After Timothy Bradley was shockingly ruled the victor in his Saturday night bout versus Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas, Nev., the sports world exploded because many felt that he didn’t deserve it.
And he didn’t. Pacquiao had the better fight. The judges made a mistake. ESPN’s Dan Rafael went on to talk about how HBO, ESPN, other media and even CompuBox had Pacquiao throwing more punches than Bradley. The hashtag RIPBoxing was trending on Twitter.
In other words, most people felt that this was a huge black eye for boxing.
But is it really?
The old cliche goes, “any publicity is good publicity.”
Ever since Mike Tyson bit off Evander Holyfield’s ear, boxing hasn’t been the same.
The sport has been essentially dying. It’s been overtaken by mixed martial arts and the UFC. Quite frankly, no one really cares about boxing anymore.
Occasionally, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will raise the sport from the dead for a night, but after their respective fights, boxing is thrown onto the back burner.
On a packed day with Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final featuring LeBron James, Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Euro Cup, the French Open, the Belmont Stakes and a full slate of MLB games, boxing ended up arguably winning the night.
If the judges don’t screw up, you don’t care about the Pacquiao fight.
You don’t care about November 10 and the idea of boycotting the rematch.
Hell, boxing is on the front page of Yahoo! Sports and Bleacher Report tonight. When does that ever happen?
This gaffe is so huge that it’ll infiltrate sports talk radio for the next few days. Of course, all everyone will be talking about is if the sport is officially dead after that. However, is a sport really dead when that’s all were going to be discussing during a period where the NBA, NHL, soccer and baseball should be front and center?
Boxing didn’t die because of this.
Boxing was already dead and it had been for a long time.
This actually puts it in the spotlight and although it’s for something negative, the sport is desperate enough to take it.
Now, if something like this had happened in the NFL or the NBA, then it would be a black eye for those sports.
Even the biggest boxing purist is happy with this. He’s not happy with what happened, but hey, at least people will care for a bit when he opens his mouth about boxing.
This doesn’t mean that the sport will have a renaissance because of a miscue in the ring. A renaissance doesn’t happen over night.
That being said, boxing didn’t die tonight.
It would’ve been dead if this happened and absolutely nobody talked about it.