Manny Pacquiao is one of the most decorated and respected boxers of the modern era.
He reigned for years in many pundits’ reckonings as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, and was named ‘Fighter of the Decade’ for the 2000s by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), WBC and WBO.
However, while the 38-year-old has achieved significant success in politics and business as of late, his boxing may be suffering as a result.
Last Sunday, he was defeated by Australian challenger Jeff Horn via a controversial unanimous decision at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, shocking boxing fans across the globe.
However, in the aftermath, it has emerged that both Pacquiao himself and the Philippines Games and Amusements Board (GAB) felt that the fight was unfairly judged.
Ramon Cerdan, an Argentian official, was particularly cited for criticism, scoring the fight a landslide 117-111 victory for Horn, despite statistics appearing to indicate Pacquiao was the more aggressive and proactive striker.
WBO President Francisco Valcarcel was quick to defend all the judges involved in Brisbane: "The officials who participated in this fight are all professional, distinguished, honest and honourable human beings."
However, in line with the complaints that were lodged, it has now emerged that the WBO will conduct a review of the scoring, with the intention of providing closure on the result.
"The purpose of this review is to be able to give the fans certainty of who was the winner of the bout, even though we do not have the power to reverse the decision of the judges," Valcarcel wrote in a letter to the Philippines Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
Five anonymous officials will now score the fight again in an attempt to provide clarity on exactly which fighter won each round - although the result is unlikely to change, regardless of their findings.
The decision was met warmly by the GAB in Manila, who clearly believe it imperative that their voice be heard in order to avoid injustices in the future.
In response to the investigation, GAB chairman Abraham Kahlil Mitra said:"We're happy with that.
"Our feeling is, if you're quiet, you'll get abused but if you complain, they'll be careful... Manny is a senator, a champion, but was like wrestled there, abused by them. If it can be done to him, it can be done to any other Filipino boxer."
Despite the result being set in stone, the findings of the review will be eagerly anticipated throughout the Philippines.
Regardless, a rematch clause in the initial contract signed by Horn and Pacquiao may mean that the Filipino senator will have a chance at redemption against the 29-year-old Australian in the coming months.News Now - Sport News