Horn dethrones Pacquiao by controversial decision
Underdog and hometown fighter Jeff Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs) dethroned WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) by a controversial 12 round points decision on Sunday at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Many of the rounds were close and could of gone either way, but most observers felt Pacquiao had done enough to retain his 147 pound title. However the judges saw it differently with scores of 117-111 and 115-113 twice, unanimously for Horn.
Little known Horn, 29, who previously worked as a PE teacher, started well, fighting aggressively and took the fight to Pacquiao in the first round. But the Filipino came on strong in the following rounds.
Pacquiao, 38, boxing's only eight-division world champion, cut Horn over the right eye in the third as he started to land some hard shots.
An accidental head clash in the sixth opened a cut on Pacquiao's hairline, and then Horn landed some solid punches of his own, rocking Pacquiao with a right hand.
There was another accidental head clash in the seventh, and it cut Pacquiao again, this time near his left eye.
This appeared to give Horn confidence as he piled on the punches, which got the crowd excited.
Pacquiao upped his aggression in the eighth and he had a huge ninth, battering the Australian with numerous brutal shots.
At the end of the round, referee Mark Nelson went to Horn's corner and told him he had to "show me something" in the 10th or he would stop the fight.
Horn showed his toughness and fought back well, exchanging blows with Pacquiao for the remainder of the fight.
Pacquiao, who has not scored a stoppage win since 2009, tried to land the KO blow but Horn also fought hard until the final bell, which controversially proved enough for the judges to award Horn the upset win.
"He was a tough opponent, I didn't expect that tough" said Pacquiao. "I tried to knock him out in the ninth round, but he survived.
"That's the decision of the judges, I respect that."
Pacquiao, who was making the first defence of the title he won by a one-sided points decision against Jessie Vargas in November, also said he will exercise his contractual right to a rematch against new WBO champion Horn.
"I thought I was coming forward more and landing the cleaner blows," said Horn. "That's just my opinion.
"I managed to get the decision. It was close."
Also on the card, IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (27-1-1, 18 KOs) retained his title with a seventh round TKO over Japan's Teiru Kinoshita (25-2-1, 8 KOs).
The Filipino fighter took control of the fight when an overhand left opened a cut along Kinoshita’s right eye.
Ancajas busted up the challenger with more hard shots before a body shot dropped Kinoshita in the seventh round.
Kinoshita got up but the referee saved him from further punishment at 1:53 of the round.