Last night in front of a sold-out crowd of 55,000 fans, Manny Pacquiao displayed his greatness yet again. Only one problem though, he was not rewarded for it. Instead, Brisbane, Australia boxer Jeff Horn (17-0-1) took home the WBO welterweight title via unanimous decision in one of the worst outcomes in boxing history.
Pacquiao (59-7-2), now 38 years old, looked a half a step slower than his normal self, but that is about all you can take away from his performance. After a first round where Horn clearly won via aggressive head first offense and awkward angles that threw Pac-Man off, he found his rhythm in the second round. Slowly but assuredly, Pacquiao made the adjustments and began landing punches from awkward angles, catching the Aussie with powerful hooks and draining body shots.
While both Stephen A. Smith and Timothy Bradley Jr. agree that Jeff Horn should have lost to Manny Pacquiao, they cannot seem to agree with how the judges made their decision.
The 29-year-old Horn began causing accidental head butts early on and the two both saw red – with Horn leaking from a cut above his eye and Pacquaio from a cut on the top of his head. Each sat on the canvas as well,but from slips. And although Horn came to fight, Pacquiao seemed to handily dominate the action.
In the ninth round, Manny truly showed his experience as he unleashed a barrage that fully tattooed Horns face and almost stopped the Aussie. After being saved by the bell, referee Mark Nelson came to the corner and told Horn and his camp that if he didn’t show him something, he would stop the fight. When he came out for the tenth, Horn definitely stepped up and capitalized on Pacquiaos waning energy level.
Jeff Horn defeats Manny Pacquiao via controversial unanimous decision to become the new WBO Welterweight Champion.
The final two rounds saw Pacquiao continuing to slip, block and dodge bullish combo attempts from Horn while showing a veterans knowledge of boxing defense.
Still, when it was all over, ring announcer Michael Buffer said, And New… alerting the world that Jeff Horn had been given a unanimous decision victory. Judges egregiously scored the bout 117-111, 115-113, 115-113, all for Horn, who is now the WBO welterweight champion.
The insane score of 117-111 is the equivalent of giving Horn nine rounds to three. Ringside commentators Teddy Atlas and Tim Bradley both stated that they felt Pacquiao won the fight. Atlas told Horn to his face that he thought he lost the fight during the post-fight interview.
Bradley was the only commentator to state that the fight was closer than most think towards the end of the bout. Many feel his opinion was based on his controversial split decision win over Pacquiao in 2012.
Pacquiao was gracious and humble in defeat, but the outcome was an outrage and a black eye for boxing. Broadcast on ESPN for millions of new fight fans to be created, it is a travesty that a spirited performance by a veteran boxer was overlooked for the aggressive tenacity of a young stud. Atlas compared the decision to rewarding a child in school for making an A for effort but not for actually winning. And he is right.
Boxing trainer Freddie Roach says he will talk to Manny Pacquiao about retiring from the ring following his defeat from Jeff Horn.
Immediately, people believed that Pacquiao was done dirty by the wrath of local Aussie judges but when it was found out that Waleska Roldan, Chris Flores and Ramon Cerdan were from America and Argentina, things get scary. This was a case of poor judging by extreme standards and one look at the stats shows you why.
Pacquiao landed 32 percent of his punches according to CompuBox, compared with 15 percent for Horn.
Horn landed 73 power punches which comprised 79 percent of his total punches landed. Pacquiao, landed 182 total punches according to CompuBox, compared with 92 landed by Horn. The betting lines had Pacquiao as the clear favorite going into the fight as a Minus-550 to win, compared with plus-425 for Horn. Clearly some people made a couple bucks in Las Vegas.
What are their records?
Still, the win tainted the already shady image of boxing, which was starting to turn with a stellar year of fights so far and more on the horizon. After the win, Horn called out Floyd Money Mayweather asking him if he wanted the walking stick or the gloves, bringing out the props to illustrate the question. Ballsy move for a guy who was just given a stolen belt.
Had the judges awarded Horn the win via split decision, it would have still been a robbery, but a respectable one. However, a unanimous decision shows that either proper training wasnt administered to these officials, or the world collectively should ignore numbers and their eyes when watching boxing.
Reminds me of current President Trump’s new regime of alternative facts, and how boxing just became a causality of such skewed thinking.