BANNER PROMOTIONS CONGRATULATES RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV

March 18, 2013 by · 1 Comment
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PHILADELPHIA (March 18, 2013)— Banner Promotions congratulates Ruslan Provodnikov for a great fight and living up to all of our expectations last Saturday night when he took on WBO Welterweight champion Timothy Bradley on HBO World Championship Boxing.

The bout, which took place in Carson, California, was a thrilling battle for Provodnikov as he rocked and hurt the undefeated champion repeatedly and was controversially denied knockdowns in each of the first two rounds and was able to send Bradley to the canvas late in the twelfth round for which Bradley barely beat referee Pat Russell’s count.

The “Fight of the Year candidate” produced many toe to toe exchanges that brought the crowd at the Home Depot Center to the edge of their seats throughout the contest.

“Ruslan became a big star on Saturday night”, said Arthur Pelullo, CEO of Banner Promotions. There were a lot of critics when this fight was made. That it was a mismatch and Ruslan didn’t belong in the ring with Bradley. I told everybody that they had no idea what this kid is made of. Yet HBO, to their credit, held steadfast and went forward with the fight. We thank them for that.”

“When Bob Arum saw Ruslan in the gym as the chief sparring partner of Manny Pacquiao for the Pacquiao-Bradley fight, he called me to tell me that this kid is something special. He knew that Ruslan had a future on HBO.”

“Ruslan established himself as one of the major players in both the Jr. Welterweight and Welterweight divisions. I started receiving calls and text messages as early as the 2nd round and all the major networks have already called with projected fights for Ruslan”.

“Ruslan has many options for future big fights. We will be able to map out what he will do with his team led by his manager Vadim Kornilov in the near future”.

“Once again, we want to thank Ruslan for such a great performance and continuing to give boxing fans a thrilling show every time he enters the ring.”

RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV ITCHING FOR BOUT WITH BRADLEY

October 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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PHILADELPHIA, PA (October 1, 2012)—WBO Number-two ranked Jr. Welterweight contender Ruslan Provodnikov would like an opportunity at WBO Welterweight champion Timothy Bradley in December.

There have been rumblings of a possible matchup for Provodnikov, 22-1 with fifteen knockouts of facing Bradley and he and his team feel the time is now for the potential big fight.

The native of Beryozovo, Russia is one of the most exciting fighters in the world and he feels that not only is he ready but will bring the best out of Bradley.

“I am ready for this type of fight”, said Provodnikov

“I would be grateful for the opportunity and I have trained my whole life for this. Bradley is a great fighter but not only do I know I can win but I will bring the best out of him and our fight will be one to remember”

“We feel that Ruslan is ready for this fight and he will beat Bradley.”, said Provodnikov’s promoter Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions.

“Based on all the feedback we get after Ruslan’s fights, he is one of if not the most television friendly fighter out there and a fight with Bradley would be a great fight for the fans”

Provodnikov has won five straight bouts which includes his last outing when he stopped Jose Reynoso (16-3-1) on June 29th.

Looking ahead: The next pound-for-pound generation

June 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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By Norm Frauenheim

The furor surrounding Tim Bradley’s victory over Manny Pacquiao is more of the same in a tiresome, if not redundant, succession of lousy decisions. But there was not much argument about Pacquiao, who has been robbed more by time than judges.

Speed, especially in hands once as lethal as lightning, is gone. That suggests more controversy on the scorecards for his remaining fights, be they against Bradley or Juan Manuel Marquez or Miguel Cotto.

The big tease, Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr., is now full of more potential controversy than drama, simply because both are in decline. What Pacquiao has lost in his hands, Mayweather has lost in his feet. A better bet than a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight later this year, or early next year, or in any year is that Mayweather and Pacquiao won’t be No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in Forbes’ 2013 ranking of the world’s highest-earning athletes.

In the rush to find crooks, or conspiracies, or fault with the failing vision of aging judges, there’s still a simple solution as fundamental and reliable as a jab. Who’s next? Stardom’s successor is out there. Retirement is on the horizon for the current pound-for-pound generation that includes Mayweather, Pacquiao, Cotto, Marquez, the Wladimir-and-Vitali Klitschko empire and Bernard Hopkins.

What will that pound-for-pound crowd look like a couple of years from now? Here’s a guess from No. 1 to No. 10.

1 –Andre Ward. The reigning super-middleweight possesses classic skill, poise and surprising toughness. Everything, it seems, but a large fan base. In a media session before the June 9 craziness over Bradley’s split decision over Pacquiao, Ward said “give it time.” It’ll happen, he said. Give him the right opponent, too. An insightful friend says the right foe might be Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who is growing into Ward’s weight class. Chavez also has his dad’s legendary name and the Mexican audience, which might like what it sees in Ward when introduced to him.

2 – Nonito Donaire. He has been riding a crest of popularity since his crushing knock out of Fernando Montiel last year. There have been some mixed performances since then, perhaps brought on by a promotional controversy. Now that he’s back and apparently comfortable with Top Rank, he figures to regain the dramatic edge he had against Montiel. “He might be the best pound-for-pound fighter there is,’’ manager Cameron Dunkin said of Donaire’s 122-pound bout on July 7 against South African Jeffrey Mathebula in Carson, Calif. “In my opinion, he is. Five, six, seven titles? Who knows?’’

3 — Sergio Martinez. The Argentine middleweight often looks beatable, but the former soccer player’s unusual style has made fools of nearly everybody who has tried. The junior Chavez is expected to try on Sept. 15 at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand. It’s a defining bout for Martinez, mostly because Chavez is beginning to define himself with some toughness that few thought he had. If Martinez beats Chavez, he’ll have to move up in weight and onto another defining step against Carl Froch, Arthur Abraham and even Ward.

4 – Chavez Jr. and junior-middleweight Saul “Canelo’ Alvarez. We could break this tie if Top Rank, Chavez’ promoter, and Golden Boy, Canelo’s promoter, could sit down at the same table, break bread and agree on a date and weight. Then again, we’d probably get only a food fight. Too bad. Canelo’s combinations against Chavez’ emerging toughness would be a beauty.

6 – Abner Mares. If you’re sick of hearing about Pacquiao-Mayweather and Chavez-Canelo, prepare for more indigestion. At the lighter weights, there’s not a fight the public wants more than Mares-versus-Donaire. It could be the best rivalry in the lighter divisions since Michael Carbajal-Humberto Gonzalez. Without an end to the Top Rank-Golden Boy food fight, however, it won’t happen. Mares is a Golden Boy fighter and its first prospect to win a major title. Donaire is promoted by Top Rank. Mares has many of the qualities that makes Ward so intriguing. He’s smart, tough and skilled.

7 – Adrien Broner. What’s not to like about the unbeaten junior-lightweight from Cincinnati? He has speed in his hands and feet. He’s also a lot of fun. He likes to talk almost as much as he likes to fight. The showmanship includes a brush that might be worth some endorsement money if and when he moves to lightweight and junior-welterweight in search of name opponents and bigger victories.

8 — Chad Dawson. His bout on Sept. 8 with Ward will say something about his staying power, although the light-heavyweight will be at disadvantage in Oakland, Calif. – Ward’s hometown — and at Ward’s weight – 168 pounds instead of 175. A close loss wouldn’t keep him off this list, however. His future still might be at heavyweight, where the search for the next great American continues. Yeah, it might be former Michigan State linebacker Seth Mitchell. A couple of years from now, however, it could be the more experienced Dawson.

9 – Amir Khan. The UK junior-welterweight has as much to prove as he has potential. His split-decision loss in December to Lamont Peterson in Washington, D.C., was every bit as bad as the one that went against Pacquiao in the loss to Bradley. But it also left doubts about whether Khan is as good as he looked in victories over Marcos Maidana and Zab Judah. We’ll know more on July 14 against young Danny Garcia at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay. The athletic Khan is smart and knows how to market himself. If one punch exposes a suspect chin, however, he could quickly fall to the canvas and off this list.

10 – Bradley. It would be interesting see him in a Pacquiao rematch with healthy ankles. He injured both – a sprain to the right and damaged ligaments in the left — early in the June 9 bout. With both ankles intact, the result might be the same, but without the controversy.

Machito time, European girls and blue-raspberry slurpees

June 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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By Bart Barry

SAN ANTONIO – Saturday, Hector “Machito” Camacho Jr., fighting for the first time in 16 months, dropped an overmatched opponent on the red canvas of an outdoor ring erected in La Villita’s Maverick Plaza about a two-minute stroll from the River Walk. Meanwhile at ringside, and on message boards everywhere, and on YouTube, debate about Bradley-Pacquiao continued, though in significantly politer terms.

Camacho’s comeback, as these things go, does not appear a particularly serious one. He is George Foreman, with the religious awakening and cheeseburgers but without the stopping power. Camacho is a Puerto Rican welterweight/junior middleweight/middleweight/super middleweight, not an American heavyweight, and so he also must rely on shtick more than Foreman did. Shtick is a family specialty, though; cry not at all for Machito.

His dad, without whom the Camacho name in Puerto Rico would be more obscure, by far, than the Chavez name in Mexico, does not care a whole lot about his son’s conversion to Islam, one that finds Junior prefacing statements with “God is great” and donning a white thobe that clings more than billows at ringside. Saturday, Camacho’s shiny silver trunks, too, clung, in a summer look that said, Whoa, even I didn’t think my ass could get this full. And “full” is good a word as any to describe Camacho’s physique.

Four and a half years ago, when he weighed an embarrassing 173 pounds in Scottsdale, Ariz., for a fight the day before Super Bowl XLII, Camacho said he thought maybe he should get down to 147, to prove he was serious. He’s not down there yet, though he claimed Friday he weighed as little as 157 before his opponent fell-out and he learned the sacrifice they were trucking up from Corpus Christi would be well over the middleweight limit. That sacrifice, J.D. Charles, caught a Camacho left uppercut to the belly in the second minute of their main-event tilt and went down and stayed down. Afterwards, he said he could have gotten up but didn’t. With the short notice and purse they offered him, in other words, he’d more than fulfilled his obligation when the 120th second passed. Camacho didn’t grandstand or insult Charles.

Therein lies a little of the appeal Camacho holds for those who’ve crossed paths with him during his 16-year campaign. He can actually fight when he wants to and is so wonderfully self-deprecating, and therefore empathetic, he would never fault a fellow prizefighter for wanting effort. Camacho understands the exact brutality of our sport and talks candidly about it. In all his court-jesterliness, he is, when the bell rings, additionally a reminder of something Carlo Rotella wrote in an excellent 2003 book called “Cut Time”:

“The lowliest of professional opponents . . . can fight better than almost everybody else on earth. Any one of them could beat the hell out of the typical top-flight contact-sports jock remotely his size, and any one of them could single-handedly clear out a bar full of fight-goers, writers, and other smart alecks who dismiss him as a stiff when he boxes in the ring.”

Camacho, seeming stagy but sincere, tells you he is embarrassed about what shame he’s brought on his career. Then he tells you about the women he enjoyed during that run – and you realize the insincerity of those lines about shame. For a short, chunky kid with a birthmark that runs the left side of his face, he’s done things to women more than reason expected. Where his father was a character, a leading actor in many a hijinks, Machito is a storyteller, a supporting actor who doubles as narrator. Had his reflexes been a tad slower, he’d have made a good cameraman in gonzo pornography – such is his charisma, timing and capacity for disarming inquisitors.

“F–king the girls I was f–king in my days?” Camacho Jr. explained in the foyer of Allstar’s Gentlemen’s Sports Club, Friday. “You can’t blame me, man! I was f–king the baddest girls, from Switzerland and Europe. You cannot blame me, man!”

Ah, the effects of the camera. Saturday, a third ringside experience in as many weeks brought another chance to reflect on what happened in Bradley-Pacquiao, and what happened to those at ringside and those at home. Locked in a narrative that said Pacquiao would win an easy decision, after the sixth round, many a serious ringside journalist on a tight deadline – thank Pacquiao’s fascination with the NBA playoffs, in part, for that – put his head down and wrote while the last 15 minutes of the fight happened. Then he turned-in a scorecard that was not close as perhaps it should have been, for a fight all three professional judges saw turn on a single round.

The home viewer? He was treated to an experience that bore only a derivative resemblance to reality, and primed for another outrage. That outrage was nearly universal, but rather than fixate on the “universal” part of that clause, in a maniacal search for absolute consensus some have fixated on the “nearly” part. Well. You’ll get no apologies for those three ringside scorecards that dissented, so stop asking.

A few days after the latest unconscionable robbery that is the reason no one will ever watch another prizefight again in the history of humankind, apropos of nothing at all I had a conversation like this:

“I like the ‘blue raspberry’ slurpees at 7-Eleven better than real raspberries.”

“You know those drinks are filled with artificial sweeteners, concocted in laboratories to be delicious, unfilling, and to make you buy more, right?”

“They still taste better.”

The televised-fight experience – with its infallible commentators, scorecards and superduper slow motion – may well taste better than the real, ringside experience. But for goodness’ sake, do not tell a gardener that the corn-syrupy, synthetic blue mess in a plastic cup you got at the corner store tastes “more like real raspberries” than what he picks from red canes.

Bart Barry can be reached at bart.barrys.email (at) gmail.com

BAM ON BOXING: Decisions, Decisions

June 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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BY: Brittany Rogers

The decision rendered in the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley fight June 9 goes down as another controversial decision in boxing history. I had Pacquiao winning, but definitely not by every round. There were many close rounds that could have gone either way, yet I still believe Bradley got a gift.

There have been many fights like this over the years and I hate hearing that boxing is dead. If it were dead, then why are so many sports fans still talking about the decision. Bradley’s style was obviously something Pacquiao could not control the way he did with Ricky Hatton, Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto, and the other opponents he faced in recent years (not including Juan Manuel Marquez).

Ironically, the same people who thought Marquez was ‘robbed’ against Pacquiao believe that Pacquiao was ‘robbed’ against Bradley. Professional boxing is not scored as Olympic-style boxing; it is not based on who threw more punches. If that’s what people want to see, the Olympics are around the corner. It is time to move on from the controversy of the big PPV fights and look forward to what our Philadelphia fighters have brewing next.

We have three Philadelphia fighters looking to impress on the NBC Sports Network Fight Night series Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. In the main event, heavyweight Eddie Chambers, of Philadelphia, PA, comes off of a 16-month layoff and jumps into a huge test with Polish crowd-pleasing Tomasz Adamek. Chambers will try to piece together his reputation after pulling out of back-to-back fights due to injuries.

Adamek, much slower yet stronger of the two, looks to have the advantage. Chambers is known for his fast hands; let’s hope there is little ring rust and he is completely ready to go after training at the Kronk gym in Detroit for the last month.

For the third weekend in a row Peltz Boxing will have two Philadelphia fighters in action—heavyweight Bryant Jennings and junior middleweight Jamaal Davis.

Jennings takes on Steve Collins of Houston, TX. Jennings is 13-0, 6 K0s; Collins is 25-1-1, 18 K0s. Five months ago this matchup would have been a big step for Jennings. However, in that time he has made his point in the heavyweight division, defeating then-unbeaten lefty Maurice Byarm and ex-WBO champ Sergei Liakhovich. Jennings will take a risk without questioning it and deserves to be getting in the ring with guys who, on paper at least, are more experienced.

Jamaal Davis takes on dangerous journeyman Doel Carrasquillo, of Lancaster, PA. Both Davis and Carrasquillo have made a career of fighting tough prospects and, since both of them come to fight, it should be a classic.

Eberto Medina, of Newark, NJ, Gabriel Rosado, of Philadelphia, Joel Julio, of Miami, Fl, and Perter Quillin, of Brooklyn, NY, are just a few of the names Davis has on his resume. Carrasquillo has faced Philadelphians Ray Robinson and Steve Upsher-Chambers, as well as Ronald Cruz, of Bethlehem, PA, and Shamone Alvarez, of Atlantic City, NJ.

Davis and Carrasquillo never back down from competitive fights. It’s a good spot for Davis in front of a large crowd. Hopefully, it will be a good night for Philadelphia fighters.
The author is a Temple University graduate who is now a part of Peltz Boxing. Follow us on twitter @Peltzboxing and our intern @bamonboxing

Pacquiao – Bradley does 8.96 Million at the Gate

June 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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Dan Rafael of espn.com is reporting that last Saturday night’s controversial WBO Welterweight title bout that saw Timothy Bradley wrestle the title from Manny Pacquiao did 8.96 million dollars at the gate.

13,229 tickets sold.

Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, released the figures on Wednesday.

There were 2,070 unsold tickets for Pacquiao-Bradley and 925 complimentary tickets given away, according to the commission report. Also, the fight generated an additional $249,000 from 4,980 closed circuit tickets sold in Las Vegas.

Photo by Chris Farina / Top Rank

WBO to look into Bradley – Pacquiao fight

June 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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The World Boxing Orginization has decided to look into the controversial fight saw Timothy Bradley be awarded a split decision over Manny Pacquiao according to Dan Rafael of espn.com

WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, who was ringside for the fight, said his organization’s championship committee will review the fight. He said that the committee “will meet soon” and “will examine [the fight] with five recognized international judges to evaluate the video of the match and agree to what emerges.

“I want to clarify that in no way does this say we are doubting the capacity of these judges, which we consider as honest and competent judges,” Valcarcel said.

Bradley to be in cast for eight weeks

June 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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According to Dan Rafael of espn.com , Newly crowned WBO Welterweight champion Timothy Bradley will be in a cast after injuring his left his left foot in his controversial title winning effort against Manny Pacquiao.

“Timmy was told to keep it elevated, put ice on it and heat on it and stay off it,” said Bradley’s manager Cameron Dunkin said. “He thinks he [twisted it by stepping] on the referee’s foot.”

“The left foot was the one we were really concerned about because it had like a dip on the top of the foot and had really bad swelling. The whole foot was bad. So we didn’t know what was wrong,” Dunkin said. “When he went to the hospital in Las Vegas after the fight, they said it’s possible he had a fracture but they didn’t see anything on the X-ray. They said, ‘There’s definitely something wrong. You need an MRI.’ ”

Dunkin said the left foot was diagnosed with “pulled ligaments in it, but nothing was snapped or too bad. But they were strained and the ligaments were badly damaged. They said he needs to be off his feet for eight weeks. He’ll be in a wheelchair and eventually he’ll get crutches and his right foot will be OK, and he can hobble around while his left foot is in a cast.”

“He said the mat sunk about 3 inches, that it was really soft and hard to move around,” Dunkin said. “He thought maybe that was part of the problem he had with his feet. He’ll be in the cast for eight weeks and then have his [left] foot re-examined. He’s on anti-inflammatories. For him not to get knocked down by Pacquiao when he has no feet, that shows you the kind of fighter he is. Now we just want him to rest and heal properly.”

“I would like to thank all my friends, family, and supporters,” he said. “I finally had a chance to watch the fight [Monday] night and after watching it I felt just like I did the night of the fight. I won the fight! Pacquiao is a great man and great fighter. He will have a chance to get his title back. I will be able to get a more definitive win.”

Photo by Chris Farina / Top Rank

TOP RANK MAKES FORMAL REQUEST TO NEVADA ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR FULL INQUIRY INTO PACQUIAO vs. BRADLEY

June 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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LAS VEGAS, NEV. (June 11, 2012) – Bob Arum, Chairman and CEO of Top Rank, said today that he has submitted a formal request to the Nevada Attorney General’s office for a full and complete inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the scoring of Saturday’s WBO welterweight championship fight between defending champion Manny Pacquiao and challenger Timothy Bradley. The Pacquiao-Bradley welterweight title fight took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

“The public has a right to know. The fighters have a right to know,” said Arum. “The only way to restore fans’ confidence in boxing is by letting an independent body investigate every detail of the fight no matter how big or small. Sunshine never hurt anyone.”

Bradley, the undefeated WBO junior welterweight champion, won a controversial split decision, dethroning Pacquiao on scores or 115-113, 115-113 and 113-115, in a fight most ringside media and fans thought Pacquiao won by a wide margin.

Bradley-Pacquiao: Allowing plenty of faults

June 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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LAS VEGAS – The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Arts, a short cab ride from the week’s poorly cooled and hastily erected media tent outside MGM Grand Garden Arena, currently features an exhibition called “Claude Monet: Impressions of Light.” It has its charms, featuring much of Monet’s early work – dash of orange here, square of blue there – but is for the most part unremarkable, save one quote from the Impressionist master: “I allow plenty of faults to show in order to fix my sensations.” Let that guide what follows.

Saturday at MGM Grand, Timothy Bradley decisioned Manny Pacquiao by split scores – 115-113, 115-113 and 113-115 – that infuriated most observers. Bradley, later wheeled into the media center with a foot he may have broken in round 2 and fought on anyway for a half hour, was gracious in victory, promising his vanquished foe an immediate rematch. Pacquiao, face unmarked, was gracious in defeat, reminding those gathered how many blessings boxing bestowed on him. Bradley’s and Pacquiao’s, though, were examples of graciousness ignored by most everyone else.

In a nod to what Monet was after above, there were faults aplenty in the impressions caused by the lights of our beloved sport, Saturday. The judges, unique among those at ringside for being paid to be competent at scoring, determined, collectively, the fight’s result was extraordinarily difficult to discern. Only five of the match’s 12 rounds were seen unanimously for one fighter or the other. If that formed a conspiracy, it was at least a conspiracy degrees more sophisticated than boxing’s usual antics.

My ringside scorecard had Bradley by a point, 116-115. I gave the new champion rounds 2, 6, 7, 11 and 12. I gave Pacquiao rounds 3, 4, 9 and 10. I scored rounds 1, 5 and 8 even. Am I entirely confident of my card’s accuracy? Actually, no. I marked with an asterisk five rounds as either/or affairs, and I scored another three even. But I am certain of my card’s truthfulness – another thing Monet was after. Despite sitting ringside for no fewer than 400 prizefights during my time as a boxing writer, I was not at all sure of what I was seeing Saturday night. Which raises a genuine suspicion for me about the origin of others’ loud certainty.

Three professional judges disagreed seven of 12 times. Reasonable writers at MGM Grand, intelligent men with proven cognitive aptitudes, colored a wide array with their opinions. The only ones sure of their infallibility were a few usual suspects at ringside, compensated for what they know more than what they discover, and the entire HBO pay-per-view audience.

Let that be a commentary on the viewing experience, not the reality, and know better than to demand of ringsiders a review of Saturday’s telecast to find the wrong of their ways. We were there, friends; we know what we saw, and what we saw was the real thing, unfiltered, thanks.

Timothy Bradley did not fight well as even his supporters believed he would need to fight to beat Pacquiao. Hobbled and often unexpectedly reluctant, Bradley followed a questionable counterpunching strategy designed in his camp to preclude him from being the Ricky Hatton-redux Pacquiao prepared for. And Pacquiao, to his credit, fought considerably better than most anticipated he would.

There was a tone of disbelief in the media center at the postfight press conference. Part resulted from having not seen Pacquiao lose in 15 highly visible fights. There was confusion, a product of the result’s unusualness. Pacquiao lost to Marquez by a much wider margin than this in November, the thinking went, and he got that decision. This, therefore, is an outrage.

To score a fight impartially, one must look at the neutral plane between the fighters and follow any punch that enters that plane to its destination. Does anyone do this? No. Scorers select a narrative, often not consciously – “Pacquiao will catch Bradley coming in with those wide punches and beat him down,” say – and look to see it disproved, if they’re scientific, or proved (if they’re human). With few exceptions, Saturday’s fight showed an observer whatever he was looking for. If a scorer believed that Pacquiao, returned to his wildman and free-hurling ways, could hurt Bradley with most any punch he landed, he saw that every time Bradley swung his upper body like a windshield wiper. If a scorer believed that Bradley, quicker of reflex and less relenting than Pacquiao’s recent opponents, could grind the underconditioned Congressman to exhaustion in the championship rounds, he saw that instead.

More observers looked for Pacquiao to win. More observers saw Pacquiao win.

Pacquiao did catch Bradley with left uppercuts, though not nearly as many as he should have with a guy who put his chin on a tee every time he ducked rightwards. And the only time Pacquiao had Bradley in distress was when he flurried crazily with 10 obtusely angled punches, and four or five landed.

Bradley kept his right hand high – no Hatton redux, he – fought Pacquiao off him, held when he had to, and closed stronger than Pacquiao, confirming many prefight worries about the Filipino’s once-vaunted conditioning. Bradley also landed several punches, like a right cross in the fight’s opening 90 seconds, the partisan-Pacquiao crowd took no account of.

Promoter Bob Arum donned his performance garb in the media center afterwards, took an oath – a few oaths really – to ensure a rematch on November 10, and protested mightily the fight’s official outcome. Were this Shakespeare, in fact, Hamlet’s mother would have said Arum protested a bit too much.

Bart Barry can be reached at bart.barrys.email (at) gmail.com

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