Horn stuns Pac­quiao in con­tentious fight

Aussie un­der­dog takes WBO ti­tle on unan­i­mous de­ci­sion

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By John Pye

BRIS­BANE, AUS­TRALIA» It went all the way and ended in a con­tentiously bit­ter loss, the op­po­site of the out­come Manny Pac­quiao’s han­dlers pre­dicted for his WBO wel­ter­weight world ti­tle fight against Jeff Horn.

Pac­quiao’s long­time trainer Fred­die Roach tipped a “short and sweet” knock­out win for the 11-time world cham­pion in Sun­day’s so-called Bat­tle of Bris­bane, but Horn got a unan­i­mous points de­ci­sion in his first world ti­tle fight — de­light­ing the 51,000-strong crowd at his home­town Sun­corp Sta­dium, a record for Aus­tralian box­ing.

The 38-year-old Philip­pines se­na­tor ar­rived in Bris­bane a week ahead of the fight with a char­tered plane car­ry­ing more than a hun­dred sup­port­ers and as the hot fa­vorite to beat Horn. He left with­out the WBO belt.

All three judges awarded it to Horn, with Waleska Roldan scor­ing it 117-111 and both Chris Flores and Ra­mon Cer­dan scor­ing it 115-113.

Some crit­ics slammed it as a home­town de­ci­sion, say­ing the statis­tics had Pac­quiao land­ing twice the num­ber of power punches as Horn.

“That’s the de­ci­sion of the judges. I re­spect that,” Pac­quiao was quoted as say­ing by broad­caster ESPN. “We have a re­match clause, so no prob­lem.”

Pac­quiao was close to fin­ish­ing it in the ninth round when he pounded Horn and had him wob­bling — to the point where ref­eree Mark Nel­son asked the 29-year-old be­fore the 10th if he could con­tinue.

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