BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 21: Manny Pacquiao speaks at a press conference announcing Pacquiao's upcoming World Boxing Organization welterweight championship fight against Timothy Bradley at The Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Let's get this out and in the open from jump street.
I didn't watch last night's fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley.
After three straight weekends of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events and a couple more to follow, I was needing a bit of a combat sports reprieve, and more than that, my lady friend would have likely killed me if I spent another evening in front of my laptop watching two guys beat the tar out of each other.
So the two of us had a date night, eating Chinese food, drinking whiskey and watching Stephen King's "IT." Spoiler alert: The Loser's Club kill Pennywise at the end.
I kept up with the fight through Twitter and midway through the 12-round bout, it looked like the Filipino champion was on his way to handily defeating Bradley, perhaps even stopping the challenger.
Consider my surprise when fellow Maniac Geno Mrosko messaged me to break the news Pacquiao had lost via split decision. My Twitter timeline -- and the entire social media network for that matter -- was flooded with outrage and claims boxing was finally, in fact, dead. Everyone from UFC President Dana White to Snoop Dogg and even reality show harlot Kim Kardashian weighed in on the subject.
If boxing is dead, why can't anybody stop talking about it?
Was the fight a robbery?
As mentioned earlier, I haven't watched the bout, but men smarter than myself when it comes to the sweet science all agree Pacquiao was on the business end of a screwjob so I will defer to them.
Bad decisions have always -- and grin and bear it, will always be -- part of combat sports. Mixed martial arts (MMA) fans see wonky decisions all the time and boxing, despite its longer and more storied history, isn't immune to the same chicanery.
Was the fix in?
If you watched the fight or not, there's no way to know this for certain. Sure, boxing fans slapped on their tinfoil hats almost immediately and began clacking on their keyboards, but people also believe the moon landing was staged and Elvis Presley is having Mai Tais with 2Pac on a desert island somewhere.
One thing is for certain, however, and it's no one can stop talking about this fight. Boxing isn't dead ... far from it. People still care about pugilism. That's evident from the outpouring of rage over last night's decision.
The rematch will be an excuse for Pacquiao's promoter Top Rank to print money. Pacquiao/Bradley II will do huge, insane business.
And just about everyone who swore off boxing last night will tune in, hoping to see "Pac Man" get the win they feel he should have gotten last night.
When something like this happens, it reminds me of how far the sport of MMA and the UFC have come and how much further it could go.
There wasn't this kind of outrage when Forrest Griffin bested Quinton Jackson or when Frankie Edgar took the Lightweight Championship off B.J. Penn. Not to upset any fellow MMA fans. but those were small potatoes compared to this. This is literally a cultural phenomenon. It's just about all anyone wants to talk or read about.
And I didn't even watch the fight.