Last Saturday night, Manny Pacquiao beat Timothy Bradley in a boxing ring at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. However, two of the three judges charged with making a decision in the fight didn’t see it that way. Those two judges ruled that Pacquiao lost the fight in a close battle. The sports world is still stunned. Pacquiao’s remarkable 7-year, 15-fight unbeaten stretch has ended.
What are the signs that the ruling wasn’t fair? After the fight, Pacquiao walked into the post-fight press conference without a mark on his face. Bradley, foot broken and ankle injured during the fight, arrived in a wheelchair. Bob Arum, who manages both fighters, said after the fight that “I’ve never been as ashamed of boxing as I am tonight.” Before the decision, Bradley’s own camp said that Pacquiao had won. (Floyd “Money” Mayweather had no comment because he did not see the fight. He was a guest at a different hotel: the Clark County Jail in downtown Las Vegas.)
Was the outcome staged to set up a rematch? One argument is that the unfair outcome was staged so that Arum could set up a profitable, rich rematch between the boxers in November.
While conspiracy theories are great for late-night radio hosts, I get something else from this outcome: Judges come to their decisions after seeing things from some pretty unusual perspectives. They just see things in a way that is different from everyone else. Was Duane Ford, the 74-year-old judge whose votes swung the fight to Bradley’s side seeing the fight differently than everyone else? Without a doubt. ”I thought Bradley gave Pacquiao a boxing lesson,” said the 74-year-old Ford, who had it 115-113 for Bradley. “I thought a lot of the rounds were close. Pacquiao missed a lot of punches and I thought he was throwing wildly.” Ford added, “This isn’t American Idol. If I judge for the people, I shouldn’t be a judge. I went in with a clear mind and judged each round.”
So what Duane Ford is telling us is that he got to the MGM Grand Hotel Arena Saturday night prepared to see things differently, in an unpopular way. He was on a crusade against the way things are judged on American Idol (I am a fan of The Voice and have never watched Idol) and he wanted to make an unpopular decision. Like I said, judges sometimes arrive at their decisions after deciding that they just need to be different. We can all say with confidence that Ford was different, but he was also just plain wrong.
Shaun Kaufman Law is a law firm that has never shied from getting in the “ring” (courtroom) with judges of all kinds. If you are going to court, and need a lawyer, then Shaun Kaufman Law, PC should be your champion.