HBO commentators biased for Pacquiao: trainer

Posted at 07/03/2012 5:03 PM | Updated as of 07/04/2012 9:46 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Trainer Joel Diaz believes the HBO announce team is biased in favor of Filipino fight king Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao, which colored viewers' perceptions of his June 9 fight against Diaz's fighter, Timothy Bradley Jr.

Timothy Bradley with his trainer, Joel Diaz. Reuters.

Bradley defeated Pacquiao through an unpopular and controversial split decision, to win the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight belt.

Boxing fans and media alike have expressed their disgust over the result, but Diaz feels that the fans’ perception of the fight may have been colored by the commentators of HBO, the network that showed the Pacquiao-Bradley bout.

"These commentators, man. I don't know what they're doing," Diaz told Examiner, referring to HBO's Jim Lampley, Emanuel Steward and Max Kellerman. 

Meanwhile, HBO's Harold Lederman, who acted as the unofficial ringside judge, gave Pacquiao 11 out of the 12 rounds.

"I don't know what they're watching, but I watched the fight with volume and with no volume. If you watch the fight with volume, Jim Lampley and Emanuel Steward and Max Kellerman, they make Manny Pacquiao win the fight," Diaz said.

"If you watch the fight with no volume, the fight is close, it could go either way," he added.

Two judges scored the fight 115-113 for Bradley and one judge scored it 115-113 for Pacquiao.

Diaz and his fighter have often said that they are confident they won the fight fair and square, with Bradley even saying in his homecoming in Palm Springs that he won "eight rounds to four."

Diaz said Bradley approached him after the fight said, "Coach, I'm not even sore. I don't know if he hit me."

"And then you see the commentators talking about, 'Another left hand on the chin and on the hand of Bradley.' I mean, come on," Diaz said.

But at least one boxing writer has disputed Diaz's "watch the fight with no volume" theory. Dan Rafael, who writes for ESPN, said he watched the fight at ringside, without hearing the HBO commentary, and scored it as a wide victory for Pacquiao.

Two weeks ago, the WBO revealed that a panel of five international judges had re-scored the bout unanimously in Pacquiao’s favor, though they will not strip Bradley of the welterweight belt.

Top Rank Promotions chief executive Bob Arum also asked the Nevada State Attorney General to investigate the circumstances surrounding the scoring of the bout.