by David P. Greisman
The first fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley appeared to be a clear Pacquiao win but wound up being a close, controversial split decision victory for Bradley on scorecards.
The second fight between Bradley and Pacquiao appeared to be a closer bout than their first installment, but this time Pacquiao came out with a clear unanimous decision and no controversy.
Let’s talk about the scorecards.
Two of the judges had Pacquiao winning eight rounds to four. Michael Pernick had it 116-112 for Pacquiao, giving Bradley rounds 3, 4, 5 and 8. Craig Metcalfe also had it 116-112 for Pacquiao, giving Bradley rounds 1, 4, 5 and 9.
Glenn Trowbridge had Pacquiao winning wide, by a margin of 118-110, or 10 rounds to 2. The only rounds he gave to Bradley were rounds 4 and 5.
That means that Bradley got the edge on at least one judge’s scorecard in six of the 12 rounds: 1, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9.
Interestingly, those Bradley rounds on Trowbridge’s scorecard were not just the sole unanimous Bradley rounds, but were also the only rounds that more than one of the three judges gave to Bradley.
Metcalfe was the only judge to give Bradley rounds 1 and 9. Pernick was the only judge to give Bradley rounds 3 and 8.
All three judges gave Pacquiao rounds 2, 6, 7, 10, 11 and 12.
Two of the three judges gave Pacquiao round 1, 3, 8 and 9.
There were no rounds in which Pacquiao only curried the favor of just one of the three judges.
If we were to take a score from “majority rules” — in which a fighter gets the edge from at least 2 of the 3 judges for that round — then Pacquiao would’ve won 10 rounds and Bradley would’ve won 2 rounds, and the final card would’ve been the 118-110 card that Trowbridge turned in.
Even if you took those isolated rounds that only Pernick or Metcalfe gave to Bradley — again, rounds 1, 3, 8 and 9, all of which Trowbridge was part of the majority in scoring them for Pacquiao — and transformed them, bit by bit, to Bradley rounds on Trowbridge’s card, his scorecard would’ve read 117-111, or 116-112, or 115-113, or a 114-114 draw.
This scribe scored the bout 115-113 for Pacquiao, but I noted swing rounds that would’ve seen an acceptable scorecard as wide as a 117-111 victory for him.
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]