On Saturday, July 1, 2017, Jeff Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs) scored a controversial unanimous decision victory against Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) to win the WBO Welterweight title at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
Tonight, however, the Top Rank cash cow took a massive blow as he demonstrated his age and increasing concern for safety over a 12-round fight that a younger version of Pacquiao would have ended earlier. Though he indeed did win in the eyes of many, Pacquiao struggled in some rounds, though not enough to merit a decision loss.
In the opening rounds, Horn, a 29-year-old native of Brisbane, Australia, offered an unorthodox style that confused Pacquiao in the early rounds. Horn would throw punches, step to his right, throw more and then step to his left. Then, suddenly, he’d charge forward with a barrage of 3-4 straight punches that forced Pacquiao to back up.
This frenetic style made it hard for Pacquiao to anticipate Horn’s punches, which is necessary for him to hand his signature counterpunches.
However, by the middle rounds due partly to an investment in the body and partly to Horn’s earlier success, Pacquiao began to wear the Australian down, and by Round 9, Pacquiao seemed on the verge of stopping him.
However, Horn was allowed to continue, and gave a strong effort in Rounds 10, 11 and 12, though he took a severe punishment in the process. By the final round, Horn did enough to survive, but not to win.
The judges scored the fight 117-111, 115-113, and 115-113. One could perhaps understand scores of 115-113, but a score of 117-111 reeks of a style of food one might call “Hometown Cooking.”
At any rate, Pacquiao has a rematch clause in his contract and will perhaps exercise it, but as his performance demonstrated, he should also seriously consider retiring.
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