Boxing is dead. Already old and fragile, boxing had been rushed to the emergency room, with 1 last chance at life. Saturday night, boxing seemed to stabilize, and a trip home seemed all but a certainty. Until Joe Buffer uttered these fatal words, “And NEW Welterweight Champion of the World….” Flat line ______________________________
This was the moment, as the clock approached 1:00 A.M. EST on Sunday, that sent the boxing world (and Twitter) into a frenzy. Jeff “The Hornet” Horn had just ‘won’ a unanimous decision against Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao. This was Pacquiao’s first fight in nearly 8 months. His last fight, a unanimous decision over Jessie Vargas. The only good decision of the evening was to broadcast the fight, for free, on ESPN. Fight fans all over the world were rightfully outraged by this decision. They felt they, and Pacquiao, had been robbed. Imagine if they had shelled out $80 bucks to watch this fight?! There’d be riots in the streets!!
Jeff Horn is a nice little boxer. He is 29 years old, has the heart of a champion, and now holds a professional record of 17-0-1. He hails from Brisbane, Australia. And there’s the problem. Where did this fight take place ladies and gentleman?? That’s right..Brisbane, Australia. See in baseball, the hometown scorer will turn an error into a hit, which effects nothing but an insignificant stat-line. But when boxing judges are hometown scorers, they strip championship belts from their rightful owners. If I were the judges — Waleska Roldan, Chris Flores, and Ramon Cerdan — I’d lock myself in my house for a few days.
Manny Pacquiao clearly won this fight on Saturday night. While Pacquiao (38) is not the same fighter he was 5, 7, or 10 years ago, he was able to outclass Jeff Horn in the ring. From the opening bell, Horn charged out of the challenger’s corner with a game plan in mind, keep moving forward and be aggressive. Horn wanted to keep the fight in tight, where Pacquiao wouldn’t be able to ‘tee-off’. He was able to stick to the plan, however, Pacquiao was still able to impose his will on Horn.
The 28 year old version of Manny Pacquiao would have knocked Horn out in the first 6 rounds.
Pacquiao’s highlight of the fight came in the 9th round, where he connected with multiple straight left hands. He had Horn wobbly and nearly won the fight by TKO. By the end of the 9th round, the right side of Horn’s face looked like a ‘Paint By Number’.
The referee, Mark Nelson, even came to Horn’s corner after the 9th round and said, “Show me something, or I’m stopping the fight.” To Horn’s credit, he did show ‘something’, not only making it through the 10th round but winning it. While I gained a lot of respect for Jeff Horn on Saturday night, he only won 4 of the 12 rounds in this fight. He pressed forward, showed the heart and determination of a tough, gritty fighter, and went out swinging. But, he simply did not win this fight.
Participation trophies are a nice idea until about age 8.
Following the fight, former boxers, sports analysts, and fans alike expressed their displeasure with the judges decision. Many emphatically stating they will not watch boxing anymore. While many were already trending in that direction prior to Saturday night’s fight, this may have been the final nail in the coffin.
Will you continue to watch boxing?? Or are you done with the sport completely?? Pick a side in the comment section below.