Manny Pacquiao has first loss in seven years; fans are enraged
By Clarissa Batino and Joel Guinto, Updated: Sunday, June 10, 8:05 AM
June 10 (Bloomberg) — Manny Pacquiao suffered his first defeat in seven years, a split decision to unbeaten Timothy Bradley that enraged fans of the Philippine boxer who’s won world championships in eight weight classes.
“Pac-Man was cheated,” said Karen Selevares, using the nickname of the fighter who’s become a national hero in his Southeast Asian nation and was elected to Congress in May 2010. “They’re probably setting up a rematch,” said the 29-year-old housewife, who took her 6-year-old son to a live screening of the fight two hours ahead of time to get good seats.
A pro-Pacquiao audience at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas reacted with jeers as Bradley, 28, was declared the winner. The American boxer won 115-113 on two judges’ scorecards, while Pacquiao was ahead 115-113 on the third.
Bob Arum, promoter of both fighters, said the two judges who scored the bout in Bradley’s favor should have their eyes examined. Oscar De La Hoya, who lost to Pacquiao in December 2008, wrote on Twitter that Bradley shouldn’t have accepted the victory. Pacquiao landed 253 punches to Bradley’s 159, and out- slugged Bradley 190-108 on power punches.
“I cannot believe what I just saw,” singer Justin Timberlake wrote on Twitter. “Please tell me they read the decision wrong.”
Out of Poverty
Pacquiao, 33, is a high school dropout who lifted his family out of poverty through boxing. In the 1990s, he fought for purses as small as 150 pesos ($3.50) — then about the cost of a T-shirt in the Philippines. Today he’s the richest Philippine congressman, surpassing Imelda Marcos, with a net worth inflated by TV appearances and endorsing products with the Nike, Hennessy Cognac and HP brands.
“I did my best,” he said. “I guess my best wasn’t good enough.” Pacquiao (54-4-3, 38 knockouts) said he was shocked to hear the decision, and agreed to a rematch being scheduled for November.
“He is no longer Pacquiao, the unstoppable,” said Ramon Casiple, executive director at the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform in Manila. His viability as politician and a product endorser will depend on whether he beats Bradley on the rematch.
“I thought I won the fight,” said Bradley, who is 29-0 with 11 knockouts. “I didn’t think he was as good as everyone says. I didn’t feel his power.”