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WBO to review Bradley win over Pacquiao

New evangelist Manny Pacquiao offers a prayer to the Lord after a bout with Timothy Bradley that he seemed to have won, at least according to many spectators in the ring and to millions more who saw the fight of TV, but actually lost to Bradley in the eyes of two of the three judges in the fight. Photo: Dr. Ed dela Vega

LOS ANGELES, June 13, 2012 (AFP) – The World Boxing Organization will review Timothy Bradley’s shock split-decision victory over Manny Pacquiao, which sparked outrage among observers who thought the Filipino fight king won the bout.

Bradley, who improved to 29-0 with the victory, seized Pacquaio’s WBO welterweight world title.

But WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel said in a statement that the body’s championship committee would review the fight “to take measures in accordance with the rules of procedure”.

Valcarcel said the committee will meet soon and evaluate video of the fight with the help of five “recognized international judges”.

Based on “what emerges” the committee will make a recommendation to the WBO.

“I want to clarify that in no way this says that we are doubting the capacity of these judges, which we consider as honest and competent judges,” Valcarcel said.

Saturday’s bout in Las Vegas saw judge Jerry Roth give Pacquiao the fight 115-113, but C.J. Ross and Duane Ford both had Bradley winning by the same score, despite Pacquiao appearing to land the more damaging blows throughout the contest.

The fight’s promoter, Bob Arum, questioned the competence of the judges, the selection process the Nevada State Athletic Commission used to choose them, and the fact that all came from Nevada.

While Arum said after the fight that the scoring was the result of incompetence and not corruption, on Monday he said he would ask the Nevada attorney general’s office “for a full and complete inquiry.”

On Tuesday, US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid backed a probe into the decision.

“If an investigation makes everyone feel better, do the investigation,” said Reid, who represents Nevada.

Earlier, Arum, who is also the chairman and CEO of Top Rank, submitted a formal request to the Nevada Attorney General’s office for a full and complete inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the scoring of Saturday’s WBO welterweight championship fight between Pacquiao and Bradley.

“The public has a right to know. The fighters have a right to know,” said Arum. “The only way to restore fans’ confidence in boxing is by letting an independent body investigate every detail of the fight no matter how big or small. Sunshine never hurt anyone.”

Bradley, the undefeated WBO junior welterweight champion, won a controversial split decision, dethroning Pacquiao on scores or 115-113, 115-113 and 113-115, in a fight most ringside media and fans thought Pacquiao won by a wide margin.

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