In recent years, if you go online and visit boxing pages, it would not be a surprise to see comments from so called boxing fans spewing ignorant comments towards one another.
As a result, it can easily be assume that most boxing fans are too biased to support boxers other than their favorites. However, many of those ignorant comments online are just coming from attention seeking ‘wanktas’ who have probably never even been to a live boxing event.
Go to a media event or a live boxing event of Pacquiao and you will see many Mexicans cheering for Pacquiao; sometimes even outnumbering his Filipino fans, even though he is fighting a Mexican fighter. Talk to them and they talk about how they want Marquez or whoever to beat Pacquiao, but they will continue on and talk about how much they respect Pacquiao and love watching him fight. Vice Versa, if you talk to most Filipino knowledgeable boxing fans, they would talk about how great a fighter Marquez is and how much they loved Erik Morales.
I remember being in the Hatton and the Filipino fans being outnumbered by seemingly 100 to 1, yet all you can hear is friendly barbs between Filipino and British fans while even drinking together. I was sitting in a section full of Puerto Ricans during the Cotto fight and there was nothing but respect and full of great stories about the sport of boxing.
Even most fans of Mayweather and Pacquiao have respect for the other fighter. They know what it takes to succeed at that level and appreciate each of their greatness in the sport. Heck many Mayweather fans even thought Pacquiao won by a landslide. Some fans criticize Mayweather for his style and Pacquiao for his flaws, but at the end of the day, both of them will end their careers as one of the greatest to ever to put on gloves.
Mayweather is Barry Sanders, who was probably the most graceful running back of all time. A running back that made the impossible of eluding multiple defenders at close quarters a regular routine. On the other hand, Pacquiao is Emmit Smjith, a running back who went in between the tackles and made the most out of his physical abilities. You may favor one of them, but ‘real fans’ can't deny the greatness of the other.
Boxing fans often gets criticized for their ignorant actions, but the truth is most of them are passionate about the sport and places more importance in its integrity before their favorite fighters. They work hard and sometimes even save for a long time just to pay for these pay per views or attend live boxing events and they deserve something better than decisions that are so ludicrous that they cannot just be described as incompetent, but criminal as well.
The sad part is it’s becoming more common and slowly driving many casual fans out of the sport and more often than not jumping to the MMA bandwagon. Close and controversial decisions such as most of the Pacquiao and Marquez fights are acceptable since those fights were close and could have been given to the other fighter. Many boxing fans probably wouldn’t create a big ruckus if Marquez got the decisions in their last two fights.
But this latest fiasco does not compare to the ‘controversial’ decisions in the last two Pacquiao and Marquez fights. Instead this fight is comparable to the hideous decisions in the Lara vs. Williams and Rios vs. Abril fight. The compubox stats does not always say the true story, but there was no doubt that Pacquiao landed more punches and definitely had the most effective punches in the fight. He even controlled the fight and made Bradley, a usually aggressive fighter backpedal the last half of the fight.
Ask yourself? Would you rather have been Timothy Bradley or Manny Pacquiao during the fight? Last I checked; it was Bradley who was rocked a few times and kept going back with his head down after the end of each round. Don’t makes excuses about the injury as well since it was a Pacquiao punch that made him twist and turn on his way to injuring his leg.
But the fans are not only the ones to feel sorry for. Obviously Manny Pacquiao deserves some empathy, but we should also keep things in perspective before criticizing Timothy Bradley. Unfortunately whether he likes or not he will be the target of many criticisms and hate which he definitely does not deserve. He is also one of the victims along with Pacquiao in this fiasco. An outstanding role model who takes great pride in his work ethic and skills, I am sure that he did not want to win the belt via ‘a horrendous decision.
Sure he didn’t admit that he lost during his post fight interview. But who would? Fighters have a short window to make the most money, so he probably got told to keep quiet.
It’s about time that a boxing commission is created not only to minimize horrendous decisions such as this but also the corruption within the different boxing organizations, where belts are stripped for hollow reasons and new belts are created for the sake of more revenues. It’s also about time that officials are held accountable as much as the athletes. More often than not in sports the officials such as the judges, umpires, referees, are not held accountable for their actions and protected to a fault from criticisms. In basketball when coaches and players criticized an official it’s an instant fine, yet when officials are too callous with their calls, nothing happens and they are back in again the next game. It’s the same thing in boxing. Sure the judges in the Lara vs. Williams fight were suspended, but the truth is, the decision by the NJ State Athletic Commission was an anomaly instead of the norm.