At what was termed “The Battle of Brisbane”, Australian boxer and local guy Jeff “The Hornet” Horn shocked the world by defeating legendary Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao. Horn, despite much controversy, survived nine rounds of beating to win the world welterweight title in a unanimous decision on Sunday. Judge Waleska Roldan scored the fight 117-111 in favor of Horn, while Chris Flores and Ramon Cerdan gave a closer 115-113 score in favor of Horn. ESPN, the exclusive television carrier of the bout in the United States, scored the fight 117-111 in favor of Pacquiao, while long time analyst Teddy Atlas scored the fight 116-111 in favor of Pacquiao. Statistics also favored Pacquiao, as CompuBox credited Pacquiao with 182 landed punches and Horn with just 92, despite both throwing a similar amount of punches.
Pacquiao has been through controversial decisions such as this one before, particularly in a 2012 split decision loss to Timothy Bradley Jr. which also cost him the world welterweight title. After the fight against Horn, Pacquiao kept from criticizing the result, saying, “That’s the decision of the judges, I respect that.” Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach supported Pacquiao’s view of the situation when he said, “I did think Manny won, but Jeff Horn showed a lot of heart. He is a big, strong fighter, and I congratulate him.” Pacquiao has a rematch clause in his contract for this bout, and he is expected to call for a rematch against Horn soon.
As for Horn, even he at first seemed surprised at the result. Horn is a 29-year-old former Olympian and school teacher with much less experience than Pacquiao in professional boxing. “I don’t know. I guess with the crowd behind me and all the support… I’ve just believed since I was young that I could do this,” Horn later told someone who asked how he was able to outlast Pacquiao.