Pacquiao backs call for WBO review of his loss to Horn
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.
Jeff Horn, left, of Australia and Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines fight during their WBO world welterweight title bout in Brisbane.