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WBO to re-score Jeff Horn’s win over Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao

By Jeff Aranow: Due to the controversy surrounding Australian Jeff Horn’s controversial 12 round unanimous decision win over Manny Pacquiao on July 2, the World Boxing Organization will be re-scoring the fight. However, even if the WBO decides that the 3 judges that scored the fight were in error in giving the win to the 29-year-old Horn, it won’t lead to him losing the WBO welterweight title he won off of Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs).

The title will remain with Horn. It also won’t result in Pacquiao being given the victory. The re-scoring of the Horn-Pacquiao fight will be done by 5 judges, who will sit and watch the fight over. It’s unclear who the 5 judges will be, as they’ll be anonymous.

The way for the fight results to be overturned is if fraud could be proven with the officiating of the fight. WBO president Francisco Valcarcel says Pacquiao can use his rematch clause if he wants to fight Horn again, but the WBO doesn’t have the power to reverse the decision of the three judges that were assigned to the fight.

Pacquiao hasn’t made the decision about whether he’ll fight Horn again. If Pacquiao does decide to fight Horn a second time, he’s going to need to come back to Australia, as that’s where the fight will be taking place. Pacquiao’s own promoter Bob Arum has already mentioned that the fight would be in Australia. Horn has also said that he’s open to a second fight with the 38-year-old Pacquiao, but he would need to come back to Australia for that to happen. Pacquiao would be taking another risk of winding up losing another controversial decision unless he can knock Horn out.

The judges’ final scores were 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113. Many boxing fans thought Pacquiao should have won by at least 2 rounds. Pacquiao had Horn hurt in the 9th round. Things would have been much easier if Pacquiao had knocked Horn out in the 9th or 10th round. There wouldn’t be any controversy like there is now.

Pacquiao didn’t use the right tactics in rounds 10 through 12 to end the fight. He had Horn on the brink of being stopped in the 9th, but then he let him off the hook by not going all out to try and knock him out to finish the fight. Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach seemed not to understand how dire the situation was for Pacquiao, seeing that he failed to push him to knock Horn out with a flurry of shots. That’s all Pacquiao would have needed to end the fight. Just one big push in the 10th round have been enough.

“I would be very grateful if the GAB can provide any evidence indicating fraud or violation of law,” WBO president Francisco Valcarcel said via Omnisport. “The purpose of this review is to be able to give the fans certainty of who was the winner of the bout, even though we do not have the power to reverse the decision of the judges based on discretion and, in this case, we do have a rematch clause on the fight contract.”

It’s a late move on the WBO’s part in choosing to finally re-score the fight, since there’s been a huge outcry about the results of the fight for the last week. With the high number of fans that viewed the results of the fight as a hometown decision for Horn, you can argue that the WBO should have done something earlier.

Both Pacquiao and the Philippines Games and Amusements Board (GAB) have requested that the WBO review the Horn-Pacquiao fight, as they said it was an “unfair decision and officiating.”

The issue that Pacquiao and many boxing fans had with the referee Mark Nelson was how he didn’t step in to warn or penalize Horn for the rough tactics that he was using in the fight. Horn was lowering his head and barging into Pacquiao like a battering ram throughout the fight. It might have been accidental on Horn’s part, but the referee didn’t give Horn warnings, even Pacquiao was twice cut from head-butts. Horn was using frequent headlocks of Pacquiao, and doing a fair bit of shoving him.

It was a very rough style of fighting that Horn was using. The 5’9” Horn had a considerable size advantage over the 5’6” Pacquiao with both height and weight. Horn looked a lot heavier inside the ring than Pacquiao. With Horn’s size and home crowd advantage, there was no point in him making it a rough fight. That was unneeded.

Pacquiao doesn’t have to fight Horn again, but that’s probably his best bet for a big payday. There’s money to be made for Pacquiao from the Australian side that he wouldn’t get if he were to fight someone else apart from Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum will likely look to match him against Top Rank fighter Konstantin Ponomarev if he doesn’t fight Horn again. It’s not good fight, but that’s someone that Arum wants to put him in with.

That would be another likely ESPN fight for Pacquiao. His fight against Horn was televised on free television on ESPN and ESPN Deportes in the U.S. It’s unclear if that means that Pacquiao won’t be involved in any more PPV fights from this point on. It doesn’t help that Arum is no longer matching Pacquiao against big names. The match-making being done for Pacquiao seems to have fallen off a cliff in the last year with the 86-year-old Arum putting him in with his Top Rank fighters Jeff Horn, Jessie Vargas and Tim Bradley. Those are not PPV level fighters. For Pacquiao to fight on PPV in the U.S, you can argue that he needs to be put in with bigger names like Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Errol Spence. Those are not fights that Arum has been talking about being interested in making.

Arum would like to make a rematch between Pacquiao and Mayweather, but that fight doesn’t seem to be in the cards for Pacquiao. Mayweather is fighting Conor McGregor on August 26 in a fight that will give him a 9-figure payday. Mayweather likely go back into retirement after that fight. If he comes back, he would probably do I against another UFC fighter if he can find one that routinely brings in over 1 million PPV buy. Pacquiao’s days of being a fighter that brings in over 1 million buys ended back in 2012. The match-making for Pacquiao got really bad at that point with Arum matching him against lesser names like Horn, Brandon Rios, Chris Algieri, Bradley, and Jessie Vargas.

If Pacquiao wants to get closure with the Horn situation, he’s going to need to fight him again. But if that happens, it’s going to be in Australia and in front of another huge pro-Horn crowd of boxing fans.

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