Battle of Brisbane - Pacquiao to seek rematch after contentious loss to Horn
BRISBANE, Australia (AP):
It went all the way and ended in a contentiously bitter loss, the opposite of what Manny Pacquiao's handlers predicted for his World Boxing Organisation (WBO) welterweight world title fight against Jeff Horn.
Pacquiao's long-time 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 51,052-strong crowd.
The 38-year-old Philippines senator arrived in Brisbane a week ahead of the fight on a chartered plane carrying more than a hundred supporters and as the hot favorite to beat Horn. He leaves 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."
But Pacquiao's conditioning trainer, the Los Angeles-based former Australian heavyweight, Justin Fortune, was critical of the referee and the judging.
"Manny lost the fight, but Jeff Horn looks like a pumpkin. Those scores, that card?" he said, "It should be the other way."
Fortune said Pacquiao should have taken any risk out of the equation.
MAKE A STATEMENT
"When you come into someone's backyard, you need to really do a number on them or knock them out," he said. "That's boxing. You get given a gift sometimes, you get (swindled) sometimes. But when you come to someone's house, you're supposed to mess them up, make a statement. Never leave it in the judge's hands."
Co-promoter Bob Arum said it was a "close fight, it could have gone either way".
"A couple of close rounds, but you can't argue with the result," he said. "I scored a lot of the early rounds for Jeff. Then I had Manny coming back in the middle. The 12th round, Jeff really won. If you give Manny the 11th, you have it a draw. You give Jeff the 11th, it's 7-5."
Roach had said earlier in the week that he would think about advising Pacquiao to retire if he lost the fight, but they are already considering a rematch.
Horn cannot see Pacquiao retiring any time soon.
"I'm sure he'll want to come back. It was a close decision and I'm sure he'll want to come back and prove himself," he said.
Arum said there was a clause for a rematch, but he would give it time before talking to Pacquiao about it.
"I don't know Manny's future position. Is he going to stay in politics and not continue in boxing? I don't know, and he doesn't know," Arum said. "It's unfair to ask him now."
Pacquiao's camp had talked about a rematch with Mayweather if he got past Horn, hoping to avenge his loss on points in the 2015 mega fight. That seems to be a long shot now.
Pacquiao left the fight with a record of 59 wins, seven losses and two draws, but the last of his 38 wins by knockout was in 2009. Horn had not lost any of his previous 17 professional fights, but had never encountered anybody with Pacquiao's credentials.