Very few boxing fans thought Jeff Horn stood a chance against former welterweight champion, Manny Pacquiao. The teacher turned boxer shocked fans with his UD win over the Pac Man, but the Australian’s win has been met with criticism following his victory given by the judges.
In front of 51,000 spectators, the three judges scored the fight as 117-111, 115-113, 115-113; the scorecards initially drew criticism from boxing legend, Lennox Lewis:
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
Much has been made of corruption within officiating; a constant grey cloud hanging over the sport, which puts results into dispute, and one that continues deep into Manny Pacquiao’s career.
Despite Pacquiao’s dominance in the latter stages of the fight, as well as landing a big punch to the eye of Horn in the fourth, the judges still sided with the Australian.
Battered and bruised by the 10th-round, Horn’s father was concerned for his son’s safety:
“I was very worried… If I’d had a towel I would have thrown it in.”
— Jeff Horn Sr
Such comments from Horn’s team even suggest a dominance from the Pac Man; one making the scorecard even more puzzling along with the fact Pacquiao landed more punches and appeared dominant throughout the fight.
Although the Philippines fighter initially accepted the decision, he has now decided to appeal the judges scorecards in a message to the WBO:
“I love boxing and I don’t want to see it dying because of unfair decision and officiating,”
“I had already accepted the decision but as a leader and, at the same time, fighter I have the moral obligation to uphold sportsmanship, truth and fairness in the eyes of the public,”
Whether or not Pacquiao’s decision falls on deaf ears, the former champion should have hung his gloves up a long time ago. With just five wins from his most recent nine fights, the 38-year-old is damaging his reputation.
The fighter’s previous comments on homosexuals already tarnished a man with a huge fan base, and now the losing of fights to boxers with limited credibility is crushing his boxing legacy.
Pacquiao has previously been regarded as one of the best pound for pound fighters, if not THE best before his bout with Floyd Mayweather; the Pac Man is now undoing all his outstanding work for the sport since his first fight in 1995.
Appealing the decision is giving further attention to something that should have been done and dusted by the fifth round; a fight that has tarnished Pac’s boxing record all for the sake of dragging a career out that had reached a pinnacle.
The 38-year-old had nothing to prove in the sport, nor did he to his fans; and, with a busy political career, the Pac Man can start building towards a legacy in the world outside the ring, rather than trying to uphold one he’s already maximised in it.