The dynamic combinations,staggering punch output, and sublime movement coupled with an unbounded capacity to engage contributed immensely to Manny Pacquiao's historic run. Although these attributes established his prominence in the ring, it produced expectations for particular performances that indirectly resulted in a narrow, but unanimously detested split decision defeat. Incompetence is the first, and most valid explanation for the scorecards that resulted in Timothy Bradley being awarded Pacquiao's WBO Welterweight title, but how could two professional judges reach such a decision?
My belief is that as a consequence of Pacquiao's distinct style, that the refined gameplan implemented by Pacquiao and Roach, which permitted Manny to win rounds without the dependence of a high work rate (due to the well documented problems in previous fights with cramping) actually was costing them rounds because the judges felt that this style equated to Timothy Bradley dictating the tempo of the fight. The previous expectations of Manny Pacquiao and his style predisposes the judges to a poor scorecard, and this inclination resulted in a notorious split decision defeat, but perhaps more importantly, potentially discouraged Manny from fighting in a manner that could prolong his career by the transition away from a style dependent on physical attributes that are naturally declining with age.
This post is not intended to defend the incompetence of the judging that night, or provide any true explanations at how a professional could fail to adhere to the aspects that should result in an accurate score for one single 12 round fight. The main topic I'd like to hear a response to is if the boxing community feels that the fallout of this fight is simply another implausible result, only this time seen by the world; or if this "loss" actually cost more than a defeat on record, and led to the abandoning of adaptations to Pacquiao's style that could have assisted in the transition of an aging fighter, perhaps permitting a few more years of Pacquiao's historic run.