C.J. Ross and Duane Ford, the judges who awarded Timothy Bradley a controversial split decision win over Manny Pacquiao on June 9, have been called out by Top Rank CEO Bob Arum for miring one of the biggest pay-per-view fights of the year.
Arum, who plans to launch an “investigation” before moving forward with a proposed November 10 rematch, said a combination of Ross’ big fight inexperience and Ford’s age contributed to their scorecards, which both had Bradley defeating Pacquiao 115-113. The third judge, Jerry Roth, scored the bout 115-113 for Pacquiao.
“Here, the only argument was if it was 10-2 or 11-1. It was craziness,” said Arum during the post-fight press conference. “I think the real problem is, look at the three judges. They had a woman who never judged a title fight, an inexperienced woman. You had two experienced judges who were as old as me. You have to have younger people. If you’re older — and I know, I speak from experience — you can’t have the same attention span as a younger person.”
While Arum has had a good relationship with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), most notably backing their current drug testing protocol during strained negotiations with Floyd Mayweather, he believes the judge pool needs a complete overhaul governed by an independent entity.
“There has to be a professional association which has maybe 20-30 judges, like the NFL and you take it out of the hands of the state commission,” Arum explained. “These judges will work on a rotating basis as long as their scores are acceptable over a course of time. If you can pick around 40 judges from around the world and you assign them to the big fights, you would have professional officials like you do in the NBA and the NFL.”
At press time, the NSAC has confirmed an internal investigation into last Satuday’s fight will not be launched.