Absolute absurdity, Arum says of verdict
‘It was as if judges saw a different fight’By Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer
LAS VEGAS—With 47 years in boxing behind him, revered promoter Bob Arum thought he had seen them all. From rip-offs to hometown decisions to bogus no-contests.
As it turned out, judging in the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight for the Filipino’s World Boxing Organization welterweight crown surpassed them all.
“Absolute absurdity,” thundered Arum, referring to the split decision victory handed to Bradley by judges Jerry Roth, CJ Ross and Duane Ford.
The 80-year-old Arum, who promotes both Pacquiao and Bradley, said the decision made him cringe: He cannot say what’s in store for boxing with “such incompetence.”
“I have never been ashamed to be associated with the sport of boxing as I am tonight,” said Arum. “It was as if the judges saw a different fight altogether.”
Arum said the big crowd were in the same line of thought—that Pacquiao had the title in the bag up to the final bell of the showdown for the Filipino superstar’s eighth world title.
“But then we heard scores—unparalleled, unfathomable.”
So furious was Arum that he included Roth, who actually had Pacquiao the winner (115-113), in his litany, largely triggered by the similar 115-113 scores given Bradley by Ross and Ford.
Arum said he knew the best eye doctor in Las Vegas and he would gladly pick the tab to have the eyes of the three judges “examined.”
“This (decision) is not good for the sport of boxing,” warned Arum. “Everybody who watched it will totally and completely disagree with their scores.”
When asked about the similarity of the result with that of Pacquiao’s last fight against Juan Manuel Marquez, who lost by majority decision, Arum said there was no comparison.
That fight was close; Pacquiao-Bradley wasn’t, he said, adding it wasn’t even close to warrant a rematch.
Arum used the punch statistics to buttress his point.
“Pacquiao lands at least double the power punches (190-108), has more jabs (63-51),” said Arum. “How can you explain that to anybody. What fight were they watching?
“Everybody in that ring was talking in the same lines, that nobody cared about the score.”
Putting it bluntly, Arum said the decision was incomprehensible.
“The judges totally scored it differently. I hope boxing recovers from this absurdity,” Arum said.
Then he blamed the supervising Nevada State Athletic Commission for not sending somebody to defend or clarify the judges’ scores.
“Maybe they opted to hide and run.”