Generally speaking, the boxing community and general public were outraged by the decision handed down during Saturday night's big pay-per-view fight in Las Vegas. The comments from one of the judges who had Timothy Bradley beating Manny Pacquiao 115-113 on his scorecard will add more fuel to the fire.
Duane Ford, a judge selected by the Nevada State Athletic Commission to score the fight, chose not to bite his tongue, instead yapping about how he saw the fight. Ford believes that despite the near worldwide backlash, his decision isn't a "stain" on boxing.
"You know the sport's called boxing, and I think that Bradley really put on a boxing exhibition," Ford told Las Vegas TV station KLAS-TV. "He got hurt early and I thought Pacquiao was winning at the end of six (4-2). Pacquiao showed some power in the early rounds and he hurt Bradley. But you can't give Pacquiao credit for hurting him in the fourth round and you can't give him credit in 10th and 11th. Bradley out-boxed Pacquiao."
Manny was sloppy in the ring, according to Ford.
"Pacquiao missed a lot when there were real flurries. Pacquiao was missing shots," he said.
Despite promoter Bob Arum and others calling for an investigation, Ford, 74, believes that's not necessary, since he called the fight right.
"I don't see any reasons to bring the officials together on accountability, unless the commission thinks there is an impropriety," Ford declared. "This was a close, close fight and truthfully either kid could have won this. I don't think that the decision stained boxing."
Ford blames the HBO broadcasters for causing the hullabaloo.
"There's a concept out there as to the the general public and particularly TV, they're reporting something that I'm not sure they can influence the crowd in what they say," he opined.
In particular, Harold Lederman, who scores the fights for HBO, bothered Ford the most.
"As a judge we sit there for three minutes, have concentration and focus. Then when we hear the bell, we put our score down. We don't have a monitor that's showing us replays. I'm not worried about what Harold Lederman saw. I worry about what Duane Ford saw and I honestly scored what I saw."
On the whole, Ford was fine with his decision, however, in a way he oddly compared himself to American Idol celebrity judges Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez.
"I was comfortable with my score when I left the arena. Was I comfortable with the criticism? No. Let me tell you what, if this was American Idol, Pacquiao would have won because the public wanted him to win. On American Idol the three judges are unpopular sometimes, but we gave it an honest opinion."
-- Follow Ben Maller on Twitter @BenMaller.
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