Horn stuns Pacquiao in contentious fight
Aussie underdog takes WBO title on unanimous decision
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.