American sporting legends and pundits have voiced their anger at the unanimous points decision that saw Aussie Jeff Horn defeat Manny Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight world title.
The Brisbane school teacher stunned the 11-time world champion at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday in an energetic and brave display in front of more than 51,000 fans.
That was despite the referee telling Horn after the ninth round: “You’ve had enough – show me something in this round or it’s finished”.
Horn withstood a barrage of Pacquiao punches in the ninth round, but finished strongest to shade a thrilling fight that he started superbly.
NFL legend Aaron Rodgers posted on Twitter that he was disgusted with the result.
— Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) July 2, 2017
Former boxer Lennox Lewis added: “This is what’s wrong with boxing.
“Horn was very game, but I’m hard pressed to see how he could have won that fight by any stretch!”
Retired basketball star Kobe Bryant also posted on Twitter that he was confused with the result.
ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith took things one step further, accusing the judges of hometown bias.
“Are those officials from Australia? Are they? What did we just see? This is a horrible decision! Horrible,” he said.
“Manny Pacquiao gets robbed by some dude from Australia called Jeff Horn who has a corny nickname in ‘The Hornet’ who we’ve never known about or seen before tonight … why doesn’t the sport of boxing just ask him [Pacquiao] to leave?
“It seems to me that’s what they were doing.
“They were saying, ‘Manny, go away.’ They’re not asking, ‘Manny, are you OK?’ they’re saying, ‘Manny, go away’.”
Horn said on Monday that he was not fussed by the fallout in the United States.
“There will always be a backlash where people say I got lucky, or whatever,” he said in Brisbane.
“There will always be the naysayers saying I didn’t win the fight but I felt like I won the fight.
“A lot of the Queenslanders think I won the fight, and people around the world. So you will always have the select few that will be against you.”
Horn questioned whether Pacquiao prepared properly for the fight – and said that if the pair does meet in a re-match, the Filipino might do things differently.
“Manny Pacquiao is an absolute warrior, a legend of the sport,” he said.
“He might have come [in] underdone in this fight, I don’t know. I guess if we have a rematch and he put his all in, he might come in better, I don’t know.”
Horn now hopes to fight boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr, who has an incredible 49-0 career record.
“I hope so. I’m world champ now. And he has been out of action and coming back to have a fight with [UFC champion] Conor McGregor,” he said.
“It will be a good test for him to cement his record in history to fight another boxer for his title.
“I would prefer to come back here to fight in Queensland or Australia, but, look, there is always a chance that the fight could possibly be made in America.”