Pac­quiao backs call for WBO re­view of his loss to Horn

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

MANILA, PHILIP­PINES — Manny Pac­quiao asked the WBO to act on a re­quest by Philip­pine sports of­fi­cials for a re­view of his wel­ter­weight world ti­tle loss to Jeff Horn, say­ing he didn’t want to see the box­ing in­dus­try “dy­ing be­cause of un­fair de­ci­sion and of­fi­ci­at­ing.”

While Pac­quiao has ac­cepted his de­feat to Horn, who fought in his first world ti­tle bout in Sun­day’s so-called “Bat­tle of Bris­bane,” the Philip­pine sen­a­tor said in a state­ment Wed­nes­day he had a “moral obli­ga­tion to up­hold sports­man­ship, truth and fair­ness.”

The 11-time world cham­pion cited a re­quest by the Philip­pines’ Games and Amuse­ments Board, or GAB, to World Box­ing Or­ga­ni­za­tion Pres­i­dent Fran­cisco Val­car­cel for a thor­ough re­view of the ref­er­ee­ing and judg­ing of the bout, which was staged out­doors in front of more than 51,000 fans at Sun­corp Sta­dium.

The WBO should take ac­tion on the Philip­pine re­quest “so as not to erode the peo­ple’s in­ter­est in box­ing,” Pac­quiao said. “I had al­ready ac­cepted the de­ci­sion but as a leader and, at the same time, fighter, I have the moral obli­ga­tion to up­hold sports­man­ship, truth and fair­ness in the eyes of the pub­lic.

“I love box­ing and I don’t want to see it dy­ing be­cause of un­fair de­ci­sion and of­fi­ci­at­ing.”

In their July 3 let­ter to Val­car­cel, GAB chair Abra­ham Kahlil Mi­tra and two other of­fi­cials ex­pressed con­cerns about “the pos­si­ble er­rors of the ref­eree and the three judges who of­fi­ci­ated the sub­ject fight.”

Pac­quiao had a re­match clause in the con­tract, mean­ing the 38-year-old Filipino could ne­go­ti­ate to fight Horn again be­fore the end of the year.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

Jeff Horn, left, of Aus­tralia and Manny Pac­quiao of the Philip­pines fight dur­ing their WBO world wel­ter­weight ti­tle bout in Bris­bane.

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