After watching a replay of the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley bout, three veteran boxing analysts became all the more convinced that the Filipino ring hero was the clear winner of one the most contentious fights in the history of prizefighting.
Broadcasters Al Bernstein of Showtime and Dan Rafael of ESPN, together with Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole, said watching the rebroadcast of the highly-talked about match had cleared whatever doubts left in their minds that Pacquiao had won the 12-round fight.
HBO Boxing aired the replay of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title bout which Bradley won by a stunning split decision Saturday night, just before the Julio Cesar Chavez-Andy Lee middleweight championship showdown in El Paso, Texas.
Chavez retained his title with a seventh-round stoppage.
Beirnstein, Rafael and Iole all scored it for Pacquiao on fight night.
“What a joke. Seeing it yet again just upsets me even more. That was pure theft, simple as that. Disgusting,” said Rafael on his Twitter account.
“Watching this HBO broadcast, I’d think there was just one guy fighting,” added Iole, in obvious reference to the one-sidedness of the bizarre match.
Rafael saw it 119-109 at ringside for the Pacman, but altered it to 117-111 still for the Filipino after watching the replay. Iole initially had it 117-111, and later scored it 116-112, also in Pacquiao’s favor.
“When I re-watched it when I got home I could have had it 9-3,” added Rafael, formerly the boxing writer for USA Today. “But no way did Bradley win, period.”
Bernstein, the boxing analyst for Showtime for the past decade, gave it to Pacquiao 117-111 after the first view.
In an earlier tweet, he said sarcastically, “Did you ever watch Classic Sports and think a game would turn out differently in the re-showing? Maybe that will happen with Pac-Brad.”
Official judge Jerry Roth scored the bout 115-113 for Pacquiao, while Dwayne Ford and CJ Ross saw it by the same score of 115-113 for Bradley.
In an interview by Iole, Ford said his score reflected his honest opinion about the fight as he felt that Bradley `gave Pacquiao a boxing lesson.’ This prompted Rafael to have the hashtag #boxinglesson in his account.
Iole also took a dig at Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, saying "the look on Arum and (Top Rank president) Todd duBoef’s face after the first score for Bradley was announced was priceless."
Arum already denied allegations that he had a major influence on the outcome of the match. He had since abandoned an earlier statement not to contest the fight result, submitting a formal request before the Nevada Attorney General’s Office for a `full and complete’ inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the scoring of the fight.
A similar complaint on the other hand, was filed by the office of Atty. Romulo Macalintal before the Nevada Attorney General to probe the result of the Pacquiao-Bradley fight.
Macalintal, a known supporter of Pacquiao who was at ringside during the bout, was the first Filipino to lodge a protest letter.
Citing at least 51 sportswriters and news agencies who saw Pacquiao as the obvious winner, Macalintal said “there are unmistakable findings, and observations by experts show a clear and convincing victory of Pacquiao.”
He added only three sportswriters had Bradley winning the fight.