Arum OK with Pacquiao vs. Horn results
By Allan Fox: Manny Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum had no problems with the final results of last Saturday’s fight between WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn. The fight was won by Horn, but it appeared in the eyes of a lot of the boxing world that Pacquiao had done enough to earn the ‘W’ in front of 51,052 boxing fans at the Suncorps Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
The punch stats for the Pacquiao-Horn fight showed that Pacquiao should have been given the victory. Horn landed only 91 punches in the entire fight.
Arum felt that the fight could have gone either way, so he wasn’t complaining after the fight ended about Pacquiao being robbed. However, it’s not as if Arum went home a loser. He co-promotes the 29-year-old Horn. It’s a win-win situation for Arum, because now there’s going to be a rematch between Pacquiao and Horn. The rematch could lead to a third fight. It’s doubtful that Arum will stop the two from fighting each other after 2 fights.
If Horn can get a second win over Pacquiao in their rematch, then it might be better if Arum and Duco Events keeps him away from the top guys in the welterweight division. Horn doesn’t look like he’d do well against fighters like Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia. Horn made mention of wanting to fight Thurman and Spence at the post-fight press conference. Horn isn’t the one that does the match-making. That’s up to Arum and Duco Events.
I don’t think they’re going to want to ruin the momentum that Horn has right now by putting him in with solid young guys with talent and size. Pacquiao is a small guy with a lot of wear and tear on him from 23 years in the pro ranks. Horn was able to use his size to rough Pacquiao up. Horn would need to come up with some other ideas to try and beat Spence, because trying to rough them up would be a nonstarter. Horn would get hurt by both of those guys if that’s all he brought to the table. If roughing up is Horn’s Plan-A to beat Spence and Thurman, then he’s going to be out of luck.
Horn got the 12-round decision in the eyes of the 3 judges that worked the fight. The fight ended with the scores 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113. This writer scored the fight for Pacquiao 7 rounds to 5. Horn would have won the 12th on my scorecard if he wasn’t roughing Pacquiao up so much. I saw a lot of extracurricular roughhouse tactics from Horn that should have led to him being penalized in round 12, as well as earlier in the fight. The referee Mark Nelson was very lenient with the things he was letting Horn getting away with.
“It was a close fight. I thought Manny won,” said Arum.
It was a very close fight, but it was also a fight where Pacquiao was the better fighter of the two. Horn did a good job in proving that he was the more physical fighter of the two, but he wasn’t the better fighter. Horn didn’t connect with the same amount of shots as Pacquiao, and with the same connect percentage.
According to CompuBox, Horn landed 15% of his punches with 92 shots landed. Pacquiao had a connect percentage of 32% with 182 shots landed. Pacquiao landed twice as many shots with twice the connect percentage. Evidently, the judges weren’t impressed with Pacquiao’s higher work rate and better connect percentage. It’s unclear why.
“There’s an argument for the fight being 7-5 Manny,” said Arum. “The 11th round was sort of close. I thought Manny gave away early rounds. Could it have been 7-5 for Manny? Yeah, but you can’t argue with the result,” said Arum via RingTV.com.
I think you can definitely argue about the results of the Pacquiao-Horn fight. Are boxing fans supposed to be silent because it’s more convenient for the promoters? The judges’ scores fouled up what was a good fight for a lot of boxing fans. All you have to do is read social media and see how many boxing fans are angry about the results of the fight.
It might not bother Arum, but it bothers the fans. The good news is the fight wasn’t on HBO PPV, because this would have been a huge black eye if the wans had to pay to see another controversial fight on PPV. The fans just saw back to back controversial fights on HBO PPV between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev. The last thing the fans needed was a third controversial fight result.
Unfortunately that’s what the boxing fans saw in the Pacquiao vs. Horn fight. It’s just that it was on ESPN Boxing rather than on PPV, which is a good thing Pacquiao wasn’t at his best against Horn. That much was obvious. Pacquiao looked like he’d lost a few steps in his last fight against Jessie Vargas.
Something had changed in his game from his win over Tim Bradley a year ago to his fight against Vargas. It’s possible that lack of training has zapped Pacquiao’s boxing skills and stamina. It’s not just age. It’s more a case of inactivity. Pacquiao is spending too much time on his political job and not enough time training.
“I think you cannot spend so much time as a senator and expect to be a world-class fighter,” said Arum.
The Horn-Pacquiao rematch will be taking place in Brisbane once again, says Arum. That’s not surprising. A fight between Pacquiao and Horn would be lucky to bring in a crowd of 7,000 boxing fans if it were staged in the United States. There was a time in the past when Pacquiao was fighting in front of crowds of over 40,000 fans in the U.S. A lot has changed in the last 8 years. Pacquiao no longer knockouts his opposition and his match-making leaves a lot to be desired. The last non-Top Rank fighter Pacquiao fought was Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015. That didn’t work out well for Pacquiao. He lost that fight by a 12 round unanimous decision and he fought poorly.
Pacquiao received 9 stitches to repair a cut on his scalp from a clash of heads that he suffered during the Horn fight. Pacquiao received another 8 stiches to repair a cut over his left eye. Horn required 7 stitches to repair a cut over his right eye. Both fighters looked like they had gone through a real war. It’s unfortunate that Pacquiao’s cuts were from head clashes. Horn was lowering his head like a Billy Goat and coming forward the entire fight. Pacquiao should have made some adjustments early on to avoid getting head butted from Horn, because he was continuously coming forward with his head down the entire fight.
“I have to go along with Manny and say I respect the decision of the judges,” said Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach. ”Well, two of the judges. I did think Manny won but Jeff Horn showed a lot of heart. He is a big, strong fighter and I congratulate him. I have to go along with Manny.”
Roach didn’t seem to be too upset about Pacquiao losing the fight. With a fight as controversial as last Saturday’s fight, you’d think that Roach would have complained bitterly. There was a time in the past where Roach might have voiced his unhappiness as Pacquiao getting beaten.
Roach wasn’t too happy with Pacquiao losing a controversial decision to Tim Bradley in 2012. The Horn fight was just as controversial as Pacquiao’s first fight with Bradley. There must be a lot of money in a rematch between Pacquiao and Horn. Look at the options for Pacquiao. Arum is talking about making a fight between Pacquiao and Konstantin Ponomarev once he gets past Horn. That’s another fight headed for non-PPV. If that’s all Arum has for Pacquiao at this stage, then he might as well fight Horn as much as possible.
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