The World Boxing Organisation (WBO) has confirmed that Jeff Horn was the rightful winner of the controversial fight against Manny Pacquaio.
The WBO’s re-score was prompted by a Philippines government’s request for investigation of the July 2 match, which Horn won by a unanimous judges’ decision.
The WBO’s re-evaluation found that Horn was indeed the welterweight world champion, winning seven rounds out of twelve.
“Five anonymous, competent Judges from different countries were asked to watch the bout without sound,” the organisation said in a statement.
“Upon the analysis, 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.”
Three of the five judges concluded that Horn was the winner of the bout, while one found Pacquaio as the winner and another saw it as a draw.
The match result has been controversial. Pacquiao’s Australian coach Justin Fortune called the referee “sketchy” and the judges “crazy” for awarding Horn the win.
“You can make as many excuses as you’d like – it was a shitty referee, shitty judging. But that’s boxing,” said Fortune. “You get given a gift sometimes, you get screwed sometimes. But when you come to someone’s house you’re supposed to mess them up … never leave it in the judges’ hands.”
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! #PacHorn
— Lennox Lewis (@LennoxLewis) July 2, 2017
Boxing greats and commentators have also expressed their disappointment. “This is what’s wrong with boxing,” said Lennox Lewis, former heavyweight champion and Olympic medallist. “Horn was very game but I’m hard pressed to see how he could have won that fight by any stretch!”
American commentator Teddy Atlas said the decision to award Horn the win “stunk”.
Teddy Atlas is none too pleased with the decision pic.twitter.com/CQKtQPHImv
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 2, 2017
“They gave a trophy — a win, a huge win — to the local kid for trying hard,” Atlas said. “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 Queensberry rules — who lands the cleaner punches.”
Horn said the criticisms do not concern him. “There will always be a backlash where people say I got lucky, or whatever,” said Horn. “There will always be the naysayers saying I didn’t win the fight, but I felt like I won the fight.”
A Horn vs Pacquaio rematch is expected to take place at Boondall Entertainment Centre, Brisbane at the end of the year, 7News revealed.