Boxing: Pacquiao loss is latest bout of controversy


Boxing finds itself mired in controversy again after fierce criticism of the decision to award Timothy Bradley a split-decision victory over hot favourite Manny Pacquiao at Las Vegas' MGM Grand in the early hours of yesterday.

The Filipino fighter appeared to have done enough to take the decision, despite slowing down in the later stages, but was stunned by the decision which cost him his WBO welterweight belt.

Two judges scored the bout 115-113 to the unbeaten Bradley and one handed the win to Pacquiao by the same score, the crowd reacting angrily and jeering when the verdict was returned.

Defeat must now place the long-delayed but much-debated fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr in serious doubt. "He never hurt me with his punches," Pacquiao said. "I did my best. I guess my best wasn't good enough. Most of his punches hit my arm. I don't know what happened."

Bradley added: "Manny hurt me a few times with his left hand. He's a beast. But my corner told me if I won the last round, I'd win the fight. I've got to give Manny a rematch."

Criticism of the decision came thick and fast, with Pacquiao's training partner Amir Khan branding it "robbery", Lennox Lewis calling it disgraceful and promoter Bob Arum saying it was "nuts".