Brisbane boxer Jeff Horn’s famous win over 11-time world champion Manny Pacquiao will be officially reviewed.
Horn defied the odds to stun the Filipino legend, and more than 51,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium, to become the new WBO welterweight champion of the world after a unanimous points decision went his way.
That decision was widely criticised, though, and in an unprecedented step, the World Boxing Organisation said they will honour a request from the Philippines Games and Amusements Board citing “possible miscalls by the referee and judges”.
That means the fight will be re-scored – but there is no plan to change the actual result.
“The purpose of this review is to be able to give the fans certainty of who was the winner of the bout, even thought we do not have the power to reverse the decision of the judges,” WBO President Francisco Valcarcel said.
The “re-score” will involve five anonymous judges re-watching the fight.
The original fight was scored a 115-113 victory to Horn by both Chris Flores and Ramon Cerdan, while Waleska Roldan gave the Aussie a 117-111 triumph.
In a statement, Pacquiao, 38, endorsed the review.
“I love boxing and I don’t wanna see it dying because of (an) unfair decision and officiating,” the 11-time world champion 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.”
Pacquiao said in the ring after the fight had just ended: “That’s the decision of the judge, I respect that.”
Horn, a 29-year-old former schoolteacher, was presented with the keys to Brisbane on Thursday.
The ‘Hornet’ said it was “slowly sinking in” that he’s a world champion and added that he hadn’t paid much attention to the fight controversy.
He said Pacquiao had “changed his mind” after saying he was happy with the initial decision.
“But I feel if he wants to do it again, let’s do it again. The rematch clause is there for a reason,” he said.