Timothy Bradley didn't rob Manny Pacquiao, says Brian Kenny, who called the fight for Top Rank. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
Brian Kenny, a respected boxing broadcaster who called Pacquiao vs Bradley ringside for Top Rank's international feed, is one of the few media members who scored Saturday's main event for Timothy Bradley. He was on 670 The Score in Chicago this morning to discuss the fight, and said he can't believe the level of outrage the fight has garnered.
Kenny noted that many of the rounds were close -- swing rounds that could have gone either way.
"A lot of times in these rounds, nobody wins," he said. "This is not like a 100-meter race where someone hits the tape first. It doesn't work that way. It's very subjective. I'm just surprised at the level of outrage. I just don't see it, and I was several inches away from it as it happened."
He also feels that Bradley's body work may have been underappreciated, especially on TV.
"I don't see how you could see that fight as a blowout. Bradley was landing a lot of body shots," he said. "Maybe from my angle, and the judges' angle, you don't see the head shots that are being blocked as clearly, maybe you see the body shots much more clearly. Anybody that tells me Bradley wasn't hitting anything, I just tell them, you're flat-out wrong."
Many have noted -- even those who scored the bout widely for Pacquiao -- that Manny had a habit of not working for three full minutes of every round, instead coming on strong in the final minute or so. Kenny wonders if that often wasn't enough to take the rounds, after Bradley had put scoring points in the bank earlier in the round.
"I think it's a legitimate question. Pacquiao has more power, he has more explosiveness," he said. "I'm not saying he was stealing rounds, but is that final minute or 30 seconds of work enough to overwhelm the opening two to two and a half minutes?"
Kenny, above all, seems to feel that the fight was competitive, and that those scoring it in true blowout fashion for Pacquiao either had the blinders on, or just missed the fight in front of them.
"I'll sit down with anybody and score it round-by-round, and I'll be stunned to see 11-to-1, or 10-to-2. I'd be stunned to see, 'Oh, wow, Pacquiao really blew him out.' Because that's not what I saw."
"It's utterly ridiculous," he said of some of the cries of robbery. "It was a competitive fight."
When asked about Bob Arum's reaction, and whether or not it was genuine, Kenny said, "I know after the fight, I saw Bob Arum, and he said, 'This is terrible.' He said, 'What do you think?' And I said, I had it closer than most, I had it 7-5 Bradley. And he walked away from me."
Kenny added that other Top Rank employees were greatly upset by the decision. But he feels that a rematch, despite Arum's semi-objections at the moment, will happen.
"I think it does happen," he said. "I think it's a saleable fight. It'll be talked about like, should this fight even happening? I think there should be a rematch. Bradley's feet have to heal. If they do it again, Pacquiao is probably still favored."
"I think Pacquiao can up the level of his game. One guy was taking the fight like it was the fight of his life, and for the other guy, it was just a night out for him."
The subject of a potential investigation, or review of the fight with the judges, came up, and Kenny was all for it, saying that in Major League Baseball, close calls are reviewed after the game with the umpires, and that a similar stance would be good for boxing.
"I think every judge who judges a major championship fight, or any professional fight, afterwards should sit down with members of the commission and review their work, to see how good their work is," he said.
Last night on The Boxing Lab radio show, Bradley disputed Arum's claim that he told the promoter after the bout he knew he didn't win, before the scores were read. Kenny, who as best I can tell has not heard that bit of information, also noted that he didn't believe that to be the case.
"I know that's the popular story going around, that Bradley didn't think he won, and that he said this. It's not true. I saw Bradley, the way he reacted after the fight. After the fight ended, he jumped right up on the ropes and threw his fist in the air," he said.
"I thought, in my mind, he looked like a guy who thought he'd won the fight."
When asked about a potential Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao, Kenny did people who pay close attention to boxing proud by basically dismissing the notion that this had any impact on the fantasy fight.
"Everybody thinking this ruins Mayweather-Pacquiao, that wasn't happening anyway," he said. "Maybe it happens now. Maybe Mayweather was waiting to see an erosion of skills, [for Pacquiao to] flame out a little bit, and then he'd fight him. This didn't ruin it. There was plenty of opportunity for this fight to happen, and Mayweather didn't want it."