On July 1, 2017 Manny Pacquiao faced Jeff Horn in Brisbane Australia, with the winner claiming ownership of the WBO welterweight belt. After 12 rounds of fantastic action broadcast live on ESPN for free, the resulting unanimous decision for Horn sent the boxing world reeling. Since the moment the decision came down, there has been no shortage of social media posts and sports talk show discussion about the fight. The overwhelming tone of professional boxing media as well as social media analysts has been of outrage that Pacquiao lost, going as far as to call for an investigation by the WBO to potentially overturn the decision (an unprecedented move.) There is only one problem with the media crying corruption and screaming that Pacquiao as robbed, only one issue that may be too big for them to come to terms with…..Jeff Horn won the fight fair and square. When we watched the fight live it seemed very close, when we watched it the second time with no sound we scored it 115-113 for Horn. When we watched the fight the third time with different announcers, the fight seemed far more decisive for Horn (117-111.) You can watch the fight with different announcers here:
Our final watch scores were as follows:
Round 1: Horn (clear) 10-9
Round 2: Horn (close) 10-9
Round 3: Horn (close) 10-9
Round 4: Horn (clear) 10-9
Round 5: Horn (close) 10-9
Round 6: Horn (clear) 10-9
Round 7: Horn (close) 10-9
Round 8: Pacquiao (clear) 9-10
Round 9: Pacquiao (clear) 9-10 (sorry, that was NOT a 10-8 round)
Round 10: Horn (close) 10-9
Round 11: Pacquiao (clear) 9-10
Round 12: Horn (close) 10-9
So what do we make of this? First and foremost, Teddy Atlas was obviously in the tank for Pacquiao, and his absolutely disgraceful commentating reeks of all of the corruption that he himself accuses others in the boxing world of all the time. Is there corruption in boxing? Probably. Is Teddy Atlas angry because the fighter that he was obviously attempting to sway the public in favor of actually lost the fight? Probably. Maybe Teddy needs to look in the mirror about all this “corruption” that he accuses judges of all the time. Maybe his absolutely disgraceful comments to Horn post-fight about “losing the fight” should be considered. Even Tim Bradley was disagreeing with him as the fight came down to the final seconds, and his obvious attempt to paint the decision as controversial is enough to warrant an investigation into him.
Social media exploded after the fight with thousands of Pacquiao fans crying foul, and saying that Horn somehow bought the decision from the judges. Once again, disgraceful….your man lost, get over it. There are people on social media calling Jeff Horn a “fake champion.” They are saying this because a man who won a vacant WBO belt against Tim Bradley (who has suffered from injuries and is at the end of his career) that Mayweather gave up got beaten by a fighter they had never heard of. Lets get something straight, after winning the WBO belt, Pacquiao decided to fight Jessie Vargas, who was ranked 6th. He did not decide to fight Thurman, Garcia, Spence, Porter or even Kell Brook….he fought Jessie Vargas. Obviously he was being protected in the twilight of his career by putting him in against sub-par fighters in an attempt to make him look better than he is anymore and build a Mayweather rematch. Manny needed a belt to make a Mayweather rematch interesting, he was handed one. Manny needed some dominant performances defending that belt to make an argument that he is not past his prime, and he got one against Vergas. He was matched with a guy you have never heard of because he was expected to be dominant and then rematch Floyd after the McGregor destruction happens. The problem is that he lost the fight because he is nowhere near the fighter he was 10 years ago. He hasn’t had a knockout in 9 years, and he couldn’t finish Horn in the 9th because he no longer has what it takes. When you throw around the term “fake champion” you should probably make sure that the guy you are defending isn’t a fake champion himself.
Boxing is a beautiful sport, and is one that needs judges because every fight can’t end up with a knockout. Because there are different things that a judge is looking for in order to decide the winner of a particular round, there is going to be disagreement as far as the winner of that round by different people scoring the fight. Horn was the aggressor for nearly the entire fight, even during the rounds he lost. Horn pressed the action and Horn made the fight. In the past, this is exactly what we said about Manny Pacquiao, and the fights he was in were interesting because he came forward and pressed the action. Now Pacquiao fans are suddenly calling him a counter-puncher, and saying that aggression must instead be “effective aggression” to count. I guess that means that if the “aggression” is giving the other guy the win, then it should be discounted as not being “effective.” It was effective enough to win more rounds than Pacquiao, and give him a unanimous decision by judges who have never been accused of wrongdoing before. Freddy Roach has even criticized the American referee, who he voiced no concern about previous to the decision.
All of this chatter of corruption seems to be par for the course with Pacquiao fans. If Pacquiao loses a decision the fight must be fixed. If he looks absolutely pathetic against Mayweather, then he must have been injured. Maybe….just maybe….the reason Pacquiao lost this fight is because the better man won.