BRISBANE, Australia – Manny Pacquiao has made it clear that he believes he deserved the victory against Jeff Horn.
“We won the fight,” Pacquiao was quoted by Philippine Star after coming up on the short end of the 3 judges’ scorecards at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. “It’s clear, even if you review the fight.”
Pacquiao did not immediately protest the decision, which was panned widely by sportscasters and observers around the world, including ESPN commentator Teddy Atlas at ringside who told Horn to his face that he thought he’d lost.
“That’s the decision of the judges, I respect that,” Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 knockouts) said afterwards, before saying he’d “absolutely” exercise the rematch clause for a second showdown in Brisbane.
Pacquiao had said he didn’t expect Horn to be as tough as he was, and Horn was somehow able to survive a brutal ninth round pummelling before fighting back in the final 3 rounds. Pacquiao, who has not scored a stoppage win this decade, did not capitalize on his vulnerable and bloodied opponent, and drops to 5-4 in his last 9 fights.
Pacquiao’s conditioning coach admitted that the team underestimated Horn, saying “Jeff fought 100 times better than he’ll probably ever fight again.”
Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach called it a “pretty close fight” while his promoter Bob Arum said a case could be made for a Pacquiao win before adding “you can’t argue with the result.”
Punch stats favored Pacquiao by a nearly 2-to-1 margin in total connects, 182 to 92, though Horn was credited with throwing more, 625 to 573. Punch stats are not made available to judges as part of their scoring process, and the total numbers do not reflect the way that a fight is scored, which is on a round-by-round basis instead of as a whole.
A review of Compubox round-by-round numbers shows that Pacquiao landed more in 11 of the 12 rounds (every round but the sixth), while Horn threw more punches in 9 of the rounds with one even in the eighth.
A rematch, should it push through, is contractually obligated to take place in Brisbane, Arum says. Pacquiao said after the fight “it would be better if the rematch would be held in the Philippines.”
Pacquiao, 38, had been speculated to fight in the Philippines or in the United Arab Emirates in late October or November had he won. Instead it appears he may have unfinished business to tend to in Australia before assessing his future options. – Rappler.com