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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Horn stuns Pacquiao to take WBO welterweight title on points

Manny Pacquiao said he “respects” the decision of the judges after losing his WBO welterweight world title to Jeff Horn in Brisbane on Sunday morning.

Manny Pacquiao, left, and Jeff Horn square up during the weigh-in ahead of their fight. Dave Hunt / EPA
Manny Pacquiao, left, and Jeff Horn square up during the weigh-in ahead of their fight. Dave Hunt / EPA

Manny Pacquiao said he “respects” the decision of the judges after losing his WBO welterweight world title to Jeff Horn in Brisbane on Sunday morning.

Pacquiao, 38, entered the fight a huge favourite against the relatively inexperienced Horn, who prior to their clash at Suncorp Stadium had fought just 17 professional fights, winning 16 and drawing one. Pacquiao, in comparison, is an eight-weight world champion who has now fought 68 times, losing seven and drawing two.

However, it was Horn who raised the belt at the end of 12 gruelling rounds after securing a unanimous decision. Two judges scored the fight 115-113 while the third had it 117-111, a result that has caused much outrage from the boxing community.

While viewers seemed to be split over who won the fight, the statistics showed it to be much closer than the third judge had scored.

Pacquiao landed 182 punches compared to Horn’s 92, with Horn landing just 15 per cent of his total punches. Pacquiao landed 32 per cent.

While there was much controversy swirling around the result, Pacquiao remained gracious in defeat.

“That’s the decision of the judges,” he said after asking for his thoughts on the result. “I respect that.” Pacquiao is likely to get the chance to rectify the defeat, though, after revealing he would exercise the rematch clause in the contract.

"Absolutely, yes," Pacquiao said. "We have a rematch clause, so no problem." For Horn, it may have been the defining moment of his career, but the Australian insisted that it was “not the best moment of my life” after revealing his wife is pregnant with their first child.

As for a rematch with Pacquiao, Horn said: “That’s fine. Bring it on.”