Analysts left stumped over Pacquiao's loss

Posted at 06/10/2012 4:57 PM | Updated as of 06/11/2012 9:11 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao’s split-decision loss to Timothy Bradley had several boxing analysts shaking their heads in disbelief as they claimed that the Filipino boxer was the dominant boxer in the fight.

Two of the judges awarded the victory to Bradley, 115-113. The other judge, Jerry Roth, scored it 115-113 for Pacquiao.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael said he didn’t expect the verdict to turn out this way.

“Timothy Bradley did not win this fight,” he said. “It's one of the most outrageous decisions [in boxing].”

He said that even his colleagues at ringside agreed with him.

“Jim Lampley who calls the fight for HBO said this is the single worst decision he's ever seen. That's a big, big statement,” said Rafael.

Sports Illustrated’s Bryan Armen Graham labeled Bradley’s win as an “injustice.”

He cited punch statistics indicating Pacquiao dominated Bradley in terms of volume punching.

Pacquiao connected on 253 of 751 punches (34%), compared to 159 of 839 (19 %) for Bradley, and outlanded the challenger in 10 of the 12 rounds.

But Graham admitted that in boxing, such verdict is nothing out of the ordinary.

“Injustices like the split decision that gave Timothy Bradley a controversial victory over Manny Pacquiao on Saturday are not unusual in boxing,” he said.

‘Boxing suffers black eye’

Forbes.com contributor Patrick Rishe, meanwhile, said that the questionable results of the fight hurt the integrity of the sport.

Rishe said Bradley’s win only fueled speculations that a rematch was already set prior the actual fight.

“It’s these sorts of results that make skeptics of us all. Make us wonder if someone within the sport thought they could drum up greater interest in a Pacquiao-Bradley rematch if Pacquiao lost the first bout. Seems far-fetched, but in light of the circumstances I wouldn’t blame anyone that draws this conclusion," he said.