Pacquiao takes beating........from judges

boxingby Paul Strauss: Manny Pacquiao totally dominated the action at the MGM Grand last night. Timothy Bradley won two, possibly three rounds at most, but he still managed to remain undefeated and steal a victory. Rather, the theft was committed by the judges. Bradley wasn't stupid enough to claim victory in the post-fight interview.

What he did admit was that he was "rocked a couple of times" by Manny. He was being too conservative. It was more than a couple of times. In fact, Manny was blasting him backwards most of the night. About all Bradley proved was that he has a good chin.

The whole night had a weird flavor to it. Leading up the main event, Jorge Arce was to face Jesus Rojas. It was another one of those Mexican vs Puerto Rican matchups that promises lots of action, and the first one round was definitely a sample of what fans hoped would be what was to come.. The two combatants got into a fierce exchange, and Arce leaned a bit to his right to get sufficient leverage on a looping left hook. Rojas didn't see it, because he was too busy trying to land his own shots. The punch crunched into Rojas' face, and he soon found himself on the seat of his trunks.

His good whiskers allowed him to regain his feet quickly, and soon he was on the attack, so much so that he probably won the rest of the round. The weird part came at about nine seconds into round two. Rojas resumed his attack, and was attempting to land a left to the body. Arce pulled his head in and the punch strayed below the belt. As that occurred, their heads clashed as well, causing Arce to grimace in pain. Rojas, now back on balance, landed a punishing right to the kidney. Arce's grimace got bigger. As he turned away, Rojas nailed him with a left behind Arce's left ear. Down went Arce. All of this happened too fast for Referee Kenny Bayless to prevent it. In rapid succession then, there was a low blow, head clash, right to the kidney, followed by a left behind the ear.

Bayless sent Rojas to the neutral corner and told Arce he had up to five minutes to recover. Arce immediately gestured to the left side of his head, behind the ear, and told Bayless he was hurt and didn't think he could stand. He said he was going to fall or tip over. After repeating his plight, Bayless called in the ringside physician, who confirmed that Arce could not continue. The blow(s) were ruled accidental, which meant the fight was ruled a NC.

The quick ending to that fight meant Pacquiao and Bradley would be called on sooner than they (at least Pacman) anticipated. News before the fight coming from Bob Arum, reminded fans that Pacquiao was a huge Boston Celtics fan, and that he wanted to watch game seven to its conclusion. He should have let that one go. The quick ending to the semi-main event caught Manny by surprise. He hadn't even stretched out his calves yet, so he had to hustle to another room, and get on a treadmill to do so. His hands were wrapped, but no gloves yet.

HBO announcer Max Kellerman tried his best to get Bradley upset by the delay, but it wasn't working. Bradley assured him it didn't matter, and that he would be ready whenever. His trainer Joel Diaz reiterated the point.

Over the course of the fight, Manny dominated the action. He proved he was faster and could hit harder. Adding to that visual evidence were the punch stats. Manny threw more, landed more, with many more power shots. Bradley never hurt Manny, but the reverse wasn't true. In fact, Bradley was shook up more than just a few times. He was on the defensive for much of the fight.

A judge could reasonably have given Bradley the tenth and twelfth rounds, but any more than that would be a hard case to make. In those rounds, Manny took time off and allowed Bradley to throw more, but Bradley certainly didn't dominate the way Manny did.

In the post-fight interview with Max Kellerman, the fans greeted Bradley with a chorus of boo's. He acknowledged their disappointment and said there should be a rematch November 10th of this year. When it was Manny's turn, he simply said he believed he won the fight, but that he respected the judges. He obviously has more class than most. There was no whining or complaining.

This robbery places the hoped for big fight between Mayweather and Manny in jeopardy. For one thing, Money will be ranting more than ever that he deserves the bigger percentage, claiming Manny got beat, when the truth is he didn't get beat at all. As Jim Lampley said, the judges' decision "befuddled him". He further commented that God only knows how they arrived at their decision. Manny Steward said he was speechless. He said, I don't know what to say (it's so bad). Prior to the start of the fight, Jim Lampley spoke with long time judge and unofficial scorekeeper Harold Lederman. Harold expressed concerned about the judges inexperience and spotty records. He certainly was prophetic in this case.

In other fights, Guillermo Recondeaux demonstrated his skills by easily disposing of Teon Kennedy. He knocked him down several times, beginning in the first round, with the coup de grace coming in the fifth. Kennedy's no "bum of the month" fighter, but Recondeaux had no trouble with him. He was totally in charge, so much so that he was able to choreograph what he planned with almost slow motion movements that showcased what was to follow. If Kennedy tried to interrupt the demonstration, he would pay with precise hard counters.

In a welterweight matchup, Mike Jones faced knockout artist Randall Bailey. Jones was "super cautious" for much of the fight. It was obvious he was afraid of Bailey's power. His reluctance to use his usual speed and volume punches, resulted in a very boring fight. Fans let both men know with a loud discord. Bailey didn't help matters much because he just kept waiting for an opportunity to land the big right hand. In the meantime, he wasn't using much of a jab, and when he did follow the occasional jab with the right, there was no finish with the left hook. That was something he promised to do. Harold Lederman correctly explained Bailey keeps "cocking the right" but won't throw it. Then in the tenth round, almost on cue, Bailey did what big punchers often do, he caught Jones with a straight right, and put the undefeated fighter on his backside.

Unfortunately for Bailey, he just couldn't seem to follow up with the needed shots to put Jones away. Jones was undoubtedly far in the lead on points, so he could still come away with the victory. About this time, Manny Steward "one upped" Harold and said the fight was disgusting, not even as good as good sparring. Just then Jones went on the attack, and got Bailey up against the ropes, unleashing a combination. Unfortunately for him, when he stopped throwing, he was still there......right in front of Bailey, and Bailey came up from under with a beautiful right uppercut between Jones' gloves. Jones had just started leaning in and down, so he magnified the impact of the punch.

When the punch landed, you could see the lights go out in Jones' eyes. He froze, and then his head sagged forward a bit. Then there was total disconnect, and he fell over backwards. He valiantly tried to get up, but his nervous system wasn't cooperating. The result was a spectacular tenth round kayo. Bailey was so overcome with emotion at pulling off the upset win that could only get in a word here and there between sobs of joy. The thirty-seven year old veteran certainly rejuvenated his career.

Article posted on 10.06.2012

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