WBO Releases Pacquiao Fight Verdict

Five independent judges discern who was the obvious loser of the welterweight title fight.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

Bad press, good press; it's all attention when you boil it down to the basics, and attention is what any sport wants when it is out to draw people in and make a buck. Sometimes, however, bad attention can be so bad that it's just that: bad.

Such was the case in the recent debacle of a boxing decision that awarded Timothy Bradley the win over Manny Pacquiao, thus ending a seven year run of wins for Pacquiao. The ruling, two to one in favor of Bradley, was so horrible that the sports world nearly blew up with disbelief over the call.

In an attempt to calm the waters and maybe put right a bit of their lost dignity, the World Boxing Organization hired five independent judges to go over the footage of the fight and give how they would have scored it. The five judges, whose names were not revealed, all ruled in favor of Pacquiao, to such a degree that the majority of them thought he won 10 out of 12 rounds.

Though this ruling doesn't change the results of the fight — Bradley is still the new welterweight champion — it does go to show that boxing isn't afraid to own up to it's own mistakes.

Also, boxing promoter Bob Arum, who was being blamed for fixing the fight by many, has asked Nevada attorney general Catherine Cortez to conduct a full investigation into he and his staff in an attempt to prove his innocence. Arum told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday that Cortez Masto's chief investigator and the deputy spoke to him in his Las Vegas office.

Though Bradley isn't going to be stripped of his belt, a rematch was ordered and it will more than likely be on November 10th. Pacquiao is in full agreement with a rematch and seems eager to do so but Arum is preaching caution to his fighter, wanting him to take this slowly and handle it in the right way due to the delicate circumstances of the situation.

"Obviously, he's the boss, he's the fighter, and to the extent possible, I'll do what he says," Arum said. "Otherwise, I wouldn't have his loyalty. I have to talk to him, though, and make certain he understands all the ramifications and if he is aware of what the public's perception is. I would have to have, if I were going to do a rematch, an investigation, which is ongoing with the attorney general's office, to clarify the situation."

"If it was simply the incompetence of the judges and a simple mistake, period, which is what you and I suspect, and they determine there is no wrongdoing, that's easy to remedy. All we do is have a rematch with different judges. Absent that, given all this suspicion, no matter how unwarranted, it would be hard to do a rematch. Half of these websites are saying that the promoter is the one who did this and that I talked to these judges. I had nothing whatsoever to do with picking them and never talked to them."

Arum did say, concerning the ruling and controversy surrounding the fight, that Nevada needs to address the biggest issue, which is the need for the Nevada Athletic Commission to pick judges from around the country and around the world for major fights, not just from Nevada. He said he felt that age was impacting the performance of both Roth, 71, and Ford, 74. Arum is 81.

"Of course age is a factor in performance and Exhibit A is myself," he said. "I know that at my age, I can't concentrate as well as I did when I was younger. Watching a fight, 12-round fight, and concentrating over three minutes for 12 rounds really is an exhausting experience, if you're really looking to do it right."

"I don't think any people past a certain age are able to do that, and I mean nothing against them. I'm not able to do that. I know boxing, but if someone said, 'OK Bob, you sit here and judge the fight,' I couldn't trust myself to concentrate that hard for that long."

James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.

Photo Credit: AP