On Saturday, Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. was named the still-undefeated champion after defeating Manny Pacquiao in the most anticipated (yet underwhelming) fight of the century by “unanimous decision.”
But did he really win?
There are now a range of conspiracy theories making their way through the internet, one of which is based on an apparent scorecard mix-up that has some people thinking the “People’s Champion” and underdog, Manny Pacquiao, should have come out on top.
The theory is based on these images of the official score card:
Judges Glenn Feldman, Burt Clements and Dave Moretti — designated “white,” “blue” and “pink,” respectively — wrote their scores down for each boxer. The scores for each round seemingly fall under the correct name of each boxer, but the colors of the corners do not — Mayweather was actually in the blue corner while Pacquiao was in the red corner.
If the win went to the person who was actually fighting in the red corner, Pacquiao should have been announced the winner.
OK, maybe it was just a mix-up of colors, a simple error by three separate and supposedly professional judges. Or … (whispering) it’s a conspiracy.
“I thought Pacquiao was doing well. I don’t know how people scored the fight, I thought he was doing well […] The fact of the matter, you’re the more aggressive one, you hit him with the shots … Pacquiao seem to hit [Mayweather] more times than he hit Pacquiao.”
Pacquiao also thought he won the fight, telling HBO’s Max Kellerman immediately afterward:
“It’s a good fight. I thought I won the fight … He didn’t do nothing. He was always moving outside.”
So either the judges didn’t score by the corner’s actual colors, or they may have just made one of the most egregious errors the boxing world has ever seen by announcing the wrong winner.
Then there’s always the general theory that the fight was thrown because too much money was on the line for it not to be. Why didn’t Pacquiao pick up the pace towards the end? Why did an unusually passive Freddie Roach not tell him he might be losing on punches and urge him to at least finish strong in those last rounds rather than bide his time and wait for someone to hand him his $100 million check?
Another conspiracy holds that Pacquiao fought Mayweather with a torn rotator cuff he kept secret, which didn’t stay that way because a Mayweather spy in Pacquiao’s camp leaked the injury to him pre-fight. Pacquiao told Rappler:
“Someone leaked it from the gym […] Did you see when he was pulling my arm? Because he knew. He was pulling it, did you see? Because he knew (about my injury).”
On top of that, the Nevada Athletic Commission denied Pacquiao an otherwise perfectly acceptable anti-inflammatory shot in the locker room right before the fight because they claim he didn’t mention the injury sooner. Pacquiao’s camp, however, claims they had all their paperwork in order.
Either way, Pacquiao isn’t in the mood to stay quiet about the circumstances. The boxer told Rappler yesterday:
“I’m so disappointed in the commission because I believe they know but only they said we didn’t fill out the form […] We filled it out but also I’m so disappointed because for the first time in my boxing career, more than 20 years, they hold my vitamins, they hold my water (from) the dressing room. This is new.
“I want a rematch if he wants … I wasn’t 100 percent ready for last night because of this shoulder but I don’t want to use that complaining that I lost the fight. I’m just accepting the fact that I lost.”
Pacquiao added at the end:
“At least to the people, I was the winner.”
And he truly is — Pacquiao is set to donate half of his winnings from the fight to charity.
[UPDATE 5/4/15 6:10 p.m. PST: The Nevada State Athletic Commission sent us the official corrected scorecard below for the fight showing the judges simply mixed up each fighter’s corner color, debunking the conspiracy theory that the result was due to a scoring mismatch.]