LOS ANGELES – The World Boxing Organization (WBO) ruled Wednesday that Manny Pacquiao should have won his controversial defeat to Timothy Bradley and has recommended a re-match between the fighters.
American Bradley won a split decision at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on June 10 that prompted disbelief from the sporting world and had many calling the outcome corrupt.
The WBO met with five international judges to evaluate video of the match and they unanimously scored the fight in favor of Pacquiao, though they do not have power to overturn the initial ruling and the result will still stand.
Pacquiao has indicated that he would prefer a rematch over Bradley forfeiting the belt, according to Bob Arum, the promoter for both fighters.
Pacquiao said Thursday that the WBO panel ruling would help restore people’s faith in the sport.
All five members of a special panel scored it in favor of Pacquiao.
“I hope with this ruling the public’s faith in boxing would be restored,” 33-year-old Pacquiao said by phone from his home in the southern Philippines.
“I was not surprised by the WBO ruling. I knew that I won, so did the whole world. But that is already over and I am now focusing on the next fight.”
He said he and his promoter Arum would discuss his next move in a Los Angeles meeting set for next week, but remained coy on who would be his next opponent.
“We will soon find out who I will fight next,” he said, when asked if he was aiming for a rematch against US fighter Bradley.
Bradley snatched Pacquiao’s welterweight belt via a split decision, with two judges scoring it 115-113 for the American and a third scoring it 115-113 for Pacquiao. With the win, Bradley snapped Pacquiao’s 15-fight, seven-year winning streak.
The decision sparked outrage in the boxing-crazy Philippines and in the United States, where two senators pushed for the creation of a national boxing commission to regulate the sport.
Arum questioned the competence of the judges and pressed for an inquiry from the Nevada attorney general’s office. — Agencies