Arum Reacts To WBO Backing Horn’s Shocker Over Pacquiao

Two weeks ago, Australian Jeff Horn pulled off a shock welterweight title victory over Manny Pacquiao – but there was a lot of controversy over the scorecards [115-113, 115-113, 117-111] and there were many who felt Pacquiao should have been the victor.

As previously reported on, the World Boxing Organization reviewed the fight with five independent judges and they declared Horn the clear winner.

The WBO — which does not have the power to reverse a decision unless fraud or law violations are proven — set up a panel of independent and anonymous judges who were asked to watch the bout without sound and determine who won each round.

The results were tabulated to show clearly the rounds each fighter won using an average scale based on 60, 80 and 100 percent, with three of the five officials needing to be in agreement.

A similar method has been used to review WBO title fights before.

“Upon the analysis, the findings stated that Pacquiao won the 3rd, the 8th and 9th by 100 percent; the 5th round was won by 80 percent; and the 11th round by 60 percent,” the WBO said in a statement.

“Horn won the 1st, 6th and 12th rounds by 100 percent; rounds 2, 4, and 7 by 80 percent; and then, the 10th round by 60 percent. From the results, it can be established that Pacquiao won five rounds while Horn won seven rounds. Based on this analysis, Jeff Horn was the winner of the bout.”

The loss sparked calls in the Philippines for the 38-year-old Pacquiao, a national icon after rising from poverty to be considered one of the greatest fighters of his generation, to retire and concentrate on politics.

Pacquiao briefly quit boxing last year to pursue his long-held political ambitions and was elected senator. But he quickly made a successful comeback against Jessie Vargas in November, saying he still felt like a youngster.

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said the result of the World Boxing Organization’s review “doesn’t settle anything.”

“First of all they didn’t [rule] that Jeff Horn clearly won the fight. They (WBO) had five judges scoring the fight: three had Horn winning narrowly, one had it at draw, one had Pacquiao winning,” Arum told News To Go in an interview.

“Well it doesn’t settle anything. It was a very close fight. It could have been scored either way. I had Manny winning the fight by one point, but you know when it gets that close, the fight can go either way.”

“Manny has to decide what he wants to do in the future and we’ll take it from there. I will see whether he really wants to do a rematch, whether he wants to continue boxing, or whether because of his senatorial duty, he is unable to continue.”

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