A HUGE shock occurred in Brisbane when unheralded Jeff Horn defeated the great Manny Pacquiao via 12-round decision. But the scores of 117-111 and two of 115-113 in the Aussie’s favour have sparked controversy, with several observers arguing the Filipino had done enough to retain his WBO welterweight title.

Here, watching the contest again, and without listening to any commentary, Boxing News scored the contest round-by-round.

Round One
10-9 Horn [Clear]

Round Two
10-9 Pacquiao [Close]

Round Three
10-9 Horn [Close]

Round Four
10-9 Pacquiao [Close]

Round Five
10-9 Horn [Close]

Round Six
10-9 Pacquiao [Close]

Round Seven
10-9 Horn [Close]

Round Eight
10-9 Pacquiao [Close]

Round Nine
10-9 Pacquiao [Clear]

Round Ten
10-9 Horn [Close]

Round Eleven
10-9 Pacquiao [Close]

Round Twelve
10-9 Pacquiao [Close]

Pacquiao 115-113 Horn

So we had Pacquiao two rounds ahead, but 10 of the 12 rounds were close. Only the first, a clear round for Horn, and the ninth – a big, big session for Pacquiao – were easy to score. We have no real argument with the 115-113 scores that were turned in by two of the judges.

Pacquiao’s work was cleaner, and skill-wise, he was the superior fighter. However, the bullish Horn was always busy and his work-rate alone would likely have swayed several close rounds in the eyes of the judges.

Horn charged forward, often leading with his head, which made life exceptionally uncomfortable for his opponent. Pacquiao finished with two deep cuts as a consequence. The rugged Australian – cut himself in the early going – was never warned for his rough and ready tactics.

Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn

Bottom line, though, Pacquiao waited too long to get his shots off. Like so many ageing fighters, he was reliant on counter punches. This contest showed that Pacquiao, after a long and glorious career, is nothing like the fighter he was. Take that big ninth round he enjoyed as a case in point. With the referee warning Horn he was thinking about stopping it, Pacquiao could not sustain that pressure in the 10th.

Pacquiao-Horn was a close contest. It was untidy at times, always enthralling, and cannot be called a ‘robbery’. The 117-111 score raised eyebrows, yes, but with so many tight rounds such a tally was justifiable. Horn got his tactics spot on, and deserves plenty of credit.

THE VERDICT: Close fight, no robbery.