By Brian Hanley
LAS VEGAS (CBS) — Rip Hamilton had a kindred spirit in the old, bald, fat guy standing near an MGM Grand bar late Saturday night.
“I will never watch boxing again!,” the big guy bellowed to no one in particular. “Never!”
Hamilton–the old, bald, skinny sometime guard for the Bulls, tweeted about the same thing at the same time: I’m done watching boxing. WWF
How about: WTF!
That’s what everyone in the packed casino hotel was wondering after watching a quite different fight than the one the three judges saw here.
“This is (bleeping) nuts,” said Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who handles both boxers. “I’ve never been as ashamed of the sport of boxing as I am tonight. I’m going to make a lot of money on the rematch, but this was outrageous.
“Can you believe that? Unbelievable. I went over to [Timothy] Bradley before the decision, and he said, ‘I tried hard, but I couldn’t beat the guy,'” Arum said. “The (judges) don’t know what they’re watching. I stand to make millions of dollars with a rematch … But these old (bleeps) don’t know what the hell they’re looking at anymore.”
And Arum is 83.
Which still doesn’t make him as old as boxing’s birthday with controversy.
Judges CJ Ross and Duane Ford had Bradley winning by 115-113 scores while Jerry Roth had Manny Pacquiao winning 115-113. It was Pacquiao’s first defeat since 2005 when Erik Morales beat him.
“This is unbelievable. It was 10-2 in rounds (for Pacquiao), at least (Bradley’s corner) had it 8-4 for Pacquiao,” Arum said. “Right after the fight, Bradley said he did his best but couldn’t get to Manny.”
Bradley, a charismatic California kid who was so sincere in pre-fight interviews such as with Mully and me, sung a different tune almost in no time.
“I thought I won the fight,” said Bradley, who should feel even dirtier wearing the title belt than those thousands wearing sheepish grins on their way to the wagering windows to cash in on their 4-1 underdog gift tickets.
Pacquiao landed 34 percent of his overall punches to 19 percent for Bradley. Pacquiao connected on 24 percent of his jabs to 11 percent for Bradley. Pacquiao landed 39 percent of his power punches to 28 percent for Bradley.
Pacquiao landed more punches in 10 of the 12 rounds.
Tweeted Oscar De La Hoya: Bradley should have given the belt and announce victory to Paquiao right after the decision.
Instead, Bradley is now 29-0 and waiting for the contract required rematch with Paquiao, Nov. 10.
Guess boxing will take any payday as it waits for the never-going-to-happen-this-year fight between Paquiao and Floyd Mayweather, who wasn’t able to watch this robbery as the downtown Las Vegas jail he is in wasn’t about to pony up the $69.99 pay-per-view fee for its residents’ TV room.
Those who will still buy boxing will watch as Mayweather uses is new-found leverage to ask for more of the purse than Pacquiao, should they finally set a match.
Mayweather began serving three months at the start of June after he pleaded guilty in December to reduced domestic battery charges in a hair-pulling, arm-twisting attack on Josie Harris, the mother of three of his children. The plea deal allowed him to avoid trial on felony charges that could have gotten Mayweather up to 34 years in prison if he was convicted.
Las Vegas police said, as a high-profile inmate, Mayweather probably will serve most of his time away from other prisoners in a small solo cell in the high-rise Clark County Detention Center.
Mayweather, who goes by the nickname “Money,” has a cell about one-third the size of a small boxing ring.
Not enough room to house the three judges who Saturday helped kill barely breathing boxing for the average sports fan.
“He’s not as good as everyone says he is,” Bradley said of Paquiao. “I didn’t feel a lot of power from him.”
He had much more power than Bradley. Just ask anyone but the three mattering most who were among the 14,206 people ringside Saturday.
Pacquiao was at a loss to explain the upset loss. Virtually every media member had the reigning champion comfortably ahead at the final bell. Bradley won two, at most three, rounds.
“I don’t know what happened,” Pacquiao said. “I had no doubt that I won. I did my best, but my best wasn’t good enough.
“He never hurt me. I have no problem with the rematch. I will get ready for it.”
Both Las Vegas Review-Journal cards and The Associated Press scored the fight in favor of Pacquiao, all 117-111.
“Something like this kills boxing,” Arum said.
LVH sports book director Jay Kornegay tweeted: “I know it won’t happen but I feel this should be the last boxing match we’ll ever book.”
Too bad Hamilton, the Bulls backcourter, already owns the Twitter handle ripcity.
Because that’s what three bad boxing judges made Vegas Saturday.