Having had adequate time to ponder the horrendous decision last weekend, I think it’s time for the big names in our sport to clamour for reform in boxing. It’s what fans have wanted for years. We all enjoy a close fight where it’s arguable that either man could’ve won, and often, we’ll see an outcry from the losing faction’s supporters, but the almost unanimous gasp of shock when Bradley was announced the winner, and the subsequent cries of ‘fix’ and ‘robbery’, are not indicative of a close fight.
Myself and the majority of the boxing world didn’t even have the fight close. The Mayweather’s – ardent Pacquiao detractors – even had Pacquiao winning the fight easily. This is only the latest in a series of blunders caused by corruption, moronic judges and politics. Serious reform has to be considered by people high up in the sport, though it’s clear the powers that be will continue to ignore the fans while they have no figurehead. It’s time boxing gave them one.
I was somewhat disappointed that Pacquiao was so humble post-fight, though I guess that’s his demeanor. His usual post-fight response pointing towards Bob Arum was repeated as was the case, but with the awful decision (much worse than the favourable Marquez decision in my opinion), you would have thought it would evoke at least a semblance of emotion. Arum called foul play after the fight, but few believe his outburst since he now has another very marketable rematch and potential cash cow in Bradley if Pacquiao ‘loses’ again. Some who frequent the site will know I picked Bradley to win, but this is certainly not the way I envisioned it.
In the U.S.A, Senator Harry Reid and Senator John McCain have been trying to push new regulation and perhaps a national governing body; these alterations would be welcomed. If this were to happen, the rest of the world would have to follow suit. It might have taken such a monumental travesty to kick something like this into action, as Rios-Abril, which had arguably even worse judging, got little general outcry outside of hardcore fans.
The governing bodies, such as the WBO, WBC, WBA, and IBF, should have less political power, instead delegating rankings to a universal ranking body. Some of the sanctioning bodies, like the WBC, have been accused on favouring certain fighters; Chavez Jr. being one of them. He has long been allowed to deny Martinez his biggest and most lucrative fight. The WBO and state athletic commission have stated they will review the fight, but so often in obviously crooked fights, they do nothing and the judges are allowed to continue working big fights with no accountability .
The steps by McCain and company are in the right direction, but we need powerful figureheads like Oscar De La Hoya to go out there and be vocal. I have my skepticism about Bob Arum, but he won’t run Top Rank forever and the men behind the scenes must be trustworthy . We need all our sports figures to stand up and demand reform before fighting again. Mayweather, a man who has championed drug testing and fairness in boxing, should be one of these. Pacquiao, the man just shafted, should be also be included and not be content with allowing Arum to be his voice to America.
This has been going on far too long and boxing will suffer as a result. The interest in all but the biggest fights from the public will dwindle if fans are worried they’ll be watching a fix. It’s time for change.
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