WBO cannot strip Bradley of belt after review, but can order rematch
MANILA, June 15 (Mabuhay) — WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel told USA Today that the organization, which sanctioned last Saturday’s bout, cannot overturn the split-decision that saw Bradley win, nor can they strip the fighter of his championship belt.
Valcarcel said despite instructing a panel of five international judges to review the Top Rank promoted bout, it can only order a rematch between the two fighters. Pacquiao already has a rematch clause in his contract, but that is optional. Top Rank boss and Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum has expressed doubts about the marketability of a rematch.
Valcarcel’s comments came shortly after announcing that the WBO’s championship committee would review the fight “to take measures in accordance with the rules of procedure.” He also clarified that “in no way this says we are doubting the capacity of these judges, which we consider as honest and competent judges.”
Saturday’s (Sunday, PHL time) fight in Las Vegas saw Bradley win via a 115-113, 115-113, 113-115 split decision, making him the new WBO welterweight champ.
Personally though, Valcarcel believes Pacquiao won the fight.
“I know from my experience that I saw Pacquiao winning 8-4 or 7-5, but that’s my opinion.
“I like a guy who forces the fight and [Pacquiao] was putting pressure on the other guy. The judges can consider other stuff, like the amount of punches thrown, or other things. But I always say that is why we have three [judges] instead of one,” he said.
After reviewing the fight, the committee will send a statement to the Nevada State Athletic Commission with their findings.
Team Pacquiao however, may decide not to pick up their option on the rematch, due to possible low interest in such a fight, according to the promoter of both boxers, Bob Arum. Instead, they are considering other options, such as a fourth encounter with Juan Manuel Marquez. (MNS)