The boxing world is still in an uproar over Timothy Bradley’s controversial win over Manny Pacquiao. While many believe that Pacquiao was robbed by the decision, one of the judges believes that people just don’t understand how fights are judged.
Duane Ford, one of two judges that scored the fight 115-113 in favor of Bradley, spoke to Yahoo! Sports to explain the way he saw the fight and why he scored it the way he did.
“If this were ‘American Idol’, without a doubt, Manny Pacquiao would have won,” Ford said. “But it was not. I gave an honest opinion. I had Pacquiao up 4-2, I think, at the end of six rounds. I thought he hurt Bradley a couple of times early in the fight. But when the bell rang to end that round, it was over and what happens in one round doesn’t carry over to the next round. They’re separate units.
“In the second half of the fight, Pacquiao picked off a lot of punches to the head, but Bradley landed some hard body shots. That hurt Pacquiao. I don’t mean it hurt him in the sense of it physically hurting him, but in terms of scoring and piling up points. Bradley did an excellent job standing his ground as a boxer. Remember, it’s a boxing match and Bradley demonstrated his ability to box expertly.”
“In pro boxing, you look for damage, and if the punches are equal and the damage is equal, you are looking for effective aggression, and that does not necessarily mean the guy going forward,” Ford said. “Effective aggression can be a guy going back. And then you look at ring generalship, and that’s all about control.
“When you score a fight of that magnitude, you know the criticism comes with the job. But unless you are totally focused on that scoring zone for three minutes, it’s impossible to score the fight correctly. I know you can’t do it talking into a microphone. It was a close fight in my mind that could have gone either way. The result was nothing more than three judges giving an honest opinion, and nothing other than that.”
As you see, Ford’s explanation is littered with the word, “opinion”. And that’s exactly why boxing will always be thought to be fixed or corrupt by many.
In Ford’s mind, he was just trying to do his job to the best of his ability. But because of the way boxing is perceived these days, his best ability is certainly not enough.