WBO says Pacquiao won; Manny wants rematch

Unanimous vote by five judges

The special five-man panel tasked by World Boxing Organization (WBO) president Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel to review the controversial Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley WBO welterweight title fight has reached the conclusion that the Filipino did indeed win the June 9 bout.

According to RingTV, all five members of the panel reviewed the bout and all scored it in favor of the Filipino ring icon. Two judges scored it 117-111, while the other three scored it 118-110, 116-112, and 115-113.

Bradley won Pacquiao's welterweight belt via a split decision, with two judges scoring it 115-113 for the American and a third scoring it 115-113 for Pacquiao. The decision sparked massive outrage within the boxing community and even had two United States senators pushing for the creation of a national boxing commission to regulate the sport, prompting Valcarcel to order a review.

The panel's findings generally reflect the sentiment of boxing observers who were at ringside, almost all of whom had Pacquiao winning by various margins. Top Rank head Bob Arum, who promotes both fighters and who called for an investigation of the bout, called the findings a "Solomon-like conclusion".

Despite the panel's findings, WBO rules cannot allow the decision to be overturned. The most the boxing body can do, according to Valcarcel, is to order a rematch, something Arum has recently said he is no longer keen on doing.

But Pacquiao, reacting to the findings, said Thursday that he now wants a rematch. He added that he hopes Bradley won't give up the belt, as some have been suggesting, presumably because he wants to win it back fair and square. Interviewed on local television, Pacquiao also said he was pleased with the WBO's findings, saying he hoped it would restore the public's faith in boxing.


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