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Manny Pacquiao vs. Bradley: The World-Wide Freakout Over a Split Decision

Scoring a boxing match is a complex thing, and not something so easy as looking at the final score in the corner of the television as the clock winds down. But the reaction to the conclusion of Saturday's fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley was universally apoplectic, with promoter Bob Arum calling the decision a "death knell" for boxing and plenty of other spectators suggesting a more sinister motivation behind the surprising decision. Whether you watched the fight or merely watched the hubbub unfold over Twitter, the facts seem pretty stark: by most accounts, Pacquiao landed a higher percentage of his punches and landed more hits in 10 out of the 12 rounds. Bradley himself said he'd have to check the tape to see if he "really won." But when it was all over, two of the three judges ruled in Bradley's favor, giving him the victory.

That said, the decision wasn't completely baseless: Though he expresses support for Pacquiao, the Journal's Gordon Marino called the fight "a window into the subjectivity of boxing," noting how Bradley's late-round surge of energy might've pushed the judges into his corner...


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