Boxings Black Eye in Brisbane

Boxings Black Eye in Brisbane

By Eric Iraheta

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 02: Jeff Horn of Australia and Manny Pacquiao exchange punches during the WBO World Welterweight Title Fight at Suncorp Stadium on July 2, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

The fight was bloody, it was brutal, it was ballistic. Both fighters were ready to brawl and willing to exchange. Manny Pacquiao showed his age, but still showed his brilliance. Jeff Horn although a massive underdog, showed up to fight. We, as fans, should have went to bed with a feeling of satisfaction that we were able to witness Manny Pacquiao defend his title on ESPN, for free, a win/win for the boxing world.

What we witnessed in the late evening to early morning was not an upset victory for Jeff Horn. No, what we saw last night was a mockery of the sport and true sign that the corruption in boxing truly has no limits.

Jeff Horn (17-0-1 11 KO’s) received an extremely controversial unanimous decision victory over Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2 38 KO’s) to win the WBO welterweight title at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

The three Judges scored the fight (117-111, 115-113, 115-113) all in favor of Horn. The scores of 115-113, although ridiculous in my opinion, are at least some what believable. However, Judge Waleska Roldan scored the fight 117-111 for Horn, only scoring the 3rd, 8th and 9th rounds for Pacquiao. That is inexcusably absurd and should not go without investigation. Am I over reacting? Let’s look at the facts of the fight.

Over the course of 12 rounds Jeff Horn threw 625 punches to Manny Pacquiao’s 573, meaning Horn threw 52 more punches than Pacquiao, the only stat Horn would have an advantage in. Of those 625 punches, Horn only landed 92, a mere 15% of his output. Manny scored on 182 punches of his 573, connecting at 32%, more than doubling Horns numbers. Manny landed 59 of his 193 jabs with a 31% accuracy, while Horn scored on 19 of his 197, a mere 10%. Power shots? Pacquiao landed 123 of his 380 coming in at 32% with, Horn scoring on 73 of his 428 taking him down around 17%. I never claimed to be a math genius and I am certainly not the expert, know-it-all of boxing. However, I am pretty certain these numbers tell a different story than what Waleska Roldan saw. I think the boxing world deserves an explanation.

One of the top boxing experts in the sport, Teddy Atlas, who provided ring side commentary for the bout did not hold back when the upset was announced, “They give everybody a trophy. That’s what they did tonight. They gave a trophy, a win, a huge win– to Horn, the local kid for trying hard. You’re not supposed to get it for trying hard! You’re supposed to get it for winning! And I thought Pacquiao won the fight, if you go by the real rules. The Marquess of Queensbury rules–who lands the cleaner punches”. Atlas would also go on to say “It’s either incompetence or corruption and no one is so incompetent to judge the fight 117-111. It’s a corrupt sport. I’ve been in the sport for 45 years, I’m sorry….it’s a little blunt…but we have a corrupt sport. What else could it be? Corruption.”

Pacquiao clearly showed his age and, without a doubt, Jeff Horn came to fight. He fought hard, but he was no where near winning that fight. In round 9, Manny Pacquiao started to unload on Horn, hitting him with everything but the kitchen sink. Horn had no answer, he was gassed, bleeding profusely from his right eye, he was hurt. Round 9 was so brutal that the referee threatened to stop the fight, but for “some reason” he had a turn of heart to the plea’s of Horns corner, begging for one more round. The referee allowed it and to Horn’s credit, he went on to win the 10th and 12th rounds.

What happened last night is deplorable. It is a slap in the face to the sport of boxing, it’s fans, as well as anyone that ever hopes to have a true fighting chance to climb the ladder of success in the sport, when it comes across as being as dirty and corrupt as it seems. Manny Pacquiao, is a beloved icon to not just his home country, but to the entire world. This is a man that has captured a world title in 8 different weight classes and will go down as one of the greatest to ever lace up a pair of gloves…this is the respect he receives? This is the thanks he gets? A score of 117-111 and his title stripped from him (not once, but twice). This is a travesty to the sport of Boxing and, quite frankly, it makes this writer a little more hesitant to trust any outcomes that are left in the hands of the judges.

Jeff Horn may be the new WBO Champion of the world, and he fought his butt off to get it, but he didn’t earn it and he doesn’t deserve it. He may be smiling and he certainly should be, but in my opinion, the results of last nights fight left a black eye on boxing much worse than the one Manny Pacquiao left on Jeff Horn.