Jobbed: Manny Pacquiao Loses Split Decision To Timothy Bradley

In an incredibly controversial decision, Timothy Bradley was awarded a split-decision win over Manny Pacquiao. Stay here for more on the fight from Brent Brookhouse.

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WBO Review Judges Think Pacquiao Beat Bradley

Following Timothy Bradley's controversial split-decision win over Manny Pacquiao on June 9, the World Boxing Organization hired five independent judges to review the fight. After review, all five judges thought Pacquiao won the fight.

Of the hired five judges, one scored the fight 118-110 while two had it 117-111. Another judge scored it 116-112 for Pacquiao with the fifth scoring it 115-113.

Bradley was crowned WBO Welterweight champion when two ringside judges scored it 115-113 in his favor June 9. The WBO cannot overturn the decision and will not strip Bradley of the title.

It's likely the two boxers will fight again Nov. 10. After hearing of the independent judges' conclusion, Pacquiao told reporters in the Philippines he wants a rematch. ''My supporters shouldn't worry. We're going to get that title,'' Pacquiao said.

For more on Pacquiao vs Bradley and the rest of the boxing world, head over the Bad Left Hook. And be sure to check out SB Nation's YouTube coverage of the fight:


Pacquiao Vs. Bradley: WBO Will Review Title Bout

The WBO announced Wednesday that it will review the controversial title fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley. Bradley won the fight last Saturday in a split decision that many outside of the ringside judges would have given to Pacquiao. WBO president Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel said in his statement that the WBO's championship committee will look at the tape with five "recognized international judges" and make a recommendation.

Bradley won, 115-113, on two scorecards, while losing on the third. The decision was not well-received by the crowd, nor by the media. Promoter Bob Arum has already taken the match to the Nevada State Athletic Commission for review.

Pacquiao has already said he would fight Bradley November rematch. Still, it is a good sign for fans of the sport that the proper due diligence is being enacted following the outrage over the weekend.

For more reactions from the fight, check out SB Nation's dedicated StoryStream.

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Pacquiao Vs. Bradley: Nevada Commission To Review Scoring

The Nevada State Athletic Commission will review Tim Bradley's split-decision victory over Manny Pacquiao due to the controversy and outrage it has engendered since Saturday. However, don't expect much to come of it. Executive director Keith Kizer merely wants the judges to give verbiage to their scoring decisions (via RingTV):

"I want them to review it with me for my own edification. So I'm going to have them come in individually and we will watch it. I expect these judges will show that they used correct scoring criteria and can verbalize their decision-making, as they have been able to do in the past."

Kizer went on to say that he wants the judges to explain how close the rounds were in their minds and what standard they used to assign a round to a particular boxer. But don't expect these reviews with the three judges to occur rapidly. Kizer believes he'll need the rest of the month to get them to come down and individually examine their scores.

Bad Left Hook cuts to the matter of what is really going on here:

This sounds like it amounts to, well, very little, quite honestly. Keith Kizer's "edification" doesn't seem a terribly important thing to me. I don't mean that to insult Kizer, really, but this isn't any kind of investigation, and it really doesn't mean much at all. They're going to say, "Well that's what I saw," and he's going to say, "OK."

The mirage of an investigation is no investigation at all.

For more on Pacquiao vs Bradley and the rest of the boxing world, head over the Bad Left Hook. And be sure to check out SB Nation's YouTube coverage of the fight:


Pacquiao Vs. Bradley: Rematch In Question, No Investigation Into Decision Likely

To exist as a boxing fan is to exist in a perpetual state of defensiveness. Was Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley a terrible decision and a fight where the word "robbery" can be applied without the slightest bit of overreaction? Absolutely. But it certainly stung to see things like "#RIPBoxing" trend in the wake of the fight.

The "boxing is dead" drum is one that is beat loudly and often because it's an easier instrument to play than "boxing still pulls decent ratings but is clearly down from where it was as recently as Lennox Lewis vs. Vitali Klitschko, and is also very healthy on the international level."

There were two steps that needed to be taken that could at least start the healing process after the newest wound suffered by the sport. First, we needed the judges to explain their scorecards and have the Nevada State Athletic Commission make a very public show of an investigation into what happened. And second, we needed the November rematch to take place, allowing Manny the chance to right the wrong with his own two fists.

Well, nuts to you, dear boxing fan. Bob Arum isn't particularly interested in your rematch according to the LA Times:

Fight promoter Bob Arum said after the bout that he heard from ticket brokers who said they would have trouble selling seats to a Bradley rematch because most fight watchers considered the World Boxing Organization welterweight title bout on Saturday at the MGM Grand a one-sided Pacquiao victory.

"The brokers are telling us if we make a Bradley rematch, no one will go," Arum said.

You know, because controversy and revenge stories never sell well. This fight, which had Pacquiao against a guy with no name certainly won't sell better a second time now that people have an emotional investment.

But, according to Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole, Arum hasn't completely written off the idea, he just wants a full investigation first:

"I want to investigate whether there was any undue influence, whether the (Nevada Athletic Commission) gave any particular instruction and how they came to this conclusion," said Arum, who at the post-fight news conference was adamant the result was a mistake but not the result of any chicanery. "But the whole sport is in an uproar. People are going crazy.

"If this was a subjective view that each of [the judges] honestly held, OK. I would still disagree, but then we're off the hook in terms of there being no conspiracy. But there needs to be an independent investigation because it strains credulity that an event everybody saw as so one-sided one way all three judges saw it as close. It strains credulity."

If you were under the impression that the NSAC would go ahead and conduct said investigation into their own judges in the face of massive amounts of scrutiny? Well, aren't you a fool. Again, we turn to the LA Times:

Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer said he does not anticipate any discipline or review of Ross or Ford.

"Every fighter who loses a close fight looks at the judges," Kizer said. "I think every judge should strive to get better."

Duane Ford has attempted to defend his scorecard with lines like "Manny didn't put the ball in the basket enough" (no, really, he said that) but that isn't making anyone feel any better.

For Kizer, this is nothing new. When Brandon Rios got an undeserved decision victory over Richard Abril, I reached out to him and asked if anything would be done about the judges. The answer then was the same as the answer now.

This is how things work in the sport that I love. No, boxing isn't dead. No, boxing isn't dying.

But it sure is stupid sometimes.

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Pacquiao Vs. Bradley Video: Manny Discusses Unexpected Loss

Timothy Bradley defeated Manny Pacquiao in a stunning split decision on Saturday night in Las Vegas. There was an instant outcry as soon as Bradley was announced the winner. Even Bradley was stunned by the outcome. Pacquiao generally kept his composure in the ring and went through the formality of the post-fight interview without much controversy.

After departing the ring, Pacquiao spoke with ESPN's Bernardo Osuna and was much more distraught and mystified by the judges' decision. SB Nation's Bad Left Hook transcribed the interview in which Manny clearly indicated that the decision blindsided him:

Bernardo Osuna, ESPN: "Manny, how surprised were you by the decision when they read it as a victory for Timothy Bradley?"

Manny Pacquiao: "I'm really...I'm very surprised. I'm very surprised."

Pacquiao was soft-spoken and searching for words as he tried to comprehend what had just transpired. In the moment, he said he'll take any opponent his promoter sets up for his next fight:

Osuna: "For the future, you had plans maybe for a fourth Marquez fight, a Mayweather fight, now are you gonna take the rematch clause, or is there another option for you?"

Pacquiao: "Rematch, whatever. Whatever the promoter gives me to me.

Osuna: "But you want to get back in the ring against Tim Bradley."

Pacquiao: "I want that. It depends."

Video of the ESPN interview below:

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Pacquiao Vs. Bradley Results: Did Manny's Soon To Expire Top Rank Contract Play Into The Robbery?

Manny Pacquiao was robbed in his fight against Timothy Bradley last night on HBO pay-per-view as Bradley took an indefensible split decision. Given boxing's history of bizarre — and even downright corrupt — decisions, it didn't exactly take long for the conspiracy theories to start flying.

The conspiracy theories ranged from people sharing pictures of posters for Pacquiao vs. Bradley 2 — proof, they said, that the rematch was already "planned" — to people saying Floyd Mayweather paid off the judges so he wouldn't have to face Manny, to more intricate situations involving contracts and money.

Some of those theories are easy to dismiss. For example, the poster that was being tweeted was actually part of Bradley's pre-fight press conference shtick as he brought that and a giant "ticket" to the rematch to show his confidence that he would win. Since a rematch clause was in place, Bradley was just trying to "send the message" that a rematch would happen because he was going to win.

And Floyd influencing the judges is laughable at best.

But when you start getting into talks of contracts and who is signed where and for how long, things get a little more interesting.

First, give this video by ESPN's Teddy Atlas a watch:

From the video (thanks to Bad Left Hook for transcribing):

"I'm not sure if it's accurate that Pacquiao was about to leave one of the kingpins of the sport, Bob Arum. His contract was running out. But I think it was. And when that happens, sometimes funny things happen. But the bottom line is, if you're an honest man, if you're a competent person that knows what he's watching, Pacquiao won that fight. Only one man won that fight. And, you know, he doesn't get the decision. It's an injustice to the sport, injustice to the fighters, injustice to the fanbase. It's one of the fallacies. It's one of the problems with the sport of boxing right now is that the wrong guy wins sometimes."


"I think I touched on it a moment ago, the possibility that he might not be signing up with the power broker, Bob Arum. I mean, look, the worst thing you can say about the sport is it's either corruption or incompetence. If it's incompetence, that should be corrected. That the judges that control the destiny of these fighters, fighters that leave a part of themselves in the ring quite often when they leave the ring, like Frazier and Ali did in those great, epic fights. There's less of themselves when they leave that ring. That's a great responsibility, to make sure you get it right as judges. And a lot of times, unfortunately, the judges, they just don't get it right. They don't know what they're watching. In this case again, they don't know what they're watching, at the very best. Which is a sad thing to say, that at the best they didn't know what they were watching, and at the worst they were influenced by other outside forces."

The generally understood situation with Manny's contract is that it was redone to extend through all of 2012 and will expire in 2013. So the idea that Arum, feeling he might be on the verge of losing Pacquiao, influenced the judges to score for Bradley, thus raising Bradley's value while hurting Pacquiao's, has a little bit more meat to it than most "the fix was in!" theories.

Of course, the real issue could very well have simply been that judges aren't given monitors to watch the action and were only able to see the fight from their one, stationary viewpoint.

Conspiracy theory, outdated methods of viewing fights while judging, incompetence: there's not really any way to look at this that shouldn't demand an NSAC investigation, one that we'll likely never get.

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Pacquiao Vs. Bradley Video: Luke Thomas Discusses Robbery

The morning after a robbery in boxing, usually things don't seem quite so bad. That's not really the case today as no one seems able to quite come to grips with the fact that Manny Pacquiao had a clear win stolen from him.

Luke Thomas, SB Nation's senior editor of combat sports, discussed the events of last night in a video:

As Luke points out, New Jersey took action against judges who had returned indefensible scores, suspending those they felt failed to do their job. I don't see that happening in Nevada, though.

After one of the bigger robberies in recent years, when Richard Abril was robbed against Brandon Rios, I called Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director, Keith Kizer, who expressed little to no interest in even looking into the scoring.

For whatever reason, I think Nevada will choose to look the other way once again, and that's a damn shame.

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Manny Pacquiao Vs. Timothy Bradley Full Fight Highlights

The sports world is going to be talking about Timothy Bradley's controversial split decision win over Manny Pacquiao for quite some time. It was a fight that was so controversial that it will probably require multiple re-watches just to try to put yourself into specific mindsets to see if you can think like the judges that scored the bout for Tim Bradley. I don't suspect you'll have much luck, however, as the punch stats and action appear to quite clearly favor Manny Pacquiao.

Before going back and rewatching the entire fight, start by giving these highlights of the action a watch.

Courtesy of Yahoo! Sports:

We will have many, many more thoughts and updates on the night's action. So make sure you keep checking back in here at SB Nation for all the fallout you can handle.

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Pacquiao Vs. Bradley Results: Photo Of Official Scorecards

In a result that has shocked the boxing and sporting world, Timothy Bradley was awarded an incredibly controversial decision victory over Manny Pacquiao. We've talked a bit already about the result and a bit about the key takeaways from the fight, but sometimes you just have to see it to believe it.

So here is a photo of the actual official scorecards from the fight:


You can see from looking at the cards that there were very few rounds which were scored the same by all three judges. Given that each judge has a different view of the action, that will happen sometimes. But it usually happens in fights that appear much closer, not in fights where one fighter seems to clearly outwork the other.

Keep your browser locked in here as we'll have much more on the fallout of this fight in the coming hours.

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Pacquiao Vs. Bradley Results And Post-Fight Analysis

I have watched a lot of boxing in my life and have seen more than my fair share of robberies. When Paul Williams was given a gift decision over Erislandy Lara, it felt wrong but predictable. When Tavoris Cloud got an undeserved win over Gabriel Campillo, it was the same. Even Brandon Rios over Richard Abril (to complete the hat trick of fairly recent robberies I can remember in my post-fight haze) made sense.

But Timothy Bradley getting the nod over Manny Pacquiao in a fight that Pacquiao appeared to very clearly win makes no sense in the typical line of boxing thinking.

Timothy Bradley's biggest fight prior to this was against Devon Alexander in what was supposed to be a massively important fight but instead turned out to be a complete box office flop. He is not a draw whereas Pacquiao is one of the world's biggest superstars. The close calls go the way of the superstar, that's just how the sport works. It's not because of people getting "paid off" or anything quite so nefarious. It's usually just that these things affect the judges. They know a guy, they pay more attention to him, it makes everything they do seem bigger and better ... etc.

The Tim Bradley's of the world don't get their hand raised in robberies. My mind is blown.

On to some quick hit thoughts on the night's action:

  • Given that these two are going to have a rematch, Bradley's focus has to be on dealing with the straight left hand of Pacquiao. He made a few nice adjustments to get that punch to stop landing with the frequency it was, but it was still Manny's best shot through the entire first half of the bout. His lack of power against Manny's heavy hands will remain an issue the second time around, however.
  • Yes, the calf stretching thing before the start of the main event was weird, but the timing of it all was close to in line with what is expected in major boxing PPV's. As I said all week, main event fights usually start right around midnight. Mayweather vs. Cotto got going right around 11:50, Pacquiao vs. Marquez at 11:47. When Jorge Arce vs. Jesus Rojas ended early, I tweeted for people to get ready for 45 minutes of time being killed. This was before the whole "where's Manny?" bit and then finding out that he was stretching out. Camps tend to have plans based around certain start times and that appears to have been the case here. It wasn't so much that he made everyone wait as it was that the fight before ended early, creating a weird time gap and Manny simply wasn't ready to go yet.
  • One thing I hope doesn't happen here is that Bradley gets treated like the "bad guy." He didn't turn in the scorecards. If anything, he deserves a lot of credit for turning in a gutsy performance and not quitting despite seeming to be outgunned and having hurt his foot/ankle early in the fight. He never stopped battling and deserves a lot of credit for the way he fought.
  • It's a real shame the Jorge Arce vs. Jesus Rojas fight was stopped on the odd fouls and injury in the second round. That was setting up to be a typical Arce-style barnburner.
  • Mike Jones was failing in so many different ways before getting KO'ed by Randall Bailey. Jones was supposed to be in the "showcase" position, but fought a horrible, boring fight. He may have been winning, but no one was going to be interested in watching him fight again when it was all over with. Getting KO'ed on top of that performance could actually be the end of Jones getting chances on big stages.
  • How cool is it that Randall Bailey won a title tonight? You could go into a whole discussion about what titles are legitimate and all that, but, watching Bailey break down in tears after winning, you need to understand that these titles have very real meaning to the men fighting for them.
  • Guillermo Rigondeaux is really good and Teon Kennedy was nowhere near his level. With all of tonight's drama, that opening fight feels like it was days ago. Still, quite the showing for Rigondeaux.

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Pacquiao Vs. Bradley Results: Timothy Bradley Wins Shocking, Controversial Split Decision

Coming into tonight's HBO pay-per-view bout between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley, I had predicted Bradley would take the upset decision. However, I didn't see it going down like it did.

Manny Pacquiao seemed to dominate the fight against Timothy Bradley from the opening round. While there were a few (3-4) rounds that seemed like the could be scored for Bradley, it seemed impossible by the time the final bell had sounded that Tim had done nearly enough to take a decision, but that's exactly what happened.

Pacquiao's key punch the entire fight was the hard straight left hand and his powerful blows were certainly more telling than Bradley's much lighter shots. Beyond the quality and power of the shots landed, Pacquiao dominated in terms of actual punches landed and accuracy.

While Bradley was more than willing to exchange and get into ill-advised firefights, the fight appeared to clearly not be going his way.

However, when the official scorecards were read, after the first 115-113, Michael Buffer said "Pacquiao", which meant we had a split decision. The next card was 115-113 for Bradley. Despite all certainty that the final card would see Manny's hand raised, Buffer once again said Bradley, giving Tim the split decision win.

It's a shocking result and one that makes very little sense given Manny's status as the "money fighter" in the bout. Normally the robberies go to the guy whose win brings in more money for the promoters, but that wasn't what happened tonight. Manny Pacquiao is a worldwide star, while Bradley is a lighter hitting, mostly unknown fighter who isn't really even a welterweight.

We'll have much more on the shocking result of this fight over the coming hours and days. So keep your browser locked in.

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Pacquiao Vs. Bradley: Final Pre-Show Thoughts

Big fight weeks in boxing are unlike anything else in sports. The grind of covering a fight like tonight's bout between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley makes you go a little crazy as you analyze the same fights over and over wondering what is and isn't a reasonable takeaway for what each man will be able to do to the other.

I came into the week having been very vocal on Twitter and everywhere else that I was picking Bradley to pull off the upset. Despite saying it for months, as I broke down the fight and did "film study" of both guys' recent work, I flipped to thinking Manny would win before settling back in on a Bradley by decision pick (which you can read in my preview of the bout).

Here's a round-up of last minute news and thoughts as we head toward the show:

  • If Manny wins, I think it's going to be a convincing win. I think he's either going to outclass Bradley for a stoppage or a wide decision win. I can see Bradley winning a hard-fought, close decision, but I can't really see Manny barely surviving. Then again, I couldn't really see that against Marquez last November either...and here we are.
  • It looks like the ticket sales aren't blowing anyone away as there just isn't a huge buzz for this fight like there has been for previous Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather bouts. The place where that really becomes an issue is in any possible negotiations for Pacquiao vs. Mayweather. With Floyd just doing huge business against Miguel Cotto, both at the gate and on PPV, if Manny follows that up with a "down" show in terms of drawing power, it's only going to reaffirm Floyd's position that he deserves a bigger chunk and that there won't be a 50/50 split. Then again, as I keep trying to remind everyone, Floyd vs. Manny is almost certainly not happening anyway. So let's move on from that.
  • There has been some debate over how Manny looked at the weigh-ins yesterday with some people saying he looks a bit out of shape. You know, as out of shape as a 147 pound boxer with clearly visible muscle covering his body can be. It was the highest mark Pacquiao has weighed in at exactly the welterweight limit (147) which is the heaviest he's ever come in to a fight, usually coming in to welterweight bouts around 144-145. His physique also looks a bit different, but it's impossible to tell from just the weigh-in if he's "in shape" or not. Once we see things get into the 5th, 6th, 7th round, we'll have a better idea of how everything is going down.
  • The talk has already started about if Mayweather will fight Bradley, should Tim pull off the massive upset. Bradley is making it clear that he doesn't think Floyd will fight him. Of course, a lot of the same things will be at play for a potential Bradley/Mayweather fight that have been for years with Mayweather/Pacquiao. Mayweather and Bob Arum do not like each other, Golden Boy and Top Rank have trouble working together and I sincerely doubt that the purse split would be offered in any way that would make the Bradley/Top Rank side willing to take the fight instead of just trying to build him into their own star without the risk that a Mayweather fight would represent.
  • I wish the undercard was a bit better. It's built in a "keep the Top Rank darlings safe" fashion with Guillermo Rigondeaux, Mike Jones and Jorge Arce being given opponents that should be reasonably easy for them. Arce is one of my favorite fighters on Earth and can't seem to keep himself from getting into exciting fights, so I'll keep some high hopes for that fight even though he should cruise.

We'll have much more on the fights, so keep your browser locked in.

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Pacquiao Vs. Bradley: Time, Odds And Live Results

Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley will step into the ring tonight to square off on HBO pay-per-view. It represents a huge chance to become an overnight boxing superstar for Bradley and, for Manny, a chance to...well, a chance to have people keep pretending that Pacquaio and Floyd Mayweather will actually happen (it won't).

Bradley is coming up in weight to 147 pounds where he'll be the slightly smaller man, but it's not as though Pacquiao is a natural welterweight either. Whatever the outcome it's unlikely to be the result of issues with size for either man.

Time: The pay-per-view broadcast will kick off at 9 p.m. ET with the main event fighters stepping into the ring for their fight around midnight. Bob Arum has said repeatedly that they're not going to start the main event until whatever time the NBA Eastern Conference Final between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics ends, even saying that he purchased extra PPV time just in case it runs long.

There will also be streaming video of the off-TV undercard going up around 7 p.m. ET tonight.

Odds: Pacquiao remains the clear favorite at -450, with Bradley the +325 dog. Mike Jones is at -550 to Randall Bailey's +375, Guillermo Rigondeaux -2250 vs. Teon Kennedy +950 and Jorge Arce -1800 vs. Jesus Rojas +850.

Live Results: We'll have them all night with plenty of reaction to the fallout, so keep your browser locked in.

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How To Watch Pacquiao Vs. Bradley: Live Streaming Online

With Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley set to face off tonight on pay-per-view, most will order the pay-per-view via their cable or satellite provider. But, for fans unable to order that way, Top Rank is providing a live streaming pay-per-view online for $54.95.

The price of the PPV on TV will be $54.95 for standard definition and $64.95 for high definition.

The broadcast starts at 9 p.m. ET with three fights on the undercard before Bradley and Pacquiao step into the ring right around midnight. There will also be a live stream of the off-TV undercard taking place at roughly 7 p.m.

Here's the night's PPV main card:

Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley
Mike Jones vs. Randall Bailey
Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Teon Kennedy
Jorge Arce vs. Jesus Rojas

We'll have a ton of coverage with live results as well as reaction to all the events of the night, so keep your browser locked right here.

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Pacquiao Vs. Bradley: Fight Preview And Prediction

Is Timothy Bradley the man to derail the Manny Pacquiao train or will Pacquiao's run as one of boxing's two most dominant superstars continue when the two men collide on HBO pay-per-view?


Pacquiao Vs. Bradley: Preview And Predictions For Undercard Bouts

The undercard for Saturday night's HBO pay-per-view bout between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley is lacking in fights that are, on paper, the kind of compelling wars we were treated to on the Margarito vs. Cotto card or the big names (like Canelo Alvarez and Shane Mosley) of the Mayweather vs. Cotto card. Instead, boxing fans will be treated to a parade of Top Rank promoted fighters getting what should be safe work in front of a big audience.

Vacant IBF Welterweight Title: Mike Jones (26-0, 19 KO) vs. Randall Bailey (42-8, 36 KO)

Mike Jones has been fighting for fringe titles for four years now, with this being his chance to finally put a "world title" around his waist. Of course, acknowledging this as a "world title" requires a little pretending that Welterweight isn't the same weight class that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather call home (though Floyd did go up to 154 for the Cotto fight).

Jones had kept a busy schedule through 2010-2011, fighting seven times over the two years. In his bout with Jesus Soto Karas in November of 2010 he fought like a guy who hadn't encountered much resistance, fighting recklessly and getting stung repeatedly before being somewhat gifted a majority decision win. He'd bounce back from that by facing Karas again, this time fighting a safe and smart fight that let him move past the mess of the first fight.

Top Rank allowed him to go in and beat up on poor little Raul Munoz last June in a "stay busy" fight that should have been illegal before he was back on a major pay-per-view in November, facing Sebastian Lujan in a fight I felt would be a trap for him. Instead, Jones dominated an unusually listless Lujan to take a near-clean sweep decision.

While Jones represents the dream of trainers around the world in that he's an extremely tall fighter for his weight with actual boxing skills and some good pop on his punches, he isn't built "right" for someone of his height and hasn't proven overly special, as Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook explains:

Jones is a solid fighter, but I suspect "solid" is where it's going to stop. He's not a special fighter -- his height is special for a welterweight, but he's not Tommy Hearns or even Paul Williams. He's just a tall guy, and his reach (72") isn't even that exceptional. He's sort of an odd duck, really. But he is quality, and he is a likeable fighter.

Similar to Jones' height, Randall Bailey possesses one of those boxing skills that "can't be taken away." That being his huge power.

Bailey has had his own run with titles in the past, having won the WBO title at 140 pounds by knocking out Carlos Gonzalez just 41 seconds into their 1999 bout. He'd defend that title twice before losing it in a split decision. He's been in the ring for title bouts since, losing every chance he's had against men like DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley (a loss Bailey would later avenge) and Miguel Cotto. Despite his inability to once again strike gold, Bailey has hung around the top 10 with pretty incredible consistency for the past 13 years.

In March of 2010 he trounced Jackson Bonsu in one round in a bout that was an eliminator for an IBF title shot, the title that will be on the line against Jones. In true boxing fashion, despite winning the title eliminator bout against Bonsu, he was forced into another title eliminator against Said Ouali when his own promoter asked him to step aside so that a bigger name (Andre Berto) could get the title shot. Ouali would spill from the ring in an odd moment in that fight, hurting his neck when falling onto a table and having the bout end in a no decision after two rounds.

Bailey picked up one more win, and now gets his shot at the IBF title that he earned almost 27 months ago.

Randall's right hand remains a weapon that makes him a threat to any man he faces at or near his weight. He throws it hard and with ill intentions:

Of course, Bailey is now 37 years old and landing the bomb right hands becomes harder as you have more trouble setting it up and pulling the trigger.

If Bailey lands flush he can hurt Jones. We've seen Jones prove vulnerable in his sloppiest moments and maybe he gets excited on PPV going after his first ever world title and leaves an opening.

But the much more likely outcome is that Jones beats Bailey up over twelve rounds. I think as Mike works him over, the opportunity will be there for a stoppage, but I think Mike Jones will play it safe and win by wide decision.

WBA World Super Bantamweight Title: Guillermo Rigondeaux (c) (9-0, 7 KO) vs. Teon Kennedy (17-1-2, 7 KO)

Rigondeaux being a world champion already despite only 9 fights as a professional can be a bit deceiving. He is one of the greatest amateur boxers in history with two Olympic gold medals (2000, 2004) for Cuba and a record of almost 400 wins to 12 losses. Despite 9 fights, he's a proven, world class boxer.

Rico Ramos was supposed to represent a stiff test for Rigondeaux in January, instead it was Guillermo scoring a decisive sixth round stoppage over a guy who only landed a few more than a dozen punches over the six frames of action.

Teon Kennedy isn't a bad fighter, but he's not a world class fighter and he's in this fight to "play opponent" while getting Rigondeaux more exposure and ring time. Kennedy has only lost once in his career, that being two fights ago when outpointed by Alejandro Lopez. His last fight was a draw with Christopher Martin to put him at 0-1-1 in his last 2, but here he is...challenging for a world title.

Kennedy was also a part of one of boxing's great recent tragedies when Francisco Rodriguez died following their 2009 bout. Being a part of such an incident can make it hard for a boxer to continue fighting but Kennedy has been able to continue on respectably since.

This shouldn't be too much of a challenge, it's more about seeing if Rigondeaux can get the stoppage. Given what I've seen from both men I think he can so I'll take Guillermo Rigondeaux by TKO in four.

Jorge Arce (60-6-2, 46 KO) vs. Jesus Rojas (18-1-1, 13 KO)

32 might not seem old, but when you're Jorge Arce and have been in as many wars in a boxing ring as he's pretty damn old.

There was a time just over a year ago that most boxing fans and media felt that Arce's days as a top quality fighter had passed. He'd been one of the sports most entertaining fighters over the past 15 years, good enough to beat anyone but flawed enough that it was always going to be a good fight.

When he fought Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley, it was Arce being brought in to be a name or the young Vazquez to get under his belt. As a 6-1 underdog, Arce was supposed to be too old and too small to compete. Despite being down in the fourth round, Arce got up and fought like hell. By the championship rounds, it was clear that Vazquez was starting to fade, but it was old news to Arce and in the twelfth round a relentless Arce was able to force the stoppage to get the huge victory.

It's been all good for Arce since, avenging a loss to Simphiwe Nongqayi with a 4th round TKO, and rolling through Angky Angkota and Lorenzo Parra.

I have the feeling that Top Rank is trying to figure out one last big fight to cash in on Arce with (think Nonito Donaire) given his status with Mexican fans and they're going to keep him safe against guys like Jesus Rojas.

The career step-ups for Rojas have not gone well with a loss to Jose Angel Beranza and a draw against Jose Luis Araiza. Rojas is a guy who still beats up on club level fighters and Arce is not that.

Arce is better at this age than Rojas will ever be, but Arce is also a fighter who can't seem to get away from wars, especially on bigger stages. There will be moments where Rojas has success because getting hit far too often is a thing that Jorge does, but in the end Arce will have his hand raised after a mid-round TKO.

We'll have much more on this card in the coming days including a full preview and prediction of the main event between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley.

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More Pacquiao-Bradley Coverage From SBN
Bad Left Hook | SB Nation | MMA Mania | Bloody Elbow


Pacquiao Vs. Bradley Purses: Manny Guaranteed $26 Million For Fight

Manny Pacquiao is going to walk away from the Timothy Bradley fight this Saturday on HBO PPV with a guaranteed $26,000,000, this despite his reported purse to the Nevada State Athletic Commission being six million dollars. There's a whole lot of political and financial maneuvering that goes into the payments to fighters who reside outside of the United States, which results in less being reported as a purse in situations like this and a big number as a "guarantee." A good example is how Saul "Canelo" Alvarez was paid a base purse of $1.2 million against Shane Mosley on the Mayweather vs. Cotto undercard only to lose $360k of that purse to federal taxes.

Pacquiao also could walk away with more than his guarantee based on pay-per-view sales.

As for Bradley, he'll walk away with a $5 million purse, and can also make more depending on PPV sales. For Bradley, this is far and away a career-high payday and he seems to have his head in the right place when it comes to not blowing it as he tells Chris Robinson of Examiner:

"I'm putting that money away, man," Bradley noted with all seriousness. "I aint buying nothing. I got everything I need. I'm not buying anything. Me and my wife, we're going to put that money away so I don't ever have to come back to this game. Once I leave it, I aint never got to come back ever again."

As for the rest of the purses on the televised portion of the card, they break down like this:

Mike Jones ($105,000) vs. Randall Bailey ($100,000)
Jorge Arce ($300,000) vs. Jesus Rojas ($25,000)
Guillermo Rigondeaux ($103,000) vs. Teon Kennedy ($70,000)

More Pacquiao-Bradley Coverage From SBN
Bad Left Hook | SB Nation | MMA Mania | Bloody Elbow


Pacquiao Vs. Bradley: Floyd Mayweather's Shadow Looms Over Title Fight

It's no secret that WBO Welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2) is considered by many to be the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. However, as he prepares to put one of his eight current titles on the line against legitimate contender Timothy Bradley (28-0), the possibility of a dream bout with Floyd Mayweather continues to follow him like a shadow.

It is the real fight the public wants to see. A fight analyzed, hypothesized and criticized before the first letters of a contract have been put on paper, before the two sides can even begin to agree upon how to split what will surely be an astronomical purse of Mega Millions jackpot proportions.

With no shortage of opinions across the boxing landscape, it is one of the most polarizing situations in sports. So much so that in the days leading up to the title fight between Pacquiao and Bradley, Floyd Mayweather's name is still very much present. Freddie Roach, who has been Pacquiao's trainer since 2001, feels people are beginning to accept the fact that a potential fight with Mayweather may never happen.

"That was the number one question at one time, but now I think people are getting tired of it," said Roach, before stating that he still wants to see the two champions step into the ring. "Every big fight in the history of boxing has happened," he added. "I hope they do it before it's too late."

The great Manny Pacquiao himself, eight-time world champion, singer, actor and Filipino congressman, is also happy to share his thoughts on the potential fight.

"Even my children have requested that fight," he stated. "I'm satisfied with what I've done. If that fight happens or not, I'm still happy," said Pacquiao, with a look suggesting he will always want to settle things with Mayweather.

Still, many people in boxing, namely those with the power to make fights happen, are confident the two best boxers of this generation will eventually come to terms. Top Rank publicist Lee Samuels, who has been promoting fights for nearly 30 years, is not shy to say he expects to see Pacquiao and Mayweather collide.

"I think we're going to see that fight," he said, "Pacquiao has told [Top Rank CEO] Bob Arum to get it done."

Samuels would go on to explain a current proposal in which each side would receive 45 percent of the purse, with the final 10 percent going to the winner. Not a bad number for either camp, considering the fact this could be the first ever fight to reach a total prize of $200 million.

"If I pull this off, I'm a bad dude. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity."
- Timothy Bradley, on fighting
Manny Pacquiao

Though both Pacquiao and Mayweather (who currently sits in jail on domestic battery charges) have stated they want to make the fight happen, the two sides will still need to come to an agreement first.

"Obviously Mayweather is the guy we want," said Roach. "If it's doable we'll do it, and if not, we'll find some undefeated guy out there who thinks he can beat us."

Enter Timothy Bradley, the brash, undefeated 28 year old who has pushed himself to the limits of training, even restructuring his diet to be a dedicated vegan as he prepares for Pacquiao. With a WBO Light Welterweight belt already to his name, his goal is not just to take down Manny Pacquiao and solidify himself as boxing's next big name, but also to ensure Pacquiao and Mayweather never get the opportunity to give fans what they want.

"The fight will never happen," Bradley confidently stated when asked for his thoughts on a Pacquiao and Mayweather bout.

In his ideal world, Bradley will defeat Pacquiao and begin setting his own path to Floyd Mayweather, but that is not his concern right now. Despite being a clear underdog according to Vegas handicappers, Bradley's eyes light up when asked about his title fight with Manny Pacquiao on June 9, and he understands what lies in front of him.

"If I pull this off, I'm a bad dude," declared Bradley. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity."

While a potential fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather may be the pinnacle of boxing's modern era, Timothy Bradley will still have his shot at the WBO Welterweight crown on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

With an assured smile, Bradley shows he is nothing if not prepared. "See you on June 9th," he said, winking at the camera. "That's it. See you on June 9th, baby."

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Pacquiao Vs. Bradley: Manny's Faith A Bizarre Focus In Fight's Promotion

Manny Pacquiao is in an odd position for any athlete. More than just a fighter, Manny is a congressman in the Philippines and a national hero to the level of anything we see here in America. Our country doesn't grind to a halt when LeBron James takes the court. Michael Phelps could outperform his herculean effort from 2008 in the upcoming Olympic games and the amount of national pride still won't come near that of how the Filipino public feels about Manny.

Manny's unique position as not just a fighter but a congressman and national hero means that situations are likely to arise like what we saw in May, when Manny was asked about his feelings on United States president Barack Obama's coming out in support of gay marriage. Pacquiao stated that he felt gay marriage was wrong including a line about "putting God's law before man's." Not exactly surprising from a politician who has made banning condoms in his country a part of his platform based on the warped religious logic that, as Manny put it, "God said, 'Go out and multiply.' He did not say, just have two or three kids." This came just months after the release of a report stating that there had been a huge increase in the number of reported cases of AIDS and HIV in the Philippines.

Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley -- and Floyd Mayweather's Shadow

The author of the original article on Pacquiao's gay marriage views threw in his own comment about the bible and quoted a verse from Leviticus mentioning that homosexuals "must be put to death." Media outlets picked up the story, irresponsibly attributing the Leviticus quote to Pacquiao as "Manny Pacquiao Wants Homosexuals Put To Death" headlines started popping up everywhere from the Village Voice to USA Today, even resulting in Manny briefly being banned from an L.A. mall. Well after it was clarified (by the original author and the fighter himself) that Manny had not said anything about putting gays to death, ESPN ran with the story, letting Skip Bayless and Stephen A Smith pretend the quote was confirmed and engage in a laughable debate over the "financial impact" of his statements. ESPN followed that segment up the next day by having Bayless and Smith act like true heroes who would not apologize for the quotes not being Manny's, but rather blamed "bloggers" for their running the segment. But that is a story that has been well told already.

Floyd Mayweather couldn't let the moment pass with all the media attention focused on Manny, coming out in support of gay marriage, because he loves America and freedom. Of course, as everyone celebrated Floyd's boldness, they seemed to forget his liberal use of the word "faggot" and a segment just weeks before on HBO's 24/7 where he talked about being disgusted by Miguel Cotto sleeping in the same bed as his trainer and a man he says is like a brother to him.

Manny's religion had been a godsend to the fight promotion in this case. As a politician he'd been asked about a hot topic in the world and, through the fallout to his response, the media and public had been reminded that he was fighting Timothy Bradley on June 9.

But Manny's faith has not been all that great for the fight promotion as a whole. Not that a man should reduce his willingness to be a "faithful servant of God" to sell extra pay-per-views, but when Manny won't talk about making predictions for the fight because "It’s against the law of God to predict the fight when the fight is not done yet" it would seem to undercut one of the most standard methods of promoting a fight.

While HBO's Face Off interview has been one of the central points of their fight promotion over the past few years, the newly content-in-God Pacquiao could only muster 110 words over the nearly 15 minute segment, 19 of which were telling Tim that god will bless Tim and Manny is praying for him. Manny and Tim have been doing Q&A sessions for HBO, with Manny spending a bizarre amount of time in his answers talking about bible study and devotion.

Top Rank CEO, Bob Arum, has had to try to make Manny's bible study into a "selling point" for the fight. Most notably when he went on The Fight Game With Jim Lampley and said "My problem is, what Pacquiao are we gonna see? You have to understand since the last fight, last November, he's become a wholly different person. He's super religious. He does Bible study every night. Sometimes, I get the impression that I'm promoting Rick Santorum and not Manny Pacquiao. But be that as it may, who knows what effect it will have on his ring ability on June 9th?"

The entire situation with Manny has led to a tricky sell. Tim Bradley is a dangerous, dangerous fight for Manny (spoiler alert: I'll be predicting a Bradley win later this week) but he also is a complete unknown to the public. Now there's little to no help coming from Manny.

And maybe it sounds cynical and completely unfair, but I find it interesting that Manny's devotion to his faith has become more pronounced as: 1) public sentiment Pacquiao/Mayweather war has seemed to tilt Floyd's way 2) many fans resented Manny for getting a third highly questionable decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez 3) Manny got in legal trouble for criminal tax charges as well as housing a fugitive.

Regardless of if his faith is 100% genuine or partly a ploy to try to re-establish himself as "the good guy," the truth is that the focus on it is is a large part of what has made the promotion for this fight a bust. There's almost no buzz for the bout, despite the threat level to Manny, and, if this is the amount of effort Pacquiao puts into promoting his fights, it'll be hard to continue to argue for a 50/50 split in the Manny vs. Floyd negotiations.

In the end, if Manny wins and looks impressive, we'll hear that his renewed faith in God has him more focused than ever, if he loses or looks unimpressive in victory, he'll have "lost his fire" due to being content in his faith. What we probably won't hear, however, are official pay-per-view numbers as they're almost sure to disappoint.

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