When I watched Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn live on ESPN, I had the fight scored a Draw, I didn’t think it was a robbery and was actually close. I watched it again and I had Horn winning 7 to 5. I think the bout could go either way and it would be justified, it was close and a very action packed affair.
I’m a fan of Manny Pacquiao but I have to be fair, this is a sport and we shouldn’t let our biases cloud our judgement. Pacquiao simply is not the same fighter he once was 7 years ago, he showed his age against Horn. Round 9 was vintage Pacman he went for the kill throwing non stop punches battering Horn from start to finish. He gassed out after coming up short going for the KO in round 9, and for the first time in his career he couldn’t recover in the later rounds to pull the trigger with combos again. In rounds 10, 11, and 12 he was just firing off one loaded punch at a time to try and catch Horn because he was too tired to throw combos, that was not prime Manny, that was an aging fighter desperate to land a lucky shot.
Horn proved that the lights and big fight crowd didn’t bother him, he is a young fighter with little experience on the big stage but with the support of his hometown fans in Brisbane, Australia he was about to deliver one of the biggest upsets in boxing. His pressure and aggression won the fight, no other fighter was able to push Manny back and rough him up the way Horn was able to do. The size and youth was too much for the aging veteran. That is how you take the belt from the champion by going out on your shield with something to prove.
What is next for both fighters? Well for Horn he should enjoy being the new WBO welterweight champion and take advantage of all the endorsement deals that will come his way after the win. He will have many opportunities to earn money from sponsors and commercials, and he has his first child on the way with his lovely wife. As for Pacquiao, he has the option to exercise the rematch clause in the contract or he can call it quits and focus on his political career in the Philippines.
Another option for both boxers is Floyd Mayweather. We know that Mayweather is fighting UFC fighter Conor McGregor in a gimme fight that should be easy work for him since Conor has never boxed professionally in his life. We also know that Floyd is a notorious cherry picker who only takes fights that are big money but also low risk, and right now after he beats McGregor he can avoid the young guns like Keith Thurman and Errol Spence and opt for a rematch with Manny Pacquiao which would still be lucrative since a lot of people felt he was robbed against Horn, or he can fight Horn who is undefeated and has a win over Manny.
If Mayweather chooses Horn he could wind up being roughed up and upset like Pacquiao was, but since the fight would be in Las Vegas it would be very difficult for Horn to win a decision there, look at what happened to Marcos Maidana he used similar rough house pressure that Horn did, and he lost a decision in a fight that many fans felt Maidana won.