The World Boxing Organization will re-score the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn welterweight title fight because of the contentious unanimous decision awarded to the Australian challenger, but there is no plan to change the result.
The WBO was responding to a Philippines government department’s request to review the fight after Pacquiao said the decision against him Sunday was unfair.
The Philippines Games and Amusements Board (GAB) said it based the request on protecting boxing’s integrity, citing possible miscalls by the referee and judges.
But the WBO reiterated its only hope of revoking the fight judges’ decision rests on proving fraud in match officiating.
‘I would be very grateful if the GAB can provide any evidence indicating fraud or violation of law,’ WBO President Francisco Valcarcel said in a letter to the GAB dated Thursday.
‘The purpose of this review is to be able to give the fans certainty of who was the winner of the bout, even though we do not have the power to reverse the decision of the judges.’
Valcarcel said five anonymous judges will review the bout, assigning their own scores to rounds.
‘Then, we will tabulate the results to ascertain clearly which rounds each fighter won using an average scale based on 60, 80 and 100 percent,’ Valcarcel said.
‘This means that three of the five officials have to agree to determine which fighter won the round.’
The fight at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium was scored 117-111 by Waleksa Roldan and 115-113 each by Chris Flores and Ramon Cerdan, with Roldan’s score coming in for most criticism.
Valcarcel supported the judges, who have each scored hundreds of fights.
‘The officials who participated in this fight are all professional, distinguished, honest and honorable human beings,’ he said.
On Thursday, Horn brushed aside Pacquiao’s call for a review of the match and threw down the gauntlet for a rematch.
Thousands joined a ticker-tape parade in Brisbane in honour of the former school teacher, who said he doubted if Pacquiao had personally backed a call to review the outcome of last Sunday’s title bout.
‘I don’t actually believe that would be Pacquiao actually even saying that himself,’ the Australian told Channel Nine.
‘Maybe it is his team around him. But Pacquiao seemed very humble in the way that he lost and thought the decision was correct.
‘I am ready for a rematch. If he wants to come back and do it again, we will do it. That’s up to him, he’s got the option,’ Horn said.
Written off by most observers, the 29-year-old stunned the Filipino legend with his ultra-aggressiveness to earn a unanimous 12-round decision.
The result has been widely questioned, with many believing Pacquiao should have won.
The 38-year-old Filipino champion backed a formal request by the Philippines’ Games and Amusement Board for the WBO to review the decision on Wednesday.
‘I love boxing and I don’t wanna see it dying because of unfair decision and officiating,’ he said in a statement issued by his office.
‘I had already accepted the decision but as a leader and, at the same time, fighter I have the moral obligation to uphold sportsmanship, truth and fairness in the eyes of the public.’
In the twilight of a 22-year pro career in which he won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, Pacquiao had initially called for a rematch, but later said he would also ‘think hard’ about retiring.
In Brisbane, with chants of ‘Hornet! Hornet!’ ringing out, the Australian boxer was handed the keys to the city and told thousands of supporters he was ready for the next challenge.
‘Thank you all for turning up and supporting me and my dreams and, as you can see, you never give up.
‘I went through a tough round nine, pushed hard through and we got there’ he told the crowd. ‘We got that World Championship.’
There was no doubting the fight’s outcome among fans who came out to greet their hometown hero.
‘(It was) an absolutely amazing performance. He (Horn) definitely, definitely, definitely won,’ one supporter told Sky News.
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