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Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, in a statement released following his defeat and concession of the WBO welterweight world title bout to Australian Jeff Horn, said that the World Boxing Association should take appropriate action on the letter sent by the Philippines Games and Amusement Board (GAB) so as “not to erode the people’s interest in boxing.” Horn was declared the winner in a controversial unanimous decision by the judges despite Pacquiao leading the charts statistically.
“The World Boxing Organisation (WBO) should take appropriate action on the letter sent by the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) so as not to erode the people’s interest in boxing,” said the Filipino boxing great in the letter sent by the GAB, “On my part, I have 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. I love boxing and I don’t wanna see it dying because of unfair decision and officiating.
Broadcaster ESPN had said that Pacquiao had landed 182 punches to 82 from the challenger over the 12 rounds in front of more than 51,000 fans in Horn’s home town of Brisbane. Experts and former professionals said later that the referee let Horn get away with a lot of illegal practices and that the scorecards should have been in favour of Pacquiao.
The result also exposed fissures in Pacquiao’s team. While trainer Freddie Roach was critical of the officials and the referee, his promoter Bob Arum said they expected more objections from Roach himself. Pacquaio also said that he would be ready for a rematch with Horn. “Well, it depends, there is no problem with me if there’s a rematch,” Pacquiao had said in an interview to a channel in the Philippines, “It would be better if the rematch would be held in the Philippines.