by David P. Greisman
World Boxing Council head Jose Sulaiman has backed down from his comments earlier in the week in which he called Timothy Bradley’s split decision victory over Manny Pacquiao “the theft of the century.”
Sulaiman made that comment Tuesday in a written column, saying the judges’ decision was “the clearest demonstration of the importance of the system of open scoring,” which the WBC uses. Pacquiao-Bradley was a World Boxing Organization welterweight title bout.
But a day later, Sulaiman stepped away from his wording, which he said “was an exaggerated and bad translation from the Spanish, blamed on ourselves.”
He singled out an apology for boxing judge Duane Ford, who hadn’t been mentioned in Sulaiman’s column but who was one of the two judges to see the bout 115-113 for Bradley.
“Duane Ford is not only a very good, honest and decent person in his private life, but he is also one of the best judges that I have known,” Sulaiman wrote. “Duane Ford, in fact, holds a vice chair in the WBC Ring Officials Board, and he has been a leader for many judges. Boxing being a subjective sport, there are several differences of opinion and I scored the fight one-sided for Pacquiao, which was meant as no offense for my friend.
“The main intention of my answer to the newspaper media was to present an example of what open Scoring can do for fairness in boxing, as by knowing the score in the boxers’ corners, they can adjust their fight for what is needed, regardless of the scoring being right or wrong, as the scores have been issued and nothing can change it. The WBC has had absolute support in the rest of the world where we have implemented open scoring since several years ago,” Sulaiman wrote. “Again, my deepest apologies for having hurt a friend, which I shouldn't have done.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/fightingwords2 or on Facebook at facebook.com/fightingwordsboxing, or send questions and comments to [email protected]