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Attorney general says nothing criminal in controversial Pacquiao-Bradley decision

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Steve Marcus

Timothy Bradley Jr. stands with referee Robert Byrd after beating Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, June 9, 2012. Bradley took Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title by split decision.

Bradley Defeats Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao punches at Timothy Bradley Jr. during their WBO welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, June 9, 2012. Bradley won a controversial split decision. Launch slideshow »

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Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Tuesday an investigation into the scoring of last month’s controversial split decision victory for Timothy Bradley against Manny Pacquiao in the WBO welterweight title fight uncovered no criminal activity.

Bob Arum of Top Rank Promotions, which put on the fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, requested the inquiry in what he described on fight night as bizarre result that made him ashamed for the sport. Many people thought Pacquiao easily won, but judges C.J. Ross and Duane Ford had it 115-113 in favor of Bradley for the shocking result.

Bradley was a 4-to-1 betting underdog, paying bettors $400 for every $100 wagered.

Cortez Masto, in her response to Arum, wrote: “This office has received no allegations of criminal activity from anyone regarding this fight. Even so, further review was conducted.”

Officials interviewed referee Robert Byrd, Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer and a representative from the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The judges weren't interviewed.

“Displeasure with subjective scoring decisions of scoring officials is not a sufficient basis for this office to initiate a criminal investigation,” Cortez Masto wrote. “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 judgement by individuals officiating at a sporting event is not by itself a criminal investigation.”

In the aftermath of the decision, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid said he would revisit a long-standing boxing bill he’s worked on in the past with Arizona Sen. John McCain for regulating the sport.

Also, the WBO reviewed the fight, with five officials from the governing body scoring the bout in favor of Pacquiao. Still, they aren’t able to reverse the decision.

A rematch is still being discussed. Arum said last month he had no interest having Pacquiao-Bradley II, saying it wouldn’t even be a thought if the bout was scored correctly.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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