MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao’s two fights in 2012 – both of them losses – were among the biggest stories in what was a difficult year for the sport of boxing, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole notes that 2012 was “one of (boxing’s) best years in a long time.”
“It returned to network television, regularly attracted very large crowds, had several massive pay-per-view shows and welcomed several new stars,” he wrote.
“The news wasn’t all good, though. Its biggest star went to jail for a few months, its second-best was knocked cold and lost two in a row, and everywhere, it seemed, fighters were testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs,” Iole added.
Pacquiao’s two fights were among the biggest boxing stories in 2012, with the Filipino’s sixth-round knockout defeat to Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez ranked No. 3 in Iole’s Top 5.
“The Mexican star believed he won each of their first three bouts, in 2004, 2008 and 2011. All he got for his trouble was a draw, a split-decision loss and a majority-decision loss,” Iole said. “In the fourth fight on Dec. 8 in Las Vegas, Marquez vowed to fight more aggressively.”
“He did so and knocked out Pacquiao in dramatic fashion at the end of the sixth round.”
Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s split decision loss to unbeaten American Timothy Bradley Jr. in June was the second biggest story in boxing this year.
“Virtually everyone who saw Pacquiao fight Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas believed Pacquiao won. Judges Duane Ford, Jerry Roth and CJ Ross, though, believed otherwise and gave the win to Bradley,” Iole wrote. “That prompted outrage and cries of a fix.”
“The WBO, which sanctioned the fight, commissioned a review and determined Pacquiao won. Promoter Bob Arum asked the Nevada attorney general to investigate, but a brief inquiry went nowhere.”
Yahoo! Sports biggest boxing story of 2012 was the incarceration of unbeaten American superstar Flloyd Mayweather Jr.
“Mayweather was incarcerated on June 1. He spent 57 days in jail, complaining about the food at one point, before his release,” Iole wrote.
The other top boxing stories of the year included the US Olympic men’s boxing team’s performance in the 2012 London Games, wherein a promising squad went home with no medals.
Also included in the list was the seemingly never-ending list of boxers who failed drug tests, which led to several cancelled fights.