Independent review says Horn won WBO welterweight title fight over Pacquiao


The World Boxing Organization says an independent review of the scoring in Manny Pacquiao’s welterweight world title loss to Jeff Horn confirms the outcome in favor of the former Australian schoolteacher.

A Philippines government department asked the WBO to review the refereeing and the judging of the “Battle of Brisbane” in Australia on July 2 after Horn, fighting for his first world title, won a unanimous points decision against Pacquiao, an 11-time world champion.

The WBO agreed to conduct a review, but said it couldn’t change the outcome unless there was evidence of fraud or a violation of law.

It appointed five judges from different countries to watch the bout without sound and released the outcome of the recount late Monday, showing three judges awarded the fight to Horn, one scored a draw and one judge awarded the fight to 38-year-old Pacquiao.

The WBO said based on the first stage of analysis, Horn won seven of the 12 rounds.

WBO President Francisco Valcarcel asked the judges, who remained anonymous, to assign their own scores to rounds, saying the results would be tabulated to ascertain which rounds each fighter won using an average scale based on 100, 80 and 60 percent.

In the statement Monday, the WBO said based on the analysis Pacquiao won the third, eighth and ninth round by 100 percent, the fifth round by 80 percent and the 11th by 60 percent. Horn was given the first, sixth and 12th rounds by 100 percent, the second, fourth and seventh by 80 percent and the 10th by 60 percent.

“From the results, it can be established that Pacquiao won 5 rounds while Horn won 7 rounds,” the statement said.

The WBO said the further step of combining the independent judge’s scores for each round with the bout judge’s scores for each round also confirmed a win for Horn.

The Philippines Games and Amusements Board (GAB) last week urged for a review, saying it wanted to protect the integrity of the sport.

The fight, in front of more than 51,000 people at a rugby stadium in Brisbane, was scored 117-111 by Waleksa Roldan and 115-113 each by Chris Flores and Ramon Cerdan — Roldan’s score coming in for most criticism. Pacquiao had Horn in wobbling and in trouble in the ninth round, but couldn’t finish him off. Horn rallied late to hold on for a points decision and remain unbeaten in 18 professional fights.

GAB chairman Abraham Kahlil Mitra last week welcomed the WBO’s decision to conduct the review, saying it would send a strong signal that any sign of leniency, abuse of authority or wrongdoing would not be tolerated.

“Our feeling is, if you’re quiet, you’ll get abused but if you complain, they’ll be careful … Manny is a senator, a champion, but was like wrestled there, abused by them,” Mitra told The Associated Press in the Philippines’ capital after the WBO confirmed it would review the scoring. “If it can be done to him, it can be done to any other Filipino boxer.”

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