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Decision against Manny Pacquiao a death knell for boxing

Manny Pacquiao listens announcer call decisifavor Timothy Bradley their WBO world welterweight title fight Saturday June 9 2012 Las Vegas.

Manny Pacquiao listens to the announcer call the decision in favor of Timothy Bradley of their WBO world welterweight title fight Saturday, June 9, 2012, in Las Vegas. Bradley won by split decision. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

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Is boxing dead?

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Updated: June 11, 2012 10:38AM

Boxing still had something.

It had the middleweights.

It had the dream of a Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight. Fading, but still there.

By Sunday morning, it had nothing left. The “Sport of Kings’’ was pronounced dead.

The split-decision that awarded Timothy Bradley Jr. the welterweight title on Saturday night over Manny Pacquiao was so visibly wrong in a sport where so much wrong has taken place over the last 15 years, that the idea of boxing being able to get the standing 8-count and recover is far-fetched at best.

“Something like this is so outlandish, it’s a death knell for the sport,’’ promoter Bob Arum told ESPN minutes after the decision.

And Arum, a kingpin in the sport, promotes both boxers.

“This is [bleepin’] nuts,’’ he continued. “I have both guys, and I’ll make a lot of money in the rematch, but it’s ridiculous. You have these old [bleeps] who don’t know what the hell they’re looking at. It’s incompetence. Nobody who knows anything about boxing could have Bradley ahead in the fight.’’

Including Bradley.

According to Arum, the new paper champion didn’t even feel he earned it.

“When I came into the ring [after the fight], I said to Tim, ‘You did very well,’ and he said ‘I tried hard and I couldn’t beat the guy,’ ‘’ Arum said. “You talk about killing boxing.’’

You know who should be smiling this morning?

UFC President Dana White. His sport had been chasing down boxing for years, and in the eyes of many, had passed it. If it wasn’t passed before Saturday night, it’s looking back and laughing now.

Boxing has been spinning downward for years. Too many different associations, too few powerful promoters calling the shots. That’s why I’ve always been in the camp of either one commissioner brought in and given absolute control or the government stepping in.

Pacquiao clearly dominated the fight, even moreso than judge Jerry Roth’s 115-113 decision showed. For C.J. Ross and Duane Ford to both score it 115-113 for Bradley, as well as a rematch clause in Pacquiao’s contract looming, start the conspiracy talk.

Human error?

If that’s the case, the system is severely broken because almost no one had Bradley winning that fight.

So now what?

A November rematch between the two as the band-aid?

No thanks. I won’t watch it. A fight doctor can only fix so much. Some wounds are beyond repair.

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