Horn ig­nor­ing crit­i­cism of win over Pac­quiao

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - JOHN PYE

BRIS­BANE, AUS­TRALIA — Manny Pac­quiao had al­ready left town with­out say­ing much, even as crit­i­cism of the ref­eree in the WBO welterweight world ti­tle fight and the judges who awarded a unan­i­mous points de­ci­sion to a pre­vi­ously al­most anony­mous Jeff Horn was still pour­ing in on so­cial me­dia.

The 29-year-old Horn, a for­mer school­teacher who was given al­most no hope of beat­ing the 11-time world cham­pion, was feted by fans and politi­cians in his home­town on Mon­day and didn’t care too much about crit­i­cism — which started in a TV in­ter­view as soon as he left the ring on Sun­day af­ter the Bat­tle of Bris­bane.

“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, now un­beaten in his 18 fights since turn­ing pro­fes­sional in 2013, said as he basked in the vic­tory on Mon­day. “Ev­ery­one has a right to their opin­ion. I’m sure I’ve (gained) a lot more fans over there than I’ve lost.”

Pac­quiao skipped the for­mal post-fight news con­fer­ence, his camp say­ing he needed to get seven stitches in each of the cuts on the top of his head, and also de­clined other in­ter­views in the dress­ing room.

Some crit­ics de­scribed the re­sult as a rob­bery and ques­tioned the in­tegrity of the sport.

Im­me­di­ately af­ter the fight, Pac­quiao said he had to re­spect the de­ci­sion and noted that he had a clause for a re­match, but he later told a Philip­pines news chan­nel that he’d been con­fi­dent he’d won the fight.

His train­ers were crit­i­cal of the ref­eree for not do­ing more to stop or pe­nal­ize head clashes and neck holds. And they high­lighted sta­tis­tics that showed Pac­quiao threw twice as many punches.

In an in­ter­view with ABS-CBN News Chan­nel, Pac­quiao thanked some high-pro­file sup­port­ers for let­ting their feel­ings be known.

“Thank you for the sup­port and for also be­liev­ing that I won the fight,” he said in the TV in­ter­view. “I’m pray­ing that it will not af­fect or ruin the box­ing in­dus­try.”

Re­ports emerged that a gov­ern­ment de­part­ment in the Philip­pines wanted the WBO to launch an in­quiry into the out­come.

All three judges awarded it to Horn, with Amer­i­can Waleska Roldan’s 117-111 score at­tract­ing most of the crit­i­cism. U.S. judge Chris Flores and Ra­mon Cer­dan of Ar­gentina each scored it much closer at 115-113.

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