WBO Judges Knock Down Nevada’s Own; Pacquaio Suggests Welterweight Title Left Vacant

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (jGLi) — While the three judges in the June 9 bout between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley were evenly split in awarding three rounds apiece to Bradley and Pacquiao, the five judges for the World Boxing Organization awarded five rounds to Pacquiao while they gave one round to Bradley.

The combined judges of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for the Bradley-Pacquiao bout and the WBO judges were 100 percent in agreement in at least two rounds to vote for Pacquiao for rounds 3 and 6 while 100 percent voted for one round for Bradley in the 10th round.

All the five WBO judges unanimously voted in favor of Pacquiao with judge 1 voting 115-113, judge 2, 116-112, judges 3 & 5 with identical vote of 117-111 and judge 4, 118-110.

Official NSAC judges Duane Ford and Cynthia J. Ross voted 115-113 for Bradley while Jerry Roth voted 115-113 for Pacquiao.

Results of WBO judges’ scorecards provided to this reporter by Andres Valderas of the WBO headquarters in San Juan, Puerto Rico showed that no judge agreed with Ford and Ross but judge 1 agreed with Roth by voting 115-113 for Pacquiao. The rest of the four other WBO judges gave Pacquiao bigger separation, 116-112, 117-112 and 118-110, from Bradley’s scores.

The re-scoring is believed to be the first of its kind but its result does not alter the original decision.

MOTU PROPRIO

Valderas said that the re-scoring was conducted by WBO motu proprio (by its own) following widespread protest over the questionable scoring by Ford and Ross. Even Roth, who voted for Pacquiao, was likewise criticized for giving Pacquiao low score. WBO did not receive any formal complaint to conduct the re-scoring.

Valderas echoed the statement of WBO President Francisco Valcarcel that “WBO wont take a drastic position of not recognizing the result of a decision. We will always respect the official decision.”

He said, “What we want is that there be more collaboration between the NSAC and the WBO when it comes to appointing officials (to judge or referee world boxing events). We currently send a list of 25 prospective officials for each WBO title fight, but it is up to them if they wish to choose the officials from that list or not.”

Keith Kizer, executive director of NSAC, could not be reached for comment.

Pacquiao had earlier suggested that he would rather that the welterweight title be left vacant than accept the belt back from Bradley.

Both WBO and NSAC have yet to comment on Pacquiao’s suggestion that the title be left vacant.

ARUM, OTHER GROUPS JOIN CHORUS OF COMPLAINTS

The controversial decision also caused Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and Filipino lawyer Romulo Macalintal to file formal complaints with the Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, who can initiate criminal investigation if there is corruption involved in the unpopular decision.

Other groups among them the Migrant Heritage Commission, a non-profit group based in Washington, D.C. represented by Atty. Arnedo Valera, wrote Mr. Skip Avansino, chair of NSAC, “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.

Another group represented by 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.”

The controversy also caused U.S. Senators John McCain and Harry Reid to revive the little-used H.R. 4167 (passed in the 104th U.S. Congress) known as Professional Boxing Safety Act of 1996.

If the proposal of Senators McCain and Reid will be passed, the U.S. Boxing Commission will likely take away the monopoly of some states with boxing commissions, which sanction major boxing events, as the USBC will be the one to appoint judges and referees to work a fight after getting a list of names of judges and referees from such sanctioning organization such as World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council, International Boxing Federation or World Boxing Organization. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

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