Quick Jabs, Mostly Manny Pacquiao Vs. Timothy Bradley (With Jailed Floyd Mayweather On An Anorexic Diet)



When boxing reality won’t do, fantasy has to: Manny Pacquiao’s action figure vs. Floyd Mayweather’s action figure, with Manny on a flaming motorcyle and Floyd as some kind of death monk. That video came out prior to some recent events. Which action figure do you think would win in his current state — Manny, perhaps demoralized by his bunk loss to Timothy Bradley last weekend, or Floyd, whose career is threatened, his lawyers say, by his current jail stint?

Naturally, this edition of QJ is heavily focused on what’s been up with those two men the past week, but there’s a little talk of PEDs and promoter battles in here, too. On second thought, maybe just watch the video over and over again. There’s not much happy about boxing’s reality herein. I don’t want to give away too much about the video, but did I mention it had light sabers?

Quick Jabs

So Pacquiao’s once-fave Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, D-Nev., wants an investigation of the scoring in Pcquiao-Bradley by the state attorney general. (I say once-fave because Pacquiao’s political leanings of late are decidely conservative by U.S. standards.) My day job prevents me from commenting on Congress much, but I think everybody can endorse the general idea that when there’s something like this, an investigation is a good idea — and Reid says he’s confident nothing will come up shady, by the way. It’ll be most worth watching to see if the stalled legislation creating a national boxing commission gets any juice out of this; my guess is it will take a series of similarly prominent incidents for it to, because Congress can be fickle about what makes it to the frontburner. The WBO is doing its own investigation, by the way, not that one ought to have too much confidence in that outfit…

The meter on Pacquiao’s next opponent appears to be titling not toward a Bradley rematch, but another welterweight meet-up with Juan Manuel Marquez. If there is a Bradley rematch, Pacquiao and his team are talking about making sure he knocks out Bradley this time; makes you wonder why they weren’t thinking it this time, and of course there are fresh questions about Pacquiao’s ability or willingness to go hard all the time like he used to, plus I wouldn’t assume that Bradley can’t improve on his own performance without injured legs. I personally don’t have more interest in that rematch than I do the Marquez one, but I thought that before Pacquiao fought Bradley, too…

It’s hard not to feel a little bad for Bradley, whose biggest win has produced the kind of infamy that only a shitty boxing decision can produce. He’s declared that he’s of the mind that he didn’t lose, and has explicitly contradicted what his promoter, Top Rank’s Bob Arum, said Bradley said about thinking he’d lost. On the other hand, this comes with the job. If he doesn’t love boxing, he should, of course, look at his bank account, which is, quote, “faaaaaat”….

There are two views about all this that I find particularly odious: The first is that anyone who declares s/he’s not a boxing fan because of Pacquiao-Bradley can fuck off, because they’re “not real fans.” Boxing has shed thousands, perhaps milions of “not real fans” that way over the decades. You tell me who’s to blame. Is it the fans who get fed up and leave, the people who want their sports to have even a modicum of credibility, or the shitty things boxing does to make them leave? Talk about blaming the victim. The second odious view is that intense outrage about this decision is misplaced, because bad decisions happen all the time. They do, but let’s not pretend that proportionality has nothing to do with reaction. This happened at the ultra-highest, most visible level of the sport. Of course people are going to react more severely to this, for that very reason…

Last thing before we depart Pacquiao-Bradley: This video from Slate is fun and informative, even if equating punch numbers with the worst decision ever is dubious. (For my money, the worst decision I’ve still ever seen with my own eyes is lightweight Jose Armando Santa Cruz’ loss to Joel Casamayor.) It’s neat to me that you don’t hear boxing people talking as much about the not-too-distant allegations about Top Rank fixing fights as much as you do outsiders. Not sure what to make of that, though…

There’s a scent emanating from a Las Vegas jail this week, and it’s vagina. Mayweather’s legal team did this whiny song and dance about how he was living in “inhumane conditions,” about how he wasn’t getting adequate calories and was dehydrated, and his boxing career and financial earnings were threatened. Part one, bullshit. The judge called him on it, too, saying he has access to all the water he wants and simply is choosing not to eat the provided food. This was a ploy, one aimed at appealing to Las Vegas’ financial interests because Floyd is a big attraction, with Mayweather basically saber-rattling that he would have to quit boxing to scare them into letting him out. Part two, even if it wasn’t a ploy, guess what, jail isn’t fun or good for you, which is why it’s something to avoid — if beating up your ex-gf will put you there, don’t do that crap…

The USADA released a report of sorts on Mayweather and Miguel Cotto passing their drug tests for their last fight, including a mention that carbon isotope ratio testing was conducted. That hasn’t been good enough in some quarters, as no documentation was provided. I get it. More documentation is always better. On the other hand, very little documentation is actually sufficient for boxing fans, so far as I can tell — they always want more. If I was the USADA I just release everything, and see what people say then (perhaps we’ll get questions about embossed seals or controlled demolitions, though)…

Junior featherweight Nonito Donaire is going with year-round testing via VADA, which is a welcome development. As with documentation, more testing is always better…

Meanwhile, TQBR favorite DeMarcus Corley best wise-up on the drug front, at least with his public relations. The junior welterweight is taking mystery West African supplements. What’s he trying to do, calling attention to wacky chemicals he takes in the current environment?…

There are some fences being mended, apparently, between Top Rank and talented featherweight Yuriorkis Gamboa, who would go back to being called YURIORKIS GAMBOA! here if he got that all resolved. Arum is promising to go after Mayweather over the whole Gamboa/flake-out/Mayweather Promotions recruitment thing. Mayweather’s promotional firm might be taking another hit, too, if welterweight Jessie Vargas leaves his stable as appears probable…

Gamboa isn’t the only one with promotional strife. As happens with all Don King fighters, bantamweight Joseph Agbeko is suing the crazily coiffed one. King’s career feels like it’s just about on its last legs. The last highly viable fighter he has and who isn’t suing him is light heavyweight Tavoris Cloud…

One last bit of promoter business: Top Rank’s Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (middleweight) might have a pay-per-view event on the same September night as Golden Boy’s Canelo Alvarez (junior middleweight). I have to think this won’t happen. Chavez and Alvarez are two huge Mexican stars and the idea of boxing wanting to divide its audience over a “who’s dick is bigger” contest between promoters? Oh wait, I just described the last several years of the sport.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C., where he is a staff writer for CQ Roll Call.

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