by Jackie Kallen
The outcome of the Pacquaio/Bradley fight left me with a sense of deja vu. I know exactly how Bradley and his team felt. They won the fight, but lost the popularity poll. The decision was not appreciated by too many spectators and was booed loudly.
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank
It reminded me of February 8, 1992 when James Toney scored a controversial win over Dave Tiberi. The boos were deafening as the decision was announced and although our team left the ring with the belt–the unanimous opinion was that Tiberi was robbed.
That was the sentiment throughout the crowd in Vegas after the Pacquaio/Bradley bout. It was obvious that most people in attendance felt that Pacman won. Most of the press section felt Paquaio was served a huge misjustice and it would be hard to find anyone there who felt strongly that Bradley deserved the win.
Though he is the new champ, I doubt Bradley will enjoy it the way he would if he had knocked Manny out. To win this way leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths. And it certainly changes the landscape in the welterweight division
For all the fans clamoring for a Pacquaio/Mayweather fight, it really stinks. Now that match-up has very little meaning. Pacquaio will most likely fight a rematch with Bradley and if he wins there will no doubt be a third fight. That leaves Floyd out of the mix.
Of course a fight between Bradley and Mayweather would be interesting. If he can get a win over Pacquaio, can Bradley also get one against Floyd? “No,” claim all of the fans I polled after the fight. “No way in hell.”
I am sure that Bradley and his entourage will celebrate the title win and feel great about it. But the win will always be questionable and he will forever deal with people who believe he actually lost. It definitely tarnishes the most exciting night of his life.
However, I felt that Timothy Bradley wanted this win more than anything in the world and fought his heart out. Despite an injured foot and one exchange that left him wobbly, he continued to work his jab and box his way through the rounds. He deserves credit for rising to the occasion and being in fantastic shape.
He believes his did enough to win and is satisfied with the decision, but he said he wishes that he had won more decisively. He promised his fans that he will win more emphatically in the rematch. The Top Rank and Pacquaio team feel that Bradley only won 2-3 rounds.
When it’s all said and done, the happiest people in the MGM were the bettors who picked Bradley. They lined up at the sports book after the fight and walked smilingly away with their winnings.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen