The executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission will review a video of Saturday night’s controversial fight between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley with the three judges who scored the bout, but promoter Bob Arum took the proceedings a step further yesterday.
Arum submitted a formal request to the Nevada Attorney General’s office for a full inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the scoring.
“The public has a right to know,” Arum said in a statement released by Top Rank. “The fighters have a right to know. The only way to restore fans’ confidence in boxing is by letting an independent body investigate every detail of the fight, no matter how big or small.”
FIGHT FLUB: Manny Pacquiao (right) throws a punch to the head of Tim Bradley during Saturday’s controversial WBO welterweight title bout.
Keith Kizer of the Nevada Athletic Commission told The Post judges C.J. Ross, Jerry Roth and Duane Ford will convene in his office in Las Vegas sometime in the near future to watch the 12-round WBO welterweight championship and discuss why they scored each round the way they did.
Kizer — who said he doesn’t plan to impose any disciplinary action against the judges — said he asked all three to gather as a group in light of the controversy that has erupted over Bradley being awarded a split decision when most ringside observers thought he had lost. Roth scored the bout 115-113 for Pacquiao, while Ross and Ford saw Bradley a 115-113 winner. The Post scored the bout 116-112 for Pacquiao.
Kizer said he has spoken with each of the judges individually and encouraged them to meet as a group.
“They want to review the fight, and I want to review it with them,” Kizer said. “It’s something I’ve done before. It’ll be almost like a training session we all can learn from.”
Despite the outcry over the decision that resulted in Pacquiao’s first loss in seven years, Kizer said the judges won’t be disciplined.
“There’s no wrong-doing that would merit discipline,” Kizer said. “The judges are the final decision-makers. They’re very experienced and very good judges. There’s no call for discipline on this and there’s no basis to overturn their decision.”
In separate interviews with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Ford, 74, and Roth, 71, defended their scorecards.
“I thought Bradley gave Pacquiao a boxing lesson,” Ford told the newspaper. “I thought a lot of the rounds were close. Pacquiao missed a lot of punches and I thought he was throwing wildly.”
Roth, the lone judge to score the fight for Pacquiao, said: “I’m looking for effective aggressiveness. I thought Pacquiao won a lot of the early rounds and I thought Bradley came on in the end. That’s why I gave Bradley the last three rounds. But I still thought Pacquiao had done enough to win.”
Ford has been a judge since the 1970s and often conducts seminars on judging, sponsored by the Association of Boxing Commissioners. In fact, it was Ford who conducted a seminar in Hawaii earlier this month that was attended by Al Bennett, one of the three judges put on indefinite suspension in New Jersey after Paul Williams was awarded a controversial majority decision against Erislandy Lara last July in Atlantic City.
Reached yesterday at his home in Avenel, N.J., Bennett told The Post, “Somebody needs to put [Ford] in a class. They robbed Pacquiao.”
Conspiracy theorists have little to go on. There was no significant late action on Bradley. The final betting line -450 to +350 for Pacquiao was the same as it was after the weigh-in Friday.
“We took normal [underdog] money the day of the fight,” said Jay Rood, the VP of Race and Sports at MGM Resorts. “From my standpoint the action was pretty light.”
A Bradley victory also seems to compromise what would be the biggest fight in boxing history should Pacquiao face Floyd Mayweather either this fall or next spring.
It would make more sense if the fight were fixed in Pacquiao’s favor, something that was floated when the Filipino earned a majority decision over Juan Manuel Marquez last November.
If there’s a lesson to be learned it’s not to promote a rematch before the first fight has even taken place. Rematch clauses within contracts are not uncommon, but Bradley took the unusual measure of waving an oversized ticket to the rematch during the Wednesday press conference before Saturday’s fight. It was a publicity stunt conjured by Top Rank’s publicity team to raise awareness of Bradley.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, has the right to invoke the rematch tentatively set for Nov. 10. But Top Rank is still trying to gauge whether a rematch would sell in light of the controversy.
Manny Pacquiao, Pacquiao, Tim Bradley, Nevada Athletic Commission, Top Rank, Duane Ford, Jerry Roth, promoter Bob Arum, Ford