BRISBANE • Manny Pacquiao's camp slammed the officials after the Filipino great lost his World Boxing Organisation welterweight title in a controversial unanimous decision to Australian former school teacher Jeff Horn yesterday.
"The referee was sketchy, the judges were crazy," fumed Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune, who is a former Australian heavyweight champion.
"Manny lost the fight, but Jeff Horn looks like a pumpkin," he added, referring to Horn who finished the fight with a badly swollen face and needing stitches over his right eye.
The three judges scored the fight 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113 to Horn.
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"Those scores, that card? It should be the other way around," said Fortune.
The result also caused dismay on social media among boxing and sporting greats.
"This is what's wrong with boxing," tweeted British former undisputed world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.
"Horn was very game but I'm hard pressed to see how he could have won that fight by any stretch!" American football quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers said on Twitter.
HUMAN PUNCHING BAG
Manny lost the fight, but Jeff Horn looks like a pumpkin.
JUSTIN FORTUNE, Manny Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach, believes the state of opponent Jeff Horn's face says it all.
We thought that we won this fight.
MANNY PACQUIAO, former WBO welterweight champion, takes umbrage with the unanimous decision being awarded to Horn.
STUFF DREAMS ARE MADE OF
I'm so happy, I can't explain my feelings. I've just believed since I was very young that I could do this.
JEFF HORN, Australian boxer and new WBO welterweight title-holder, feels the win is the crowning achievement of his unheralded career.
"Boxing is a joke, and it proves it again tonight. Are you kidding me with those scorecards? #joke #rigged."
Baseball and National Football League legend Deion Sanders said: "@mannypacquiao was robbed! I'm really upset right now. Really. This is ignorant. God bless u Manny and all u do for your country. #Truth."
The fight statistics seemed to back the belief that Pacquiao had done more than enough to win.
Broadcaster ESPN said that Pacquiao had landed 182 punches to 82 from the challenger over the 12 rounds in front of more than 51,000 fans in Horn's home town.
Fortune, who once fought against Lewis and has been with Pacquiao since 2002, said Horn had been allowed to get away with a host of illegal tactics as he brawled his way to victory.
"That's what you get down here," he said of the tactics.
"You'd never get away with that anywhere else in the world. You'd be penalised points."
Two of the judges, Waleska Roldan and Chris Flores, were from the United States while the third, Ramon Cerdan, was from Argentina. The referee, Mark Nelson, was also from the US.
Pacquiao, whose record now reads 59-7-2, did not speak to the media at the Suncorp Stadium after the fight, but said on Philippine television: "We thought that we won this fight."
The 38-year-old added he would welcome another fight against the undefeated 17-0-1 Horn.
"It depends, there is no problem with me if there's a rematch," said Pacquiao. "It would be better if the rematch would be held in the Philippines. To the Filipino nation, thank you for the love and support that you showed me."
Horn, 29, also welcomed the prospect of a rematch and said: "I'm so happy, I can't explain my feelings. I've just believed since I was very young that I could do this."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS