SUNDAY UPDATE: The natives were in a tizzy of fury last night, many of them, after Manny Pacquiao was deemed the loser in front of 51,000 watchers at Suncorp in Brisbane, Australia Sunday afternoon.
Thing is, Manny wasn't in a tizzy.
Nor was his trainer, Freddie Roach.
Nor was his promoter, Bob Arum.
They saw challenger Jeff Horn, derided by most of the punditocracy as a no hoper, take the fight to the Senator from second one. Most expected Horn to gas, but no. The 29 year old weathered a hailstorm in round nine, and otherwise was nip n tuck in just about every round. On ESPN, the broadcast outlet, Teddy Atlas had a conniption fit and told Horn that he lost, and Stephen A Smith back in the studio blustered and thundered and cried foul. But Manny didn't…
The 117-111 card for Horn was evidence of a vision or judgement problem in Waleska Roldan that night, most opine. But many of the howlers used punchstat numbers to bolster their case. It goes without saying the ringside judges don't have that luxury…I think the three judges saw what I did, that being Horn being the aggressor in most thirds of each round. Compubox said he threw more than Manny, but landed less.
But maybe you don't trust my eyes. What about Paul Malignaggi's?
How did Brooklyn Paulie, the Showtime analyst, see it?
“115-114 for Horn,” Paulie told me Sunday morning.
So…it was another chapter in our ludicrous and magnificent red light district of sport. Robbery? Or close fight which was influenced by your expectations entering and being influenced by forceful articulators with massive megaphones? Maybe something in the middle…
I know, the middle is a boring and lonely place. But it is still where you are most likely to find the core of truth.
Folks expected a mismatch and rubout, easy work for Manny Pacquiao in Australia in Saturday night.
Folks got quite another sight on the Top Rank/ESPN production, as underdog Jeff Horn showed strength and stamina galore in a most impressive fashion at Suncorp Stadium.
Pacman wasn't the Manny of old, he didn't have that rapid fire whirling dervish style. But Horn helped make the night hard for the 38 year old, as he started mean and fast and didn't let up. And Horn was rewarded, mightily, by three judges. 117-111, 115-113, 115-113 the judges deemed it, for the home boy in Brisbane.
Social media exploded with cries of robbery, and the debate raged on lobg after the scrap ended. Stephen A Smith was probably ranting at the urinal in Bristol…
New WBO 147 champ Horn threw 625 to 573 for Pacman, according to Compubox, but the counters saw MP being more accurate. Looks like perceived aggression won the night.
After, Pacman said he'd like a rematch and he betrayed no ire toward the judges.
Horn for sure doesn't have the look of a refined technician; he squared up and looked to be open for counters. But his reflexes were young and his feet kept him away from Manny much of the time.
Pac had two cuts on his head from butts but it looked like he'd close the show in a fab round 9. His left was dialed in..but Horn had more in the heart department than in the refined skills sector. The ref told him he'd pull the plug quick in the tenth and the pesky Horn collected his senses and boxed decently.
They rumbled into the 12th. Horn would come in firing, leading with a right and then he'd be in Pac's face. The Filipino didn't have the legs to move away as he did five years ago.
Teddy Atlas hated the score and said Manny won 116-111. I saw a close fight, close rounds, how did you all see it?