Pacquiao welcomes WBO scoring in his favor over BradleyBy Aquiles Z. Zonio
MANILA, Philippines — Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao welcomed on Thursday the news that a five-man panel of the World Boxing Organization tasked with reviewing the judgment on the Pacquiao fight with Timothy Bradley unanimously ruled that Pacquiao won the fight for the welterweight title in Las Vegas weeks ago.
“I am happy that the findings of the five-man panel of the WBO declared me as the winner. I am happy that in the end I was vindicated,” Pacquiao told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone.
“To me, it’s no longer important if the WBO would not overturn the decision of the judges. The truth has come out and boxing fans got the justice they deserve,” he added.
“I just hope this would restore the trust of the people in boxing. I thank all the people who supported me in the quest for truth,” said Pacquiao, who later flew to Manila to attend Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson’s birthday party.
But Franklin Gacal, Pacquiao’s legal counsel, challenged the WBO to take a firm stand and give justice to whom it is due.
“Under the WBO rules, the finding of the special five-man panel cannot overturn the result of the fight. But for the sake of justice, to clean up the sports of boxing and to enhance the credibility of the sanctioning body, it should declare the fight a no contest,”Gacal said.
“What’s the use of conducting a probe when after finding out the truth we will not stand by it?” he asked.
Upon its review, the WBO panel re-scored the bout 118-110, 117-111, 117-111, 116-112, 115-113 in favor of Pacquiao.
WBO president Francisco Valcarcel, however, said the fight’s official result would still stand.
The controversial split decision win by Bradley triggered a worldwide uproar from the boxing community.
This even prompted the two United States senators to push for the creation of a national boxing commission to regulate the boxing sport.
Gacal said this was supposedly an opportunity for the WBO to show to the world its seriousness in upholding truth and fairness in boxing.
“If WBO would take a more decisive stand, it would serve as a warning to future judges that incompetence or any irregularity has no room in its own sanctioned boxing match,” Gacal said.