LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AFP)
Nevada's state attorney general's office has found no wrongdoing by officials in Manny Pacquiao's controversial loss to Tim Bradley on June 9, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Wednesday.
But investigators interviewed none of the judges involved in what was considered by most fight fans a robbery of a split-decision victory by unbeaten American Bradley over the Filipino icon.
Catherine Cortez Masto, Nevada's attorney general, said her top investigator spoke with members of the state athletic commission and gaming board and found no evidence of criminal acts, including match-fixing or unusual bet patterns.
But that will do little to ease the pain of Pacquiao fans who howled in disgust after two judges ruled Bradley at 115-113 winner while Pacquiao was given a 115-113 victory by the third judge.
"Displeasure with the subjective decisions of sporting officials is not a sufficient basis for this office to initiate a criminal investigation," Cortez Masto told promoter Bob Arum in a letter.
"Unless evidence beyond mere displeasure is forthcoming, this matter will be considered closed. While there may be strong disagreement with the decision, the exercise of professional judgment by individuals officiating at a sporting event is not by itself a criminal investigation."
Arum told the newspaper the probe came up short of the type of investigation he would have liked to have seen.
"I'm happy that the attorney general did some investigating, but there's a tremendous gap," Arum said. "Why didn't they interview the judges?
"I'm not sure this brings closure. I would feel a lot better if they had interviewed the judges. But it's her investigation, not mine."
Keith Kizer, the Nevada Athletic Commission executive director, met with the three judges last week and reviewed a video replay of the fight round by round to discuss their scoring. Kizer said he was satisfied with their efforts.
"I thought they handled it well," Kizer said. "It's unfortunate that people reacted the way they did following the fight. But this was a very close fight and eight of the 12 rounds could have went either way.
"The three judges did a great job."
Bradley is still dealing with ankle and foot injuries suffered in the fight while Pacquiao is vacationing in Israel. Arum said he plans to meet with Pacquiao in about 10 days to decide whom "Pac-Man" will fight in his next planned bout, set for November 10.
Pacquiao could enforce a rematch clause to avenge his loss to Bradley but could also opt for a fourth fight with Mexico's Juan Manuel Marquez, which brought about 500,000 more pay-per-view purchases last November than the Pacquio-Bradley fight.