”

Roth, another longtime Nevada judge who has been working fights since 1980, said: “I’m looking for effective aggressiveness. I thought Pacquiao won a lot of the early rounds, and I thought Bradley came on in the end. That’s why I gave Bradley the last three rounds. But I still thought Pacquiao had done enough to win.”

Ross, who has been judging fights since 2006, has not return calls, seeking comment.

To be a boxing judge, one must at least be 21 years of age, not have been convicted of a felony or other crimes involving turpitude and must pay $50 for his annual license; must submit proof of a complete physical examination and must annually undergo an (20/40 or better) eye examination. The yearly compensation of a judge is $28,900 annually.

When Manny returns to the ring, he should dispel any hometown decision. He should send his opponent to dreamland to avoid any doubt. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

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