The WBO completed its review of Timothy Bradley’s controversial split-decision victory against Manny Pacquiao with its five-member international judging panel all scoring the fight for Pacquiao, even though the official result of a Bardley split-decision win will stand.
Pacquiao told The Associated Press from the Philippines on Thursday that he would prefer a rematch rather than Bradley giving up the WBO welterweight title that he won on a split decision because “people may think I just usurped it.”
Bradley’s victory on June 9 instantly became one of the most controversial decisions in boxing history. While judges Duane Ford and C.J. Ross both had Bradley winning 115-113, Jerry Roth scored it 115-113 for Pacquiao, who suffered his first defeat since 2005.
“My supporters shouldn’t worry. We’re going to get that title,” said Pacquiao, who has the option of an immediate rematch with Bradley in his contract.
The HBO broadcasters and nearly every media member at ringside had Pacquiao winning. The crowd at the MGM Grand booed the decision heavily and there was fan outrage around the world from people believing Pacquiao clearly had won.
In the aftermath of the fight, WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, whose organization sanctioned the title match, said he would have five judges review the video of the bout. On Wednesday, the results of that review were released. The five judges, whom Valcarcel said are accomplished judges with world title experience — but whose names were not disclosed — scored the fight for Pacquiao, 118-110, 117-111, 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113.Valcarcel said the WBO has no authority to change the result. But given the outcome of the panel’s review of the fight, he will order a rematch if Top Rank promoter Bob Arum declines to put on a second fight, or if Pacquiao opts not to exercise his rematch clause.
Top Rank and Pacquiao, however, simply could move on to another fight that just would not be for the WBO title.
“We can’t change the result but we did this review for two reasons,” Valcarcel told ESPN.com. “If they want to make a rematch, we will approve the rematch and if they don’t, we will order one. Also, we wanted to show (the Nevada State Athletic Commission) that they could bring in other officials from outside of Nevada who can also do a fine job judging fights. It’s good to have different officials.”