Pacquiao fight judges praised
New York - Eight of the 12 rounds could have been scored either way when Manny Pacquiao lost to Tim Bradley last month.
“It was a very close fight. I though the judges handled it well,” Keith Kizer, the Nevada Athletic Commission executive director, said this week.
Kizer has discussed the result with the three judges and reviewed a video replay of the fight, round by round, to discuss their scoring. He was satisfied with their efforts, he said.
“It is unfortunate that people reacted the way they did after the fight. The judges did a great job."
Nevada's state attorney general's office announced this week that it had found no wrongdoing by officials in the fight on June 9.
But the investigators interviewed none of the judges involved in what was considered by most fight fans an injustice to Pacquiao.
Catherine Cortez Masto, Nevada's attorney general, said her top investigator had spoken to members of the state athletic commission and gaming board and found no evidence of criminal acts, including match-fixing or unusual bet patterns.
But that will do little to change the feelings of Pacquiao’s fans who howled in disgust after two judges ruled Bradley at 115-113 winner. Pacquiao was given a 115-113 victory by the third judge.
"Displeasure with the subjective decisions of sporting officials is not a sufficient basis for this office to initiate a criminal investigation," Cortez Masto told promoter Bob Arum in a letter.
"Unless evidence beyond mere displeasure is forthcoming this matter will be considered closed. While there may be strong disagreement with the decision, the exercise of professional judgment by individuals officiating at a sporting event is not by itself a criminal investigation."
Arum says the probe came up short of the type of investigation he would have liked to have seen.
"I'm happy that the attorney general did some investigating, but there's a tremendous gap," Arum said. "Why didn't they interview the judges?
"I'm not sure this brings closure. I would feel a lot better if they had interviewed the judges. But it's her investigation, not mine."
However, Kizer did work with the judges and is satisfied that they “did a great job.”
Bradley is still recovering from ankle and foot injuries that he suffered in the fight.
Pacquiao is on holiday in Israel. Arum plans to meet the Filipino next week to decide whom he will fight in his next bout, set for November 10.
Pacquiao could enforce a rematch clause to avenge his loss to Bradley but could also opt for a fourth fight with Mexico's Juan Manuel Marquez. When the fought last November the bout generated about 500 000 more pay-per-view purchases than the one between Pacquio and Bradley did.