In one of the greatest upsets in recent memory, Australian fighter Jeff Horn scored a unanimous decision over legendary boxer Manny Pacquiao to take the WBO welterweight title.
Horn, a relatively inexperienced fighter with 17 fights on his record prior to climbing in the ring with Pacquiao, was the aggressor from the start. While he was not able to connect with all of his punches, he was boring in on Pacquiao throughout the fight.
Horn was especially effective in the first round, and he set the tone for the night. Pacquiao seemed to respond well in the second round and through several rounds thereafter, but Horn was aggressive even though he took several big left-hand punches from Pac-Man.
Pacquiao was at his best in the ninth round when he battered Horn from start to finish. After the round, the referee trailed Horn into the corner and nearly stopped the fight.
Horn responded well in the 10th round and throughout the final rounds of the fight. Although he seemed to miss most of his clean shots, he continued to press Pacquiao and simply would not back down.
The judges' scorecards gave Horn the decision by a 117-111 (Waleska Roldan), 115-113 (Chris Flores) and 115-113 (Ramon Cerdan) margin. Horn was able to maul his man effectively and push Pacquiao around throughout the fight.
Pacquiao had several openings and landed some clean shots, but he was unable to put his man away with a knockout shot.
That's not surprising since Pacquiao has not won via a stoppage since 2009.
Pacquiao had a big edge in punches landed, according to ESPN Stats and Info. Pac-Man landed 183 punches, while Horn landed 93 of his shots.
Compubox had similar numbers, giving Pacquiao a 182-92 edge.
Horn was questioned after the fight and said he thought he won the fight even though his opponent landed more punches. "I landed the cleaner shots and I was the aggressor," Horn said on the ESPN broadcast. "I thought I won the fight."
Pacquiao said he would take advantage of the rematch clause in the fight contract and would fight Horn again. Horn said he would honor that clause and give Pacquiao a return fight.
Compubox had Pacquiao landing more punches than his opponent in 11 of the 12 rounds. However, the judges may have been swayed that the only round Pacquiao seemed to hurt his opponent was the ninth round.
While Horn threw more punches in the fight and ended up with a 625-573 edge in that department according to Compubox, Pacquiao landed 31 percent of his jabs compared to 10 percent for Horn, and he also landed 32 percent of his power punches compared to 17 percent for Horn.
Horn threw 56 punches in the first round, 22 more than Pacquiao, but Horn had an 8-6 edge in power punches. Horn also had a 9-7 edge in power punches in the sixth round. Through eight rounds, Horn was averaging 52 punches per round, but the fight turned in the ninth round.
That's when Pacquiao connected on 30 of 79 punches and punished his rival. Pac-Man seemed to tire in the 10th round when he landed just 12 of 44 punches.
Many of the experts at ringside seemed to have Pacquiao as the winner and indicated the eight-time champion was victimized by a poor decision. However, Horn's aggressiveness allowed him to earn the decision in what was clearly a close fight.