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.