Horn wants Pacquiao rematch to settle rules row

This file photo taken on July 3, 2017 shows newly crowned World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Jeff Horn of Australia posing for photographs with his belt after a press conference in Brisbane, one day after he beat Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines.
PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES - Australian Jeff Horn has no doubt that he was a deserving conqueror of Manny Pacquiao but believes only a rematch with the Filipino star will settle the controversy once and for all.

Horn stunned the boxing world with a unanimous 12-round decision over Pacquiao in Brisbane on July 2, a hotly contested result that triggered an outcry in the Philippines.

The World Boxing Organisation moved to quell the controversy by re-scoring the fight with a different set of judges - who found that Horn was the winner by seven rounds to five.

Horn, 29, told reporters in Los Angeles he welcomed the verdict of the WBO's review - even if he had been certain in his own mind of victory.

"If it had come back and they'd said I hadn't won, I would have still felt like I had won," the former schoolteacher said. "But to have them say to everyone else that had doubted it that I definitely won the fight gives me a sense of relief.

"I feel like I've defended the title already and I've only had it for a week."

However, Horn acknowledged that the only way for the controversy to be resolved definitively was by climbing back into the ring with Pacquiao.

"I kind of feel it has been put to bed and that I definitely won the fight because it has been rescored," he told AFP.

"But people are always going to have their opinions and you're not going to be able to change those. So I guess the only way you're going to be able to do it is to have a rematch. And I think I would do better a second time."

Horn, meanwhile, said he had been stung by the criticism from veteran trainer and boxing broadcaster Teddy Atlas. In a post-fight interview shortly after Horn clambered out of the ring in Brisbane, Atlas told the Aussie he believed he had been wrongly awarded the fight.

Boxing: Horn stuns Pacquiao to win WBO welterweight crown

  • Former schoolteacher Jeff Horn stunned world champion Manny Pacquiao to win the World Boxing Organisation welterweight crown with a unanimous points decision in Brisbane on Sunday.
  • Given no chance by most observers, the 29-year-old Horn's ultra-aggressive style proved too much for Pacquiao, with the three judges scoring the fight 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113 to the Australian after 12 rounds.
  • Pacquiao, 38, is an eight-weight world champion considered one of the greatest fighters of his generation. His camp had predicted a "short and sweet" win over Horn, a 2012 Australian Olympian.
  • But Horn showed no signs of being overawed by the occasion, taking the fight to the Filipino great from the opening bell.
  • He moved forward relentlessly, not allowing Pacquiao time to find any rhythm.
  • Pacquiao did manage to land some left jabs in the opening rounds to take the early points, but Horn refused to back away and his brawling tactics paid dividends through the middle stages.
  • Pacquiao, bleeding profusely from cuts to the head high above both eyes, then launched a savage counterattack in the ninth round and appeared to have Horn in trouble, only for the Australian to come back and win the 10th as he reasserted control.
  • Both fighters began to tire in the final two rounds but Horn's early lead proved too much to peg back as he claimed the biggest win of his career.
  • Pacquiao had been hoping to set up a second big-money showdown with Floyd Mayweather, but it was Horn who called for a fight with the unbeaten American immediately after his win.
  • Filipino fans watch the World Boxing Organisation welterweight boxing match between Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines and challenger Jeff Horn of Australia at a public Park in Manila on July 2, 2017.
  • Filipino fans watch the World Boxing Organisation welterweight boxing match between Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines and challenger Jeff Horn of Australia at a public Park in Manila on July 2, 2017.
  • Displaced residents and soldiers watch the World Boxing Organisation welterweight boxing match between Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines and challenger Jeff Horn of Australia at the Lanao Del Sur Capitol in Marawi on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on July 2, 2017.

'A bit heartbreaking'

"I was shocked at Teddy Atlas when he said straightaway after I won that he didn't think I'd won," Horn said.

"I was like, 'Thanks. Biggest fight of my life and you reckon I lost.'

"That was a bit heartbreaking, especially because I felt like I won. Inside my heart I felt I won, but when you hear people like Teddy say it to my face was a little bit heartbreaking.

"I lost a little bit of respect for Teddy after that."

Pacquiao, who has an option for a rematch, has indicated he plans to continue his boxing career but has not said yet signaled his intentions to veteran promoter Bob Arum.

Arum told AFP he believed Pacquiao would be reluctant to retire after a loss.

"I went in after the fight when he was being stitched up and I told him don't make any decisions for a couple of weeks," Arum said. "I would think he would probably not want to retire on a defeat."

The legendary promoter said any rematch in Australia would likely be held in November, with the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne the likeliest venue.

A return to Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium, the venue of the first Horn-Pacquiao fight, was unlikely because of the possibility of rain.

"If it was Brisbane you couldn't do it in Suncorp because of the risk of rain," Arum said. "You'd have to do it in a 14,000-seat arena.

"But in Melbourne, you have a place that's bigger than Suncorp, which has a retractable roof so we don't have to worry about intense heat or rain." 

 

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