Even a controversial re-score of Jeff Horn’s bout with Manny Pacquiao had the Aussie winning.
The Brisbane boxer stunned the 11-time world champion with a impressive points victory in the WBO welterweight title fight at Suncorp Stadium earlier this month.
Despite the fact Horn won via a unanimous decision from all three judges, Pacquiao – who initially accepted the call – later said he had a “moral obligation to uphold sportsmanship, truth and fairness” as an appeal was launched.
The official review was called for by the Philippines Games and Amusements Board, who cited “possible miscalls by the referee and judges”, and to the surprise of the boxing world, the World Boxing Organisation [WBO] asked for a re-score.
The unprecedented step was to “give fans certainty”, they said, but the WBO added that the result could not be changed – only the scoring.
So it was somewhat of an anti-climax when the WBO announced that the five independent judges who re-watched the fight declared Horn as winner.
“The Jeff Horn vs Manny Pacquiao bout results were controversial, causing disputes amongst fans. For this reason, transparency is so important,” a WBO statement said.
“Five anonymous, competent judges from different countries were asked to watch the bout without sound … the findings stated that Pacquiao won the third, the eighth and ninth by 10 per cent; the fifth round was won by 80 per cent; and the 11th round by 60 per cent.
“Horn won the first, sixth and 12th rounds by 100 per cent; rounds second, fourth, and seventh by 80 per cent; and then, the 10th round by 60 per cent.
“From the results, it can be established that Pacquiao won five rounds while Horn won seven rounds.
“Based on this analysis, Jeff Horn was the winner of the bout.”
The analysis of the independent judges was combined with the judges of the fight on the day to “find the percentage agreement by round”.
“Upon doing this analysis, the findings of the Judges stated that Pacquiao won the third and ninth by 100 per cent; the eighth round was won by 87.5 per cent; no rounds were won by 75 per cent; the 5th round by 62.5 per cent; and the 10th and 11th were even rounds,” the WBO added.
“On the other hand, the Judges findings stated that Horn won the first, sixth, and 12th rounds by 100 per cent; by 87.5 per cent, he won the fourth and the seventh; the second was won by 75 per cent; none were won by 62.5 per cent; and the even rounds were the 10th and the 11th.”
A re-match between the pair may occur, with a second fight officially written into Pacquiao and Horn’s contracts before the ‘Battle of Brisbane’.
Horn said he was not fussed when the original result was called into question.
“There will always be a backlash where people say I got lucky, or whatever,” he said.
“There will always be the naysayers saying I didn’t win the fight. But I felt like I won.”