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Three times in his career, Pacquiao was robbed of clear victories


PhilBoxing.com




GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- When Filipino boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao climbs the ring for the first time in a little more than a year on July 15, he?ll be toting an impressive 59-7-3 (with 38 KOs) win-loss-draw record in more than two decades of dancing in the squared arena.

Had it not for his two losses on controversial decisions and a draw, however, that ?robbed? him of as many wins, that slate could have been a more impressive and, thus, more fearful 62 triumphs as against four setbacks and a pair of draws.

Pacquiao, then only 26, who had just dethroned Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera of his RING and Lineal featherweight crown via an 11th round TKO on Nov. 15, 2003, was first denied of what could have been his 39th win settling for a split draw decision against soon-to-be arch-rival Juan Manuel Marquez six months later.

The 12-round encounter held May 8, 2004 in Las Vegas was for Marquez?s IBF and WBA featherweight plum, which the Pacman nearly won, too, dropping the defending titlist tree times in the opening round alone but for the 115-115 draw verdict of judge Burt Clements.

The other judges John Stewart and Guy Jutras saw the fight in identical 115-110 decisions in favor of the Filipino. Both awarded the first round to Pacquiao, 10-6, on the strength of his knocking Marquez down thrice right after the first bell sounded.

Clements, who submitted a mere 10-7 vote, admitted making the error on the knockdown round. Had he scored it 10-6, Pacquiao wound?ve gone home the winner via a split along with his 39th victory. He won their second and third face offs on points but lost the fourth on a sixth round knockout.

"I just screwed up," Clements said. "I feel badly because I dropped the ball, plainly and simply. You can make a lot of arguments that it was a very close fight, but that's immaterial. The fact is, I dropped the ball."

Eight years later on June 9, 2012, the hard-luck Pacquiao was again deprived of another well-earned victory, this time over the then unbeaten Timothy Bradley, who he beat black and blue in 12 rounds only to come victor, again, thanks to spotty judging.

Prior to the fight, Bradley promised to shock the world, predicting a win although the biggest shock came from the judges' scorecards.

Promoter Bob Arum fumed and the crowd at the MGM Grand arena booed, and Pacquiao seemed stunned when the decision was announced.

"I've never been as ashamed of the sport of boxing as I am tonight," said Arum, who handles both fighters. Bradley won 115-113 on the scorecards of judges Duane Ford and C.J. Ross, while losing on Jerry Roth's scorecard by the same margin. The Associated Press had Pacquiao winning 117-111.

"I did my best," Pacquiao could only murmur after the scam. "I guess my best wasn't good enough."

Punching statistics showed Pacquiao landing 253 punches to 159 for Bradley, who vowed before the fight to take the 147-pound title from Pacquiao. The Compubox statistics showed Pacquiao landing more punches in 10 of the 12 rounds.

In front of 51,052 only a year ago in Brisbane, Australia, Pacquiao, again, suffered yet another defeat in a fight against local boy Jeff Horn, many, likewise believed he could have easily won.

The three judges scored it 117?111, 115?113, 115?113 in favor of Horn. although more than 50 of the some 60 or so media men, including the respected Teddy Atlas. Dan Rafael and Kevin Iole as well as many current and former boxers saw Pacquiao had done enough to retain the WBO title.

Rafael, ESPN?s senior writer, scored the fight 117?111 for Pacquiao. Atlas scored it 116?111, also for Pacquiao. The Guardian, like Rafael, also scored the fight 117?111 in favor of Pacquiao. CBS Sports scored the fight 114?114 even, while BoxNation's Steve Bunce scored the fight 115?113 for Horn.

Photo: Jeff Horn roughs up Manny Pacquiao during their WBO welterweight championship in Brisbane, Australia on July 2, 2017.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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