In a shocking, controversial outcome, Jeff Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs) upset Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) by unanimous decision to win the WBO world welterweight title Sunday at Suncorp Stadium in his hometown of Brisbane, Australia.
Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole passed along the scores:
Ring Magazine's Mike Coppinger and Bad Left Hook decried the judges' decision:
Pacquiao's last controversial decision loss was against Timothy Bradley in 2012. Bradley was ringside as a commentator in Brisbane, a fact not lost on MLB Network's Robert Flores:
Horn earned the respect of boxer Sergio Mora, who tweeted this out before the final decision:
Not SportsCenter is apparently waiting for Steve Harvey to make a correction:
ESPN's Arash Markazi made his feelings clear:
ESPN's Stephen A. Smith was unsparing in a volcanic post-bout tirade:
This was Horn's first bout against a marquee opponent in a pro career that began in 2013. Pacquiao clearly wasn't the fighter he used to be, as he struggled with Horn's physicality and couldn't finish the 29-year-old in a ninth round where he looked ready to topple at any moment.
ESPN Stats & Info noted the punch count favored the 38-year-old Pacquiao:
Fox Sports Radio's Jason McIntyre felt the decision was bad for boxing:
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was similarly upset:
The decision will take away from the action itself, which was entertaining and at times cinematic.
Tens of thousands of fans packed sunny Suncorp Stadium, readily cheering both Pacquiao and Horn when they did something positive. Blood streamed down both fighters' faces, due to a combination of accidental head clashes and powerful exchanges. Multiple timeouts for lost mouthpieces, cut checks and retaping allowed the combatants to gather themselves and pour forth more energy.
ESPN captured some of the carnage:
Horn received credit for his bright start, as he pushed the pace and used his size advantage. Rappler.com's Ryan Songalia pointed this out by highlighting Horn's relative anonymity prior to the bout:
It didn't take long for Twitter users to compare the solid action from Brisbane to the disappointing Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. bout. Markazi found the early stuff entertaining:
While it was a thrill to see Horn rush in on Pacquiao, himself a whirling dervish in his day, he eventually paid the price for his forays. Still, the fact Horn was able to be so aggressive so deep into the bout without paying a terrible price was a sure sign of Pac Man's fading skill set, per Iole:
ESPN provided some of the exchanges from the end of the fifth round:
Horn looked spent in the ninth, eating clean shot after clean shot, but with the referee ready to call the fight, the hometown boxer finished the bout with a valiant, winning effort.
In post-fight comments on the ESPN broadcast, a subdued Pacquiao said he would be willing to have a rematch. He deserves another shot, as he outclassed Horn in many rounds.
Credit goes to the Australian for putting his all into the fight and recovering after nearly getting the bout called off by the ref, but if Pacquiao's heart is still in it after this disappointing outcome, Horn will have to do better.