Manny Pacquiao is keen to see his shock unanimous points loss to Jeff Horn reviewed by the WBO as he believes he was treated unfairly by judges and the referee.
In a statement released by Pacquiao’s team, he explained that he thought his opponent Horn was allowed to employ dirty tactics in the pair’s welterweight fight.
“I love boxing and I don’t want to see it dying because of unfair decision and officiating.
“I had already accepted the decision but as a leader and, at the same time, fighter, I have the moral obligation to uphold sportsmanship, truth and fairness in the eyes of the public.”
Indeed, after the fight, several high-profile names took to Twitter in order to share their confusion at the result, with the stats showing Pacquiao performing slightly better in all areas than Horn.
Lennox Lewis summed up what many felt after the shock result in a couple of tweets, which can be seen below.
In another statement, the Philippines’ sports regulatory body got involved, calling for action against the judges and referee “if so warranted”.
“We are making this request for a review, which may call for sanctions on the referee and judges if so warranted, in furtherance of our mutual goal of protecting the integrity of the sport.”
Pacuiao himself added to the request of his team and country’s governing sport body, saying that action should be taken “so as not to erode the people’s interest in boxing.”
“WBO should take appropriate action on the letter sent by the Games and Amusement Board so as not to erode the people’s interest in boxing.”
Through their Twitter account, the WBO responded, claiming that they cannot reverse the rulings of referees or judges, but can offer a rematch if it’s wanted.
“The discretion of a referee or judge cannot be reversed, except in a case of fraud or violation of laws which is not the case in Pac vs Horn.
“The contract for Pac vs Horn provides a rematch clause, which the WBO is in accordance (with) if the promoters decide to move forward.”
It sounds like Pacquiao’s anger over the result will have to be taken out in a rematch with Horn, but the Senator of the Philippines seems wary of Horn’s tactics and strength.
“He’s not really good, but he’s really strong.
“The problem here is that the referee, I don’t know if he did it deliberately or he just did not have experience, he just allowed it and did not even give any warning for how many times.
“It’s as if the referee wanted to help my opponent.”
While the bare stats do seem to chalk up a slim victory for Pacquiao, BBC Sport boxing correspondent Mike Costello reckons Pacquiao “panicked” during the fight.
“The replays showed the inaccuracy of Jeff Horn. He threw an awful lot which hit only sunshine. Sometimes the aggression is misread. The single factor I would say in favour of Pacquiao from my stance was the cleaner punching.
“When he was landing, he was landing solidly. But that doesn’t mask the decline in Pacquiao. What was of concern about Pacquiao was that he panicked. He rushed his work and lost his composure, that was striking to me.”
While not everyone agrees that Pacquiao’s loss was undeserved, the shock surrounding Horn’s unanimous victory suggests that viewers and experts alike thought Pacquiao edged the contest.