eff Horn won a bloody and brutal fight in Brisbane, scoring a unanimous decision victory over Manny Pacquiao on Sunday. In front of a packed hometown crowd at Suncorp Stadium, Horn punched his ticket to boxing’s big time with an incredible performance to claim Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight championship.
The three judges scored the closely-fought bout 117-111, 115-113, 115-113 in Horn’s favour. Horn immediately called out Floyd Mayweather Jr. after the fight and declared himself “no joke” to the legions of boxing experts across the world who gave him no chance and mocked his credentials.
Round-by-round report: the Brisbane school teacher produced one of the biggest upsets in boxing with a unanimous points decision win over the Filipino
“I’ve just believed since I was very young that I could do this,” Horn said. “This is not the best moment of my life – it is yet to come with my beautiful wife Joanna, she’s pregnant with our first child.”
Pacquiao said he accepted the judges’ decision but was keen to fight Horn again as soon as possible. “I didn’t expect [he would be] that tough,” he said.
Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach tipped on the morning of the fight that Horn would not last three rounds. But intent on silencing his doubters and making a name for himself in front of a television audience in the tens of millions, Horn went the full 12-round distance with one of the greatest boxers of the era and came out on top.
Confounding predictions he would be chewed up and spat out by the 11-time, eight-division world champion, Horn came out firing and gave his opponent plenty of cause for concern from the very first round. Both fighters had their moments and traded turns as the aggressor and while Pacquiao may have landed more hits, Horn, 29, never stopped coming.
The defeat is Pacquiao’s first since losing to Mayweather in their 2015 clash in Las Vegas, taking his career record to 59-7-2 (38 knockouts).
After a relatively subdued build-up, both sides dispensed with the niceties in the hours before the fight as bickering broke out over what hand wraps were permitted. Roach objected to Horn’s use of brown wrapping tape and reportedly told Main Event presenter Ben Damon that he’d “never met such fucking disrespectful people in boxing. Manny knows about it and they’re gonna pay.”
Horn’s trainer Glenn Rushton suggested Roach looked “rattled” but agreed to use white tape to ensure there were no further problems.