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Maybe there is some integrity left in the sport of boxing after all. Still reeling from the massive uproar that was sparked by the controversial outcome of the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight, the WBO (World Boxing Organization) decided to review the fight, appointing five top international judges to rewatch and score the fight themselves. Their decisions came in yesterday and lo and behold, they agree with essentially the rest of the world. Manny Pacquiao beat Timothy Bradley June 9th at the MGM Grand and should've retained the WBO welterweight title.
For the world of boxing, this is something that needed to be addressed and said. The sport itself was already teetering on the brink of irrelevancy, and the extremely “unjust” decision in favor of Timothy Bradley may have been enough to deal the sport a fatal blow. Sure the WBO may just be saying all the right things to try and regain public favor, but it still doesn't take away from the fact that what they did was actually the right thing. To have done nothing would've been catastrophic. Without a rebuttal of their own, every boxing fan and enthusiast in their fits of rage would've went on to blame the sport as a whole, instead of just focusing on the two specific wrongdoing individuals. By recognizing the injustice themselves, at least people can see that there are still people within the sport who still care about it and it's image, and for those who want a rematch, they may just get their wish.
Already slated to have a bout on November 10th, Pacquiao has seemingly made it clear who he wants to tangle with, he wants Bradley and he wants his WBO welterweight belt back. “My supporters shouldn't worry,” Pacquiao said Thursday, “We're going to get that title.” Though the WBO can't do anything in regards to the result of the fight, it sure looks like they wouldn't have to anyway. No doubt Pacquiao will stay true to his word and push Top Rank promoter Bob Arum to set up a rematch. Arum already came out and said very early on that he'd make a killing off the rematch.
And then on the other side, there is no possible scenario where Timothy Bradley would not accept without looking downright awful. In no way could his first move as champion appear to be running away from a fight. Knowing the competitive spirit that drives Bradley, there's probably a part of him that wants to prove to himself that he actually did beat Pacquiao, and does deserve the belt. One has to beg the question though: does anyone even really want to see this fight again?