The WBO will conduct a "re-scoring" of the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn fight that resulted in a big upset in Australia last week.
By Charles Jay
You may ask why the World Boxing Organization (WBO) wants to re-score the fight that took place between Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn, if the possibility of reversing the decision does not exist.
The answer, ostensibly, is that they want to assure the public that the decision was on the up-and-up.
And was it?
I have been asked to participate in this kind of process before, by the World Boxing Association (WBA), but that was to evaluate scoring for the purposes of determining whether a rematch should be mandated (I declined, because I was too well-acquainted with the handlers of both fighters).
But in this particular instance, a rematch isn't at issue, because Pacquiao can get one if he wants it. The WBO is going to use a five-person panel to do the scoring, but it kind of sounds as if we know what kind of conclusion they are going to come up with.
Truth be told, I did not see this fight as it aired live on ESPN. Only just recently did I get to watch it and score it as I saw it. And frankly, I am surprised that people are screaming "robbery." I scored it three different ways: as far as rounds were concerned, I had it even at six apiece. Using the ten-point must system, I could have easily had it a draw as well, but if I give Pacquiao winning the ninth round by a 10-8 margin, I have him squeezing out a 114-113 decision. And using a 20-point must system, which I like to do for my own purposes, I had Pacquaio ahead 230-229. That having been said, this was a sloppy fight, without a lot of technical proficiency, and there was a lot of rough stuff, which made it harder to score.
At any rate, to me there was not a lot of margin between the two, so I'm not on board with the uproar, unless you were pre-possessed to give Pacquiao any round that was close. If you recall this space last week, I went with Pacquaio and laid a heavy price to do it.
His trainer, Freddie Roach, did not seem so despondent about the decision when he was interviewed the day after. He said he liked Brisbane, and personally, he'd have no problem going back there for a rematch. But he also mentioned that wearing two hats might be one too many for Pac Man. “Being a congressman, it seemed like Manny really wasn’t pressed or challenged by it. But being a senator, he’s like a whole different person.........Being a great fighter and being a great person in politics, it’s just very, very difficult to do both, I feel.”
Roach found himself in the line of fire when it came to the "blame game." In fact, listening to some people, it sounded like the abuse Mike Tyson's corner took after he had lost to Buster Douglas in Tokyo.
Here's promoter Bob Arum, who's made a lot of money with Pacquiao: “What the hell is wrong with that corner? Why wasn’t Freddie Roach out in the ring between rounds yelling at the referee? It’s his job."
Michael Koncz, who is about the closest thing Manny Pacquiao has to a manager, admitted that the corner didn't really have a strategy going into the fight, and that they were "amazed that Horn was such a tough, rugged fighter." That he was.
Koncz wasn't about to blame his side completely, however. He still reserved some of it for the WBO; that he relied too heavily on them - most specifically in the selection of the referee (Mark Nelson) and the judges - and that he would do it differently if there was a "next time."
Will there be a "next time"? Arum has also questioned whether Pacquiao is biting off more than he can chew with his political involvement. Roach says he will sit down and talk with Pacquiao about his future. But let's face it; if Manny Pacquiao continues to soldier on, he's going to do it whether these guys agree with it or not.