The rest of the world might still think Manny Pacquiao was robbed last month at the MGM Grand, but the Nevada’s state attorney general found nothing criminal about Timothy Bradley’s controversial split-decision victory over the Filipino superstar for the WBO welterweight title.
“Displeasure with the subjective decisions of sporting officials is not a sufficient basis for this office to initiate a criminal investigation,” said Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto in a letter to Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum, who promotes both Bradley and Pacquiao.
“There do not appear to be any facts or evidence to indicate that a criminal violation occurred.”
Masto said her office found no evidence of wrongdoing from the June 9 bout after conducting interviews with referee Robert Byrd, two Nevada Gaming Control Board officials and Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer.
None of the three judges at the center of the controversy—C.J. Ross and Duane Ford (who scored the fight 115-113 in favor of Bradley), nor Jerry Roth (who had the bout 115-113 for Pacquiao)—were interviewed.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Arum said he took little solace in the noncriminal findings of the investigation and said the judges should at least been a part of the interview process.
“I have no reaction to it,” Arum told Yahoo’s Kevin Iole. “They spent a lot of time interviewing the referee [Robert Byrd] who had nothing to do with judging the fight, and I didn’t see any interviews with the three judges who scored it? Wouldn’t you do that if you were looking into it?”
“Anybody who reads that letter is going to say, ‘Hey wait a second. The three people who, in effect, caused this, why weren’t they interviewed?’ Obviously, it would have been far more thorough had they interviewed the judges. They probably would have come to the same conclusion [that there was no evidence of a crime], but at least they would have talked to the people at the center of the issue.”
The worldwide uproar from the decision had Nevada Senator Harry Reid and Arizona’s John McCain pushing for a unified U.S. Boxing Commission, to prevent such future decisions and help clean up a sport long clouded by corruption.
The WBO assembled a five-judge review panel to take a second look at the bout and all five members scored the fight in Pacquiao’s favor.
However, the WBO can’t overturn the result of the bout.