The World Boxing Organization will undertake a review of Manny Pacquiao's disputed loss to Timothy Bradley, but the scope of what actions the body could take in the event it finds the bout erroneously judged is limited by its own bylaws.
The WBO review, to be undertaken by a championship committee with the help of five “recognized” international judges, has raised hopes that the result would be overturned or the controversial Las Vegas bout be declared a no contest.
However, the boxing body’s ‘Regulations of World Championship Contests’ guidelines do not contain a provision that empowers the WBO to alter a result “if the championship contest results in a highly controversial decision.”
The farthest the organization could go in such cases under Section 18 of its guidelines is order an immediate rematch, which a clause in the Pacquiao-Bradley fight already guaranteed and which the undefeated American is more than willing to give.
There are also doubts if the WBO will make a special case of the Pacquiao fight, even if the organization had awarded the Filipino ring hero a diamond ring and declared him its ‘super champion’ on the eve of the fight.
Other boxing organizations like the WBA, WBC and IBF also do not have the power to overturn results based on disputes over judging, analysts said.
(For more on this topic, read Ed Tolentino’s column.)
Analysts said the only body empowered to overturn results of highly questionable decisions is the athletic commission of the state where the bout was held, in this case the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The Nevada commission is undertaking its own review of the judging in last weekend's fight while the two protagonists’ promoter, Bob Arum, has a pending request for the Nevada Attorney General’s Office to launch a similar probe.
Keith Terceira, managing editor of Pacquiao’s official website, has started an online petition to declare the match a no contest, correctly addressed to the Nevada commission.
The online petition has gathered no less than 36,000 signatories as of posting time.
WBO president Francisco 'Paco' Valcarcel, who awarded Pacquiao the diamond ring three days before the fight, said the championship committee would soon review the fight to "take measures in accordance with the rules of procedure."
He was careful not to ruffle the feathers of both the Nevada commission and the judges, making it clear that "in no way this says that we are doubting the capacity of these judges, which we consider as honest and competent judges."
Pacquiao lost on two of the three scorecards of the judges that worked the fight, with C.J. Ross and Duane Ford giving the fight to Bradley 115-113 and Jerry Roth scoring it for Pacquiao by the same score.
However, the result has sparked outrage with majority of people believing Pacquiao, who landed the more punches according to punch stats, had easily won the match.