LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 09: (L-R) Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao talk in the ring after Bradley defeated Pacquiao by split decision to win the WBO welterweight championship at MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 9, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
In my preview of the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley last night (Sat., June 9, 2012), I expected Timothy Bradley to comfortably win the fight and get screwed by the judges.
As it turns out, I had it backwards.
For the first nine rounds, Pacquiao owned Bradley. Just owned him. Manny hit harder, hit more, moved better, and all-in-all controlled every aspect of the bout. He took his foot off the gas in the late rounds, but even giving Bradley those few, it seemed inconceivable that anyone could give him a majority. MMAmania.com had it 116-112 Pacquiao, with the absolute, complete worst possible score being 115-113.
The judges? 115-113, 113-115, 115-113 for Bradley.
This is disgusting. I don't like tossing around the term "robbery," and I think the HBO crew had it a bit wide, but I just can't see any way Pacquiao lost the fight. He literally landed nearly a hundred more power punches. This isn't quite as bad as Abril vs. Rios or Campillo vs. Cloud recently, but it's heinous nonetheless.
I love this sport, but sometimes, I really, really, REALLY hate it.
When Jorge Arce steps into the ring, things tend to be entertaining. When Mexican and Puerto Rican fighters fight, things tend to be really entertaining.
When Jorge Arce fights a Puerto Rican, hold on to your butts.
The first round of his fight against Jesus Rojas was everything we expected and more. Arce put Rojas down in the first 20 seconds with a hard left hook and began his patented body assault. But Rojas roared back with a vengeance, hunting Arce across the ring and most likely fighting his way back to a 10-9 round despite the knockdown.
In the second stanza, things went south. The first punch was a low blow from Rojas, who proceeded to punch Arce in the kidney and land a huge hook to “El Travieso’s” ear as he turned and crumbled to the mat. The shot to the ear apparently broke Arce’s eardrum and took out his equilibrium; since it landed while referee Kenny Bayless was calling for Rojas to stop, the fight was called a No Contest. The unintentionally illegal nature of the final punch kept it from being a disqualification.
Rojas accused Arce of looking for a way out and called the legendary warrior a coward. Needless to say, the thought of a rematch between the two is tantalizing.
The second fight of the night featured a pair of guys nicknamed “Machine Gun” and “Knockout King.” You’d expect a crazy, all-action brawl.
Not quite, but this cloud has a silver lining.
Frankly, the fight stunk. Neither fighter was throwing more than a handful of punches a round or landing more than a tiny fraction. Bailey, notorious for packing one of the most monstrous right hands in all of boxing, looked hesitant to let it go and was well on his way to dropping a wide decision.
Then things got interesting.
Bailey landed his signature missile right straight in the ninth round, piercing straight through Jones’s guard and putting him on his butt. Jones got up, but looked hesitant in the tenth.
In retrospect, he probably should have been a little more hesitant.
As Jones lunged forward with a jab, Bailey annihilated him with a counter right uppercut, crushing his nose and completely separating him from his senses. The fight may not have been pretty up to that point, but I’ll be damned if that wasn’t one of the knockouts of the year.
It only takes one.
The opening bout of the pay-per-view broadcast was a super bantamweight showdown between Cuban amateur legend Guillermo Rigondeaux and Teon Kennedy in a fight for the former’s title. Rigondeaux has been alternately brilliant and maddening in his brief professional career, and there was concern that the broadcast would come out of the gate limping.
It’s nice to be wrong once in a while.
Rigondeaux absolutely annihilated Kennedy, who was literally outlanded eight-to-one in power shots. Kennedy simply had no answer for Rigondeaux’s monstrous left straight, going down five times to it (once in the first, twice in the second, and once each in the fourth and fifth). Referee Russell Mora mercifully stopped the bout after the final knockdown, as while Kennedy wasn’t badly hurt, he had nothing to offer Rigondeaux and was almost certainly in for a protracted beating.
Ball’s in your court, Nonito Donaire.