Saturday night’s fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley had one of the most controversial decisions that I can remember in the sport of boxing. Analysts, writers and talk show hosts have all voiced their frustration with Bradley winning a split decision over Pacquiao. All three judges had the fight close and all three have spoken out and defended their decision. There was one judge who had Manny Pacquiao winning. It was veteran Nevada boxing judge Jerry Roth. The boxing public tends to side with him.
Roth joined ESPN Radio 1100 in Las Vegas with Cofield and Cokin to explain his scoring from Saturday night’s fight, whether he is surprised that many in the media thought the fight was lopsided, if the criticism the judges have received gets to him, whether he has ever been called in front of the commission to explain his scoring and if he thinks judges from outside need to be brought in to judge mega-fights.
On his scoring from Saturday night’s fight:
“Well there were a lot of close rounds but I thought in the early part of the fight Pacquiao was doing very good. In fact I gave him five of the first six rounds. Then in the latter part of the fight I thought he just didn’t do enough. He didn’t have that killer instinct he usually has. He was sort of backing up, Bradley was coming on and I thought coming on fairly strong. That’s why I gave four of the last six rounds to Bradley and ended up a two point fight, seven to five.”
Whether he is surprised that many in the media thought the fight was lopsided:
“Yes I’m completely surprised at anybody that could score the fight 11-1. I don’t know how they could’ve done something like that. We judge round by round. We sit there for three minutes, judge the round and give the scores to the referee and that’s it. We don’t talk about in the fourth round how we scored the third round or talk to people to our left or to our right, we’re concentrating on that fight and that fight only. How anybody could see that fight so one-sided is beyond me. I just can’t fathom that somebody could see such a fight so one-sided.”
If the criticism the judges have received gets to him:
“I know it’s going to get to me because I blame a lot of it on TV. People watch television and they hear Harold (Lederman) and some of the other people talking and they say it’s such a one-sided fight and that’s the way they see it. When I watch a fight, when I watch the playback of a fight, I turn the sound down and watch it, then I score. When I hear the scores that are going to be 11-1, 10-2 or scores of this nature, I know there’s going to be controversy and of course there was.”
Have you ever been called in front of the commission to explain your scoring?
“No. (Host: Does that ever happen? Is there ever an investigation into the scoring?) I can’t answer that. I know that I was never investigated on scoring, ever. I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. (Would you be open to explaining why you scored something the way you did?) Absolutely, sure. (Host: Do you think the sport needs that?) No. I mean all three judges had the fight very close. We were all watching it from three different angles. To me, it was a close fight.”
Whether he thinks judges from outside Nevada need to be brought in to judge mega-fights:
“Maybe I’m biased okay but I think Nevada has some of the best judges in the world. We practice it for a long time, we’ve had a lot of fights here and I’m not one that really likes the idea of bringing in a lot of people from out of town. Sometimes people come in from out of town and they have a lot of even rounds or they do this or that or they come from different parts of the world. We try to watch fights, see fights, so that we’re uniformed and we do the best we can to be uniformed and I think we have the best officials in the world right here.”