BRISBANE, Australia (CBSNEWS/AP) – It went all the way and ended in a contentiously bitter loss — the opposite of what Manny Pacquiao’s handlers predicted for his WBO welterweight world title fight against Jeff Horn.
Pacquiao’s long-time trainer Freddie Roach tipped a “short and sweet” knockout win for the 11-time world champion in Sunday’s so-called “Battle of Brisbane,” but Horn got a unanimous points decision in his first world title fight — delighting the 51,052-strong crowd.
The 38-year-old Philippines senator arrived in Brisbane a week ahead of the fight with a chartered plane carrying more than a hundred supporters and as the hot favorite to beat Horn. He leaves without the WBO belt.
All three judges awarded it to Horn, with Waleska Roldan scoring it 117-111 and both Chris Flores and Ramon Cerdan scoring it 115-113.
Some critics slammed it as a hometown decision, saying the statistics had Pacquiao landing twice the number of power punches as Horn.
“That’s the decision of the judges. I respect that,” Pacquiao was quoted as saying by broadcaster ESPN. “We have a rematch clause, so no problem.”