The two veteran judges at the center of a controversial split decision for Timothy Bradley over Manny Pacquiao in a welterweight title bout Saturday night have defended themselves, telling the Las Vegas Review-Journal they stand by their work.
“I thought Bradley gave Pacquiao a boxing lesson,” Duane Ford said, according to the newspaper. “I thought a lot of the rounds were close. Pacquiao missed a lot of punches and I thought he was throwing wildly.”
Bradley came on strong in the later rounds, winning five of the last six on two scorecards and four on the third. He won 115-113 on the scorecards of Ford and C.J. Ross, while losing on Jerry Roth’s by the same margin.
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ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael scored it 119-109 for Pacquiao and has called the decision “an absolute absurdity.” The Associated Press had Pacquiao winning 117-111.
They weren’t alone in their dissension.
The scores were met by great outrage from the 14,000-plus in attendance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, especially with statistics showing Pacquiao connected on 253 punches to Bradley’s 159. Compubox statistics showed Pacquiao landing more punches in 10 of the 12 rounds.
Roth, who has been working fights for 30 years, told the Review-Journal on Sunday he thought Bradley rallied late but didn’t do enough for the victory.
“I’m looking for effective aggressiveness,” Roth said. “I thought Pacquiao won a lot of the early rounds, and I thought Bradley came on in the end. That’s why I gave Bradley the last three rounds. But I still thought Pacquiao had done enough to win.”
Timothy Bradley came away with the welterweight title despite losing the power punches battle to Manny Pacquiao.
* Pacquiao +82 in power punches landed
The Nevada State Athletic Commission’s executive director said Ford and Ross are not likely to face discipline or a review.