Still standing tall

Manny Pacquiao before his June 9 fight with Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

By Bert Eljera

LAS VEGAS – His loss to Timothy Bradley apparently has not taken the luster off Manny Pacquiao in the eyes of many in the international boxing media.

Two of the top sports publications – Ring Magazine and Sports Illustrated – have kept Pacquiao at the top of their ratings despite that June 9 shocker at the MGM Grand.

In its latest rankings, Ring Magazine, considered the Bible of boxing, Pacquiao shares the No. 2 rating with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the pound-for- pound category.

No. 1 is vacant, while Bradley, recognized as the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight and junior welterweight champion, is ranked No. 8.

Pacquiao (No. 1) is rated ahead of Mayweather (No. 2) for the magazine’s welterweight division, in which the title is vacant.

Another Filipino, Nonito Donaire, the WBO junior featherweight champion, with an impressive 28–1-0 record, is rated No. 4 best pound-for-pound, the most coveted title for  boxers in all weight classes.

Another prestigious magazine, Sports Illustrated, ranked Pacquiao No.2 best pound-for-pound, just behind the unbeaten Mayweather, who is presently serving time in jail for a domestic violence conviction.

“(Manny) Pacquiao’s highly controversial split-decision loss to (Timothy) Bradley on June 9 had no impact on SI.com’s ratings of all fighters regardless of weight, ” the magazine said.

In the same category, Bradley, who notched his 29th straight win, is rated No. 8.

Going against the grain is Boxing Tribune, which calls itself an independent boxing media, rated Bradley its No.1 welterweight. But Pacquiao (54-4-2) is ranked directly behind at No. 2.

Just after the fight, in which two of the three judges awarded the victory to Bradley, a poll of boxing writers at ringside and those watching at home, gave the fight to the Filipino.

Of the 51 polled, 48 said Pacquiao, who landed 98 more punches, and 82 more power blows, decisively won, while three said Bradley, who suffered two broken feet, was the winner.

The controversial result has resulted in calls for further investigation, including one from the WBO, which will ask five noted international judges to take a second look at the videotape of the fight.

However, Francisco “Paco” Valcárcel. the WBO president, said he does not foresee a reversal, adding he has faith and confidence in the competence of the judges.

Nevada Sen. Harry Reid and the Las Vegas Athletic Commission have also called for a probe, as the Nevada Attorney General. How and when the inquiry will be done has not been announced yet.

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