LOS ANGELES – Manny Pacquiao and a longtime ally in the US Senate have backed his promoter Bob Arum’s push for a full inquiry into the judging of the world welterweight title fight the Filipino superstar lost to Timothy Bradley over the weekend.
Although Pacquiao has long accepted the decision and has even asked his supporters to do the same, the dethroned champion insisted a probe by Nevada’s attorney general which Arum has sought would help cleanse boxing of its ills.
“"Kung mag-iimbestiga sila, natural lang sa kanila `yun, para hindi masira yung pangalan ng boxing," said the boxer turned congressman from his La Palazzo apartment here. "Para rin `yung trust ng tao mabalik sa boksing."
US Senate Majority Floor Leader Harry Reid also said he supports calls for an investigation into the judging of the fight that had been labeled as “boxing’s darkest hour.”
The senator is a former amateur boxer and a close Pacquiao ally, the former pound-for-pound king’s campaign push for Reid deemed crucial in a heated reelection battle against Sharron Angle in 2010.
It was also the Democratic senator who accompanied Pacquiao during his subsequent visit to the White House to meet with President Barack Obama.
"If an investigation makes everyone feel better, do the investigation," Reid told reporters in Washington. “"I am confident that there was nothing untoward, I think people just make bad decisions in a lot of things they do, including judging fights.
"But it doesn't hurt to clear the air and take a look at this."
The outcry over the outcome of a fight Pacquiao had clearly won in the eyes of most people has put the heat on the judges and the Nevada commission, of which Reid was a former member.
"It's an inexact science," he said. "From all the reports that I've seen by people on the outside who saw the fight, who attempted to be fair and judge the fight, Pacquiao won the fight."
Pacquiao has come to terms with the result, but he reiterated on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time) that there was no doubt he won the fight.
"Lumalaban nga ako sa ring, kindat pa ako ng kindat sa HBO, e," said the boxing icon smiling, indicating how relaxed he was during the bout.
A rematch clause was stipulated in the fight contract and although Pacquiao has yet to give his imprimatur for one, the Filipino hero said there will be no need for judges if and when a grudge clash takes place.
“At least, next time pag natuloy… wala ng judges,” he said, vowing to knock Bradley out in the event of a return match.
Pacquiao and wife Jinkee had planned to stay in the US for under a month after the fight for a vacation with their four children, but apparently plans have changed.
The Congressman from Saranggani could fly back to Manila as early as Thursday (Friday in Manila).
The vacation plans, people close to Pacquiao said, have been moved a few weeks back when the boxer returns to Hollywood for the filming of Rob Schneider’s movie Brass Knuckles where Pacquiao will play the role of a gang member.