Jul 3, 2017

On July 2, Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao took to the ring again to defend his title as the welterweight boxing champion. Unfortunately, and much to everyone’s disbelief, the people’s champion lost to undefeated rookie Jeff Horn.

On the ninth round of the match, the fight was stopped and Horn was declared the winner by unanimous decision. It was a close match, the judges admitted. Horn and Pacquiao scored 117-111, 115-113, and 115-113 respectively.

Since then, the boxing world has been run down with mixed emotions.

The upset commentators and fans 

After Horn was declared the winner, disbelief and outrage were the immediate reactions at ESPN’s telecast. All but one commentator, Timothy Bradley seemed to believe that the fight was actually a close call. This led to a heated debate between Bradley and his colleagues while on air.

Here in the Philippines, however, it was the same disbelief mixed with heartbreak all around.

Amidst chaos and turmoil, our displaced brothers and sisters in Marawi were hoping for a boost in morale as they gathered for a public viewing in a town social hall. When the referee raised the Aussie’s hand as the winner instead of Pacquiao’s, everyone’s spirits broke just a little bit more.

Staying true to the Filipino spirit, they readily see the silver lining in Pacquiao’s defeat.

“Our morale is at its lowest but Pacquiao remains a symbol of resilience. In the same way that he is already a boxing icon, this crisis does not define who we are,” provincial government spokesperson Zia Alonto Adiong shared. 

The indignant critics

For as much as most boxing fans were upset by Pacquiao’s defeat, critics of the sport are standing by the judges’ decision. Professional fighters, sports writers, and Manny Pacquiao’s own promoter, Bob Arum are acknowledging the match as a ‘close fight, not a robbery.’

 

 

Pacquiao has since then expressed his welcome for a possible rematch with Horn. Meanwhile, Horn has challenged Mayweather for his next match.

 

Photos courtesy of Inquirer.net

TAGS: australia boxing ESPN jeff horn Manny pacquiao sports