Manny Pacquiao's loss to Timothy Bradley shocked nearly all obersvers - notably the fighters themselves.
Yesterday was a fascinating day of sporting which stretched around the globe, starting with New Zealand's predictable early morning win against the Irish in the international rugby union, coming through Euro 2012 and Denmark upsetting the odds against the Dutch.
England ran the Boks close, but still didn't have enough to finish them off, with the South Africans being well worth their five point win.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the Miami Heat turned it on in the fourth quarter in one of the most eagerly anticipated basketball games to beat the Boston Celtics 4-3 in the best of seven series to reach the NBA finals.
The main event of the sporting day was delayed until the basketball had finished, and that was the Manny Pacquiao fight against Timothy Bradley.
There is no denying Pacquiao is one of the prize fighters of his generation, winning belts in several weights and never being afraid of taking on a challenge when one comes along, which can’t be said of all fighters. Bradley himself is a 28 fight undefeated world champion and was stepping up from light welterweight to take on the Philipeanian icon.
Much though had been made of Pacquiao's political career and refound devotion to god. How could such a man still perform at his previous brutal levels, against a man who at five years his junior looked to have more hand speed and agility, and also a huge point to prove?
Pacquiao though was untouchable. His straight left hand, which he has built his career around, landed time and time again. He hardly broke sweat and Bradley, as hard as he tried was outclassed in each and every round. Pacquio's long standing trainer, Freddie Roach pre-fight claimed that his fighter would not lose a round, and most observers believed he had got it more or less spot on.
So when the stunning decision that Bradley had won on points was announced, it not only sent the integrity of a sport already suffering from a huge loss of public faith into even more crisis, it denied a true champion and legend of his sport the right to celebrate what should have been a comfortable victory against a courageous, but outclassed and well beaten opponent.
How a result from a fight of this magnitude can be allowed to stand is beyond comprehension, and boxing around the globe is becoming a shame and a circus with every bout and weigh in which occurs.
It is no longer the noble art; it has taken on a macabre and downright scandalous position in the sporting pantheon.
These are athletes of the highest quality, and despite the elation he must have felt, and Bradley knew that he had been out-thought, out-manoeuvred and out-punched for the vast majority of 12 rounds.
Magnanimous in victory, he offered the stately Pacquiao a rematch, which is bound to happen. Pacquiao will destroy him if there is another fight, but as a statesman and a man of god, Pacquiao can now put his power to better use.
Boxing, for too long now has relied on the whims of a few, and corruption has not been far from the surface. It’s time that the fight was brought back into the ring, and these true warrior athletes were given the respect they deserve with one governing body, and a set of laws and judges who cannot be compromised.
It’s time to stop the farce, and it’s time to clean up what is now a sport that has lost itself and what it should represent.
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