In what was considered as one of the greatest upsets in the recent world boxing history, Manny Pacquiao lost his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title to Jeff Horn in a stunning, unanimous decision on Sunday, July 2.
Needless to say, many were shocked at the results. After all, stats from the CompuBox showed that Pacquiao landed about twice more punches than Horn.
At one point during the match, the referee also warned Horn: “Show me something in the next round or I’m gonna stop the fight.”
But the judges still awarded the crown to the Australian challenger after giving the final scores of 117-111, 115-113, 115-113, all in favor of Horn.
While Horn’s determination was undoubtedly acknowledged, many viewers couldn’t find themselves agreeing with the three judges. Even boxing trainer and ESPN commentator Teddy Atlas expressed his frustration a second later after the decision was announced.
“They gave a trophy, a win, a huge win to Horn, the local kid for trying hard. You’re not supposed to get for trying hard, you’re supposed to get it for winning!” Atlas exclaimed.
But Atlas’ rants didn’t stop there, as he told Horn to his face: “Congratulations, great effort, but I thought you lost.”
Lennox Lewis, the undisputed world heavyweight champion, also expressed outrage at the result.
“This is what’s wrong with boxing. Horn was very game but I’m hard pressed to see how he could have won that fight by any stretch!” he tweeted.
While saying that he respects the judges’ decisions, Pacquiao believed that he “clearly” won the fight.
“We’re ahead. By four to five rounds in my opinion,” Pacquiao told reporters. “It’s too much. I would believe the decision more if it was close, say 115—113.”
He also criticized the referee of their match, saying, “The referee is not knowledgeable. Feeling ko tuloy na-set up ako (I felt like I was set up).”
Asked about the possibility of a rematch, Pacquiao said he is “definitely” open to the idea.
“We have a clause for a rematch. No problem,” Pacquiao said.
For some, however, the results of the match likely showed signs that Pacquiao should hang up his gloves for good — with the Filipino boxing icon not getting any younger at the age of 38.
“The reason why they’re OK with this decision is Manny Pacquiao tonight did show his age, at 38 years of age,” Timothy Bradley told ESPN.
He went on to say, “He showed his age tonight. Horn was out. He was out in, I think, it was the eighth or ninth round. Pacquiao had him hurt, but then, the next round after that, you saw Pacquiao laying off the gas pedal. You saw Horn come on the next two rounds, might’ve stole the next two rounds in this fight.”
While nothing is definite, coach Freddie Roach said he’ll discuss with Pacquiao about the possibilities of retiring.
“‘I’m going to have to have a long talk with Manny and discuss this, see how he feels and I’m going to give him my feelings on it too because I’m a little bit in the middle right now,” Roach said.
Despite the unfavorable results in his recent match, Malacañang, in a statement, said Pacquiao remains the “People’s Champ” and “Pambansang Kamao (National Fist).”
“Manny Pacquiao’s loss in Brisbane would not diminish the honors he bestowed to the people and to the flag,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella stressed. “Nothing will change: Sen. Manny Pacquiao will remain our People’s Champ, Pambansang Kamao (National Fist), and national treasure in global sports.”
Horn, who remains undefeated, seemed to not care much about the “naysayers” who kept on lashing criticisms against him.
“There will always be a backlash where people say I got lucky, or whatever. There will always be the naysayers saying I didn’t win the fight, but I felt like I won the fight,” Horn said. “Everyone has a right to their opinion. I’m sure I’ve (gained) a lot more fans over there than I’ve lost.”
For their match, Pacquiao and Horn have been guaranteed to earn a minimum purse of $10 million and $500,000 respectively, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.
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