By Truth Esguerra, Correspondent
Filipino boxing legend Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao suffered a stunning controversial defeat to unknown Australian Boxer Jeff "The Hornet" Horn on June 1 at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. Despite Pacquiao pulverizing Horn and leaving him bloodied, hurt, and nearly knocked out in the 9th round, he was not able to retain his WBO welterweight title after three ring judges gave the controversial nod to his opponent. Judge Waleska Roldan had 117-111 for Horn, while judges Chris Flores and Ramon Cerdan both scored it 115-113 for the 29 year-old Australian native. "That's the decision of the judges. I respect that," Pacquiao humbly said about the controversial scoring that did not matchup to the consensus amongst boxing experts and the community.
Despite being the more dominant fighter throughout the majority fight, Pacquiao showed that he was a shell of his former self. The 38 year-old Philippine Senator lacked his signature explosive combinations he once had during his prime that would have given elite boxers in his weight class trouble. Instead of unleashing of a plethora of punches from different angles and pushing the action to the younger Horn, Pacquiao focused more setting up traps and counter shots. According to Compubox, Horn had a higher volume of punches than the Filipino pugilist. Horn threw 625 punches compared to Pacquiao's 573 punches.
The Australian boxing contender was able to apply awkward pressure throughout the entire fight that kept Pacquiao unbalanced. "Jeff Horn is a tough opponent," Pacquiao said in regards to Horn's fighting style. "I didn't expect that he is tough." Despite being outpunched, Pacquiao remained the better fighter throughout the bout. He landed the cleaner punches. According to Compubox, Pacquiao landed 32% of his punches compared to Horn's 15%. Regardless of Horn's higher volume of punches, Pacquiao was able to evade and block most of his shots which made Horn's aggression ineffective. Horn was constantly swinging in desperation against the boxing legend and coming up with little to no-damage. Pacquiao, being the more efficient fighter, was able to rack up the damage and nearly destroy Horn in the 9th round by viciously landing numerous left hands.
The 9th round was such a defining moment for Pacquiao that multiple boxing experts, such as Teddy Atlas from ESPN awarded the Filipino fighter with a 10-8 score. "I tried to knock him out in the 9th round but he survived," Pacquiao said in regards to his best round in the fight. "I thought I was going to win the fight." Horn admitted Pacquiao hurt him during that round. "I felt fine in that corner. I wanted to keep going on," the underdog Horn said in regards to being nearly knocked out. "I wasn't really that hurt. I was a little bit buzzed in that round, but I recovered very quickly. He buzzed me a little bit. I felt a little off-balance in that round." Luckily for the Australian fighter, Pacquiao slowed down in the remaining rounds allowed Horn to recover and get back into the fight. Despite the favorable effort from Pacquiao, the judges awarded Horn the controversial victory, shocking a majority of boxing experts who scored the fight. With a rematch clause within the contract, Pacquiao and Horn are slated to fight again in November in Brisbane. "I'm still here to continue," Pacquiao said in regards to the possible rematch with his Australian counterpart later this year. Pacquiao's record drops to 59 wins (38 KOs), 7 Losses (3 KOs), and 2 draws. Horn's record improves to 17 wins (11 KOs) and 1 draw.